As slick as Heartthrob sounded for Tegan and Sara, Love You To Death takes it up a couple more notches to pure pop heaven, with layers of synths, melodies, harmonies and production. Yet, where they continue their musical trek to full-out unabashedly dance/pop icons (from their base as indie/folk songwriters), albeit impressively, there’s a hint of longing for what’s missing. The familiar yearning in their vocals, the hooky instrumental bridges, the details and characteristics that made T&S records sound epic and relevant to their fans are mostly void from this record.
With Love You To Death, the songs feel rushed, seemingly made purposely short (the album is just over 30 minutes) and kept to the point. There’s nothing extra to allow them to gel, no instrumental breaks, no padding. Just straight forward pop songs. While producer Greg Kirsten helped make Heartthrob a new classic in the twins’ discography (which consists pretty much only of classics), having him as the sole producer on this record probably hindered more than helped. Only a few tracks withstand the record’s tendency to blend together. Songs like Dying To Know with its sound of early 2000s urban pop meets 2005-era Robyn or BWU, straight out of an 80s action/romance movie. The melodies are there for sure, but you can’t help but feel there should be more.
The real question now, however, is what direction they will take next.
1. That Girl
2. Faint Of Heart
4. Dying To Know
5. Stop Desire
6. White Knuckles
10. Hang On To The Night