Sainthood review by Tegan and Sara

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  • Released: Oct 27, 2009
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.5 (55 votes)
Tegan and Sara: Sainthood

Sound — 10
The sound of the Canadian duos sixth studio album is a clear and quite natural progression of the sound the two have formulated over their 10+ years making music. From the early, primarily acoustic, albums they have slowly added electronics via keyboards/moogs etc. "Sainthood", it's fair to say, picks up where "The Con" left off - electronically at least. The Quin twins have said this is more of a "full band" album, and it's easy to hear why. Instead of the guitars leading, the sound of each song is built up of all the instruments together. The drums are kicking, the bass is full and chunky, and the keyboards are out in force. This does give the whole album a nice full sound.

Lyrics — 10
It's been all over the 'net that Tegan and Sara attempted to write songs together for the first time in their musical hstory. The two set aside time in New Orleans to work on songs, however none of these songs made it onto the album itself. Because of this there is still the Tegan or Sara feel to "Sainthood", but this is in no way a bad thing. Personally I like the different lyrical styles of the twins. Each gives a nice perspective, whether it be a metaphor, or spelled out for the listener. This album has the feeling of being slightly 'hookier' than previous albums. Whether this was intentional or not it makes for compelling listening. It would seem natural that Tegan & Sara are widening the perspective of what it is they sing about. "Sainthood" does seem to contain songs of love, but also daily life/troubles/etc. that made "The Con" such a strong album.

Overall Impression — 10
2009 does seem to have been a brilliant year musically. We've had a new Brand New album, new stuff from Paramore, A.F.I, Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, Rain Machine and many more. I am pleased to say that Tegan & Sara's "Sainthood" sits proudly in the top 3 of my favourite albums this year. It is even growing to be one of my favourite albums of all. Does it compare with their other studio albums though? Put simply: Yes, and then some. Throughout the T&S albums there is a natural progression of the music, and lyrical maturing too. All this comes together in "Sainthood" and old fans will not be disappointed. And many new fans will be made, I'm sure. With bands around today it is difficult to find something fresh and uplifting to hear. Something that you have no problems listening to on repeat for, say, 3 1/2 hours solid while doing nothing more than googling or sitting in awe. T&S and "Sainthood" is and does exactly this, and more. Choosing favourites on Tegan & Sara albums is always a difficult choice, because of the wide range. It's hard to choose stand outs on such a hooky and sing-along album as "Sainthood" but, if pressed, I'd say "Arrow", "The Cure" and "Hell" were all fantastic, but my favourite has to be "Alligator" (sorry Tegan). The only minor negative I could find (and I had to search deep) was that there isn't really the simple acoustic ballad type song there has been on previous albums. This is simply solved, however, if you hear the iTunes bonus songs Light Up and Wrists. There, flawless. If the heavens opened up and destroyed all of my worldly possessions, Tegan & Sara's "Sainthood" would be one of the staple items I'd need to rebuild my shattered life. Keep it up ladies.

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I think we have to realize something about Tegan and Sara. I'm not gonna go and dive into their personal lives, but if you've been to one of their concerts lately or have listened to their interviews, Tegan's FINALLY in love and Sara is lonely and depressed. They've switched places! Obviously, Tegan's songs still sound depressing, but you can tell it's about her loving someone. Sara on the other hand, her lyrics are different, and they wrote together. It's supposed to be different and they actually sound like a band, so I actually LOVE Arlin's review and I would give it a 10. Tegan and Sara have truly grown up, I can't wait to see what happens in the future :]
    I do not think this is their best effort. I have been a long time fan and I have to say i am disappointed in Sainthood. The songs do not have the depth of the ones on the Con and the music sounds stale to me. I think next record they need someone other than Chris Walla to produce.
    Some people need to realize that although you really like a group, you still need to actually be critical. Hell, my favorite band's last cd I might give a 7. This is biased and poorly done.
    OK, I will apologise for the seemingly one sided review that I have given, I assure you I can write good balanced reviews. It is more difficult to balance when passionate about something, though. However, I personally don't find anything really wrong with the album, I liked the Con and really believe this continues on that strength.
    bassbeat77 :...It just feels like their personality (which is what made their previous efforts so great) is missing from Sainthood, like their hearts weren't fully in it.
    I respect your opinion, any chance of elaboration on what made you think this though?
    I agree with some of the previous posters. I love T&S, but Hell was a huge disappointment for me, and nowhere near as musically interesting as The Con (which was one of the best pop/rock albums of the decade, IMO). Most of the songs on Hell are quite forgettable, and simply do not show that creative, original style that T&S have developed over their last two albums. If I give The Con a 9, then Hell is a 5 at best.
    I think Tegan and Sara's album Sainthood is awesome. I loved their acoustic songs but i think they are trying to develop who they are through music. I believe they are right where they need to be in their progressive state of mind. AS for them changing i totally agree,but people change and were just going to have to deal with that. I will admit at first i didn't like sainthood. i thought it had way too little acoustics and the lyrics weren't good. But i can tell you that if you really listen to hte lyrics and think about them they couldn't have picked better music to pair with it.
    It's definitely a new chapter for Tegan and Sara and I'm just glad we're here to listen. It's a edgy mix, but still brilliant overall. Alligator has been confirmed to be the next single!
    I've recently hopped on the T'n S bandwagon and I have to say that although Sainthood does have a few tracks that cling to the repeat button, it wasn't all favourites for me. 'The Con' is one of there best albums to date along with a few tracks from 'So Jealous' and 'The Business of Art'. Sainthood doesn't disappoint from their previous albums entirely. Tracks like "The Cure" and "On Directing" keep me coming back for more. Give it a listen...what do you think? Look forward to the future, who knows what the Quin twins will release next!
    I've been pretty disappointed in most of the albums I was anticipating this year. I was hoping Sainthood would be a different story. It wasn't. Hell is the only song that holds my interest so far, though I've only given the album a few listens. It just feels like their personality (which is what made their previous efforts so great) is missing from Sainthood, like their hearts weren't fully in it.