As the clock struck midnight and January 28 faded into January 29, hundreds (even thousands) of pining fans were eagerly bent over their computer screens, scrambling to download the highly anticipated and appropriately named new album from Tegan and Sara: Heartthrob.
Many of these fans sacrificed a REM cycle or two to on this fateful night to sink into the unmatched and reinvented sound that these Canadian twins have been teasing us with for months with singles and selected leaks. The song “Closer,” an instant success and apparently now an MTV favorite (try not to shudder, this doesn’t mean that it sucks), was released at the end of November, and other tracks from the album including “I’m Not Your Hero” and “I Couldn’t Be Your Friend” have been streamed from sources like NPR and WeAreHunted.
In a sense, we all knew what sort of ear candy we were in for, but those clever devils over in marketing managed to send our anticipation through the roof for the album with these special releases, as well as frequently updated cover art on all their social networks. The nail-biting tension in those last few minutes of January 28 was almost crippling for die-hard fans, but after a few short keyboard commands at the stroke of midnight, iTunes got the job done.
Although the stylistic transformation came as no surprise, the simple yet excruciatingly genuine lyrics that are so essential to the Tegan and Sara that we know came through yet again. “Now I’m All Messed Up” and “Love They Say” demonstrated that these alternative-pop queens continue to muster perfectly heart-wrenching honesty in everything they do, while exquisitely combining the moments that evoke the most emotion with crescendos and intensification of sound. The result of this, we admit, is nothing short of spectacular.
The twins did it again. Although this was pretty much the complete antithesis of their last album, Sainthood, to you critics we simply say that artists are, by nature, constantly transforming and exploring new facets of their art. We know that many may be disappointed with the appearance of the favorite alternative duo on mainstream television channels and talk shows (frankly, we know the feeling), but we can’t keep these ladies to ourselves anymore. Their genius has been discovered, and they deserve their fame. We've had Heartthrob on repeat since the release on iTunes, and it’s still not falling short of the hype.
It is a captivating album that deserves all the attention it’s been getting. Way to go, girls.