Quirky Canadian twins, Tegan and Sara, take audiences back to the 80s with their seventh studio album Heartthrob. The lyrical content of the album comes together a bit like the diary entries of a naïve heartbroken teenager. The twins have nevertheless produced a unique indie-pop listening experience that will grow on you after the first listen.
Heartthrob lacks vocal intensity and it feels like neither girl wanted to outshine the other. The bite-sized 37-minute album is a compilation of stereotypical love songs backed by keyboard melodies that leave the listener craving a decent guitar riff or at least a solid bass line. The album is an easy listen if you aren’t focusing on the depressing lyrics.
The album’s opening track “Closer” is a disappointment as the vocals dart up and down irritatingly with no real impact. This should not discourage listeners from continuing though, as there are a few pleasant surprises hidden beneath the surface of the repetitive electro on Heartthrob. The duo ensured that listeners would empathise with their lyrics by singing about the only thing that everyone has felt and lost: love.
“I Was A Fool” showcases the vocal harmony that the sisters are capable of against the backdrop of a soulful piano melody. “I’m Not Your Hero” is reminiscent of Gwen Stefani’s early solo work but without the catchy beats. The cheeky vocals and synth in “I Couldn’t Be Your Friend” are almost a mirror image of Katy Perry’s sound on Teenage Dream. Heartbreak is palpable on this track as the sisters explain why it’s impossible to be friends with an ex-lover.
The confusing thing about this album is that the sisters not only look the same but sound the same too. The constant layering of sugary vocals gets tedious around track five as the twins repeat “and it drove me wild” over and over again. You can get a peek behind the scenes of the making of Heartthrob in the eight-video series entitled Carpool Confessional which documents the recording of the album.
The upbeat pop melodies and pensive lyrics of Heartthrob are contradictory and leave the listener wondering what point the twins were trying to make. Despite this, there is something good to be found in each track whether it be a comforting lyric for the heartbroken or a catchy chorus to dance to.