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Tegan and Sara Track Reviews


Under Feet Like Ours (1999)

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Divided B+

“This is my candy corn!” (Yes, I actually listen to these albums...) I am also going to mention right here that I'll probably be giving all these songs roughly the same score. This is a good example of an album where it's difficult to write unique descriptions of all the songs. That is because they are all well-written, they are well-sung, they are well-produced, and they aren't so distinctive from one another. So here I go: This song is a simple acoustic-guitar led one; for the most part they strum four chords throughout and don't introduce any other instrument. In a way they didn't need to due to their stylistic and theatrical singing style. The lyrics are, I guess, a slice of life about living cheap and loose and looking to their future. Which is appropriate for these guys.

Our Trees B+

The instrumentation is a little more elaborate than the norm here. That is to say there is a drum loop, as well as some processing effects on the background vocals. The melody is quite good... it has a verses section and a chorus that's reasonably catchy. The vocals are even better, really belting it passionately at appropriate points. Certainly a competent and well composed song that makes a good listen but I do have a hard time remembering it after it's done playing. Lots of people praise these early Tegan and Sara songs for their lyrics... these ones are about urbanization I think. They're OK.

Come On B

This is instrumented once again with an acoustic guitar and a few melodic contributions from an electric one. Nothing too special. The melody I don't think is especially catchy, although I do like the middle sections of this which do manage to pick up some real steam. But as a whole, the song is plagued with just being forgettable ... even the lyrics, which I'm guessing are rather cryptic and are probably written about someone I've never met.

Freedom A-

This is my vote for the best song of the album; it is short (just a little over two minutes), with a furiously strummed acoustic guitar and furious singing to match. The melody is once again strong enough to capture my interest, although not especially strong enough that it remains in my head. The lyrics are fine, even though once again I don't really understand what they are about. Probably another person I never met.

Proud B+ Here is another reasonably good song that features a strong melody, very strong (passionate) vocals with a certain sense of style and verve, and fine lyrics. (This one seems to be about gaining a sense of self-worth.) Yep, like everything else in this album, it's makes a good listen ... but very little of it seems to stick to me.

More For Me A-

Maybe this is tied with “Freedom” for the best song of the album. Maybe the melody is a bit weaker, but it still has its moments. It's the lyrics that speak to me here a little more. They remind me of being in my early 20s and coming to the full realization that I needed to become a responsible citizen. The instrumentation here is simple again, though that's a fine thing: Acoustic guitar mainly with a few contributions of piano and a few rattles of some kind of percussion instrument.

Hype B

This song has so many words that it doesn't seem like there's enough music to contain it. But even then, there's an attractive chorus section that captures a bit of a foothold...though it doesn't last long and it goes right back to the rapid-tongue words. So what is the song about? I think it's a metaphor about love.

Clever Meals B

This is a piano ballad and unfortunately a rather dull one that--like another song from this album--seems a little too wordy. Although the melody takes a few interesting turns here and there, particularly at the end when it starts to build up. ...So I guess even when it seems I'm going to be completely unimpressed with a song on this album, it does something to capture my attention.

This is Everything B+

This doesn't start out so exciting... more of that stylistic singing over a simple chord progression played mainly by a piano. But eventually the rhythm guitar and drums build up and turns the song into something you can tap your toe to, as Tegan's singing becomes an impassioned plea. Despite all that the song doesn't affect me the way I think it should, but it's way too good for me to want to dismiss.

Heavy B+

This one has a little bit of a Latin tinge to it, with the way the guitar is strummed, which is pretty cool, but don't forget that the whole point of that is to be background to the stylistic singing. Again the melody isn't strong enough to pop out at me or linger with me, but it's also far too interesting for me to get bored with. The lyrics, again, are very well written but they don't connect to me.

Welcome Home B

This is a nice and simple acoustic guitar ballad with a somber cello (I guess) providing some depth in the background. The melody once again takes a few interesting twists in here but the whole point of the song appears to be the stylistic and impassioned vocal performance. The lyrics are about looking for love and being sad.

Superstar B

I would say this is the most memorable song from the album, even though that might not be for the best reasons... It starts out as kind of a drone that I don't like listening to much... but then by the end, it turns into a frenzy and I start to like it. It starts with an acoustic guitar playing lightly while a deep synthesizer plays long, sustained notes with a thumpy drum machine. The drum machine does change its rhythm throughout the piece to keep things lively. The singing is once again the best feature--stylistic and playful, with some creative overdubbing.

Bye!! N/A

The album began with a very rough recording of a girl talking about candy corn, and now here is a recording of the girl saying "Bye!!" (Haha, did Tegan and Sara unearth old recordings of themselves? This has to be them.)


All reviews are written by Michael Lawrence.