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Canadian sisters examine love's deceitful ways

Rating: 8 / 10

Francis Jones, 04 Nov 2009

The sixth studio album from Quin twins Tegan and Sara, Sainthood is loosely built around the premise that we suppress our true identity in the pursuit of love, adopting or presenting our most appealing attributes and compromising ourselves in order to secure the object of our affections. “All I said to you, all I did for you/ Seems so silly to me now”, they state on ‘The Cure’, suggesting they’re self-aware enough to realise that such an approach is, ultimately, futile.

As preceding albums So Jealous and The Con testify, romantic infatuation is not a particularly new theme for the sisters. What is novel about this record, though, is that it’s the first on which the twosome have written songs together. And it works. Co-produced by Chris Walla [Death Cab For Cutie] and Howard Redekopp, the songs gleam like polished silver, the choruses brimming with new wave hooks and melody galore. They take aim with ‘Arrow’, which sports Cyndi Lauper-esque vocals wedded to barbed keys. The opener fair indicates what’s to come, with 13 jet-heeled tracks whizzing by in a brisk 37 minutes.

OK, so boundaries are not threatened, but outright adventure isn’t necessary when you can produce choruses as propulsive as that of ‘Hell’, as entrancing as ‘Sentimental Tune’, or as anthemic as ‘Someday’. And ‘Alligator’ has commercial potential that could propel the pair out of the art-rock ghetto. Let’s just hope these high priestesses of longing continue to have their desires thwarted and to produce albums worthy of our obsession.

Rating: 8 / 10
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