In high school they used to make us read and review books for our English class. We always grumbled about the months it took for us to read it completely as we went through it chapter by chapter analysing the characters motives and moves down to why the chose bacon for breakfast. I always thought it was a grind because I was capable of devouring a book quickly but in truth my method was more like scoffing down McDonalds while driving instead of savouring a three star michelin dinner. I gained a greater appreciation for the books that we reviewed simply because it exposed elements that I hadn’t thought of myself. Which leads me to Tegan and Sara’s latest album “The Con”.
I have a love for Tegan and Sara that started with their “If it was you” album and evolved in to a devotion that means that I buy their CD without listening to it and going to their concerts whenever they are in town. I picked up their latest cd recently and got the bonus DVD with it that seems to becoming a habit since I also got one with their “So Jealous” cd. If you don’t know, Tegan and Sara are identical twins from Canada that happen to both be gay. They are also becoming so famous that even Jack White from The White Stripes covers their songs. On Sunday I decided to watch the DVD and suddenly I was drawn back in to my high school years where the whole cd was picked apart and put back together making it better than when I started.
The DVD of The Con follows the album making process from when they arrived at Chris Walla’s recording studio to the end where he has to master the album. Chris Walla is from another favoured band of mine called Death Cab for Cutie and I’m guessing it was with his influence that they got Jason McGerr who is also from the band to play drums. What was interesting about the process was that the drums were done last instead of the usual laying down of the drum track at the beginning. This seemed to allow Jason some more creativity in his drumming which comes through on the album. I was stunned to see that he had played normal drums on the electronic sounding Are You Ten Years Ago. And yes, now I can only hear “Tegan I am yours” when I listen to this song.
Another reason for loving this album is that Matt Sharp plays synths and bass like he did on the So Jealous album. The story about him meeting up with Tegan and Sara is actually really cute and one of the best blog posts I’ve read in a really long time. Matt used to play bass in Weezer and then left to play in his own band the Rentals which I too love. Once you hear Matt’s contribution to “Back in Your Head” you can’t stop noticing the bass lines after that.
But the star studded album doesn’t stop there.They also have Hunter Burgan from AFI also playing on the album which is quite odd considering that is a pretty heavy band. The whole documentary is very watchable and highlights how funny the two sisters are and at the same time shows the easy friendship and antagonism that comes from being related. It’s probably not quite as good as the Metallica documentary but is an excellent bonus with the cd since it fleshes out the music so much. With every album they get better and this one has very little if any bad tracks. My only critique is that I wish they didn’t start with I Was Married – it needs more of a kick at the beginning than that song. Right now, I’m thinking this is my album of 2007 and remember it is competing with Feist!
I’ve already converted Pauline and if Kelly can get over her fear of their hair dos she may find an appreciation for them. Send the word out now, everyone needs to love Tegan and Sara.