ALBUM REVIEW: Tegan and Sara, Love You to Death
  • TUESDAY, JUNE 07, 2016

  • Posted by: Susmita Paruchuri



Eight albums in, Tegan and Sara are still killing it with their latest release, Love You to Death. Its honest, romantic, relatable, and an utterly addicting pop album.

When I first started listening to Tegan and Sara, it was songs like Back in Your Head from 2007s The Con, and that alternative, indie rock vibe was exactly my deal in junior high school. But almost a decade later, the sisters have gradually evolved from guitars and folky indie music to synth heavy, mainstream pop - and Im not complaining.

Tegan and Sara debuted their new sound in their last album Heartthrob in 2012, and their lead single "Closer" became a huge hit, peaking at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Songs chart, and was their first time charting on the Billboard Hot 100. Producer Greg Kurstin (Adele, Lily Allen, Beck) who worked with them on Heartthrob, has followed them over to Love You to Death. Since then, the dance-pop duo has only become more comfortable in their new genre.

The album opens with "That Girl not the best track on the record by any means but it's still a crowd-pleaser. Without the rest of the album to compare it to, it's a fun song. "Faint of Heart" follows it, another simple, but catchy song.

I fell in love with "Boyfriend" when Tegan & Sara performed it on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in May - they also released an acoustic version on the show's YouTube channel. With Love You to Death, the twins, who are both openly gay, have retired ambiguous pronouns like you, replacing them with "she" and "her." Inspired by an ex of Sara's, "Boyfriend" is the album's first single, about a woman who not only had never dated another woman before, but was also involved with a man at the time.



"Dying to Know" the first breakup song on the album, and its exactly what you would expect to hear from any breakup song on the radio. It's a little formulaic, but dressed up with a heavy beat and synths, it's still a song you can dance to.

"Stop Desire", the record's fourth single, starts off with a bang. "Tonight, if you fuel my fire / You can't stop desire" is probably the catchiest hook off the entire album. "White Knuckles" is an emotional track that could be about a lover, but was written by Sara about the sisters' relationship and conflicts they had in the early years of their career.

100x is the album's first really slow song, with an unbearably adorable video featuring dramatic, slow-motion shots of puppies and the sisters with wind blowing in their hair (or fur), directed by Jess Rona. Honestly, I wasnt a big fan of the ballad on its own, but I could watch that video for hours.



Tegan and Sara have always famously been advocates for the LGBTQ+ community, and "BWU" is a sweet song about not needing marriage to validate a relationship. It's another song thats simple and up-front about the sisters' sexualities ("All the girls I loved before"), and is equipped with a melody that sets it apart from the rest of the album.

High energy "U-Turn" comes in with heavy synth and fast-paced lyrics. It's a song about becoming the person her lover deserves: "Give me a second, let me u-turn / Write you the love song you've earned." The album closes with "Hang on to the Night", bringing things down a notch from "U-Turn."



Overall: Love You to Death is a natural follow-up to Heartthrob, and it shows Tegan and Sara in their element with their peppy sound. I love the focus they've put on gender in relationships this time around, too. If you were a die-hard fan of The Con, then Love You to Death will probably not be your jam. However, if you're open to the sisters' new dance-pop style, give it a try, you won't be disappointed.

Rating: 4/5

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