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Quirky Canadian music

The Con
The Con
By Tegan and Sara

Sire Records: 2007

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This review first appeared in Turbula in November 2007.

Quirky, shifting, existing on the edges of alt rock and pop, the new album from Canadian twin sisters Tegan and Sara is is an edgy, often experimental outing that occasionally takes real effort to listen to. Closer to Jane Siberry's early work than the folk-infused emo they made a name with on their first three albums. Often dissonant, always angular, the arrangements to the 14 tracks are generally at odds with the gorgeous melodies at the heart of the songs themselves.

The vocals are likewise somewhat obtuse here – chanted at times rather than sung, the sisters' voices run through effects boxes, sampled and played back, basically turned inside out.

The overall impact is an album that's more experiment than finished product. As with Siberry or other experimental musicians like Kate Bush, that's not necessarily bad – it's just a bit surprising coming from a band that's crafted a far more accessible image to this point.