Tegan and Sara - The Con (Cover Artwork)

Tegan and Sara

Tegan and Sara: The ConThe Con (2007)
Warner Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: skaboomskaboom
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I almost missed the boat on Tegan and Sara. I decided to check out 2004's So Jealous after reading a review of it on this site, only to have my mother call me a week later and tell me about this great new band called Tegan and Sara she had heard onā?¦"Grey's Anatomy." Ouch. Sorry, punk cred. It turns out the twin sister act are not new at all, and have been turning out folky pop tunes since 1999. Over time their sound has evolved and expanded, now including layers of glossy electric guitars and keyboards to accompany the delicate acoustics that still form the backbone of most the songs on their new record, The Con.

Each sister has a unique songwriting style, with Sara veering towards complex, lush arrangements and Tegan sticking with more traditional rock structures and acoustic numbers. The result is an album that maintains a strong sense of variety through its brief 37-minute running time. There are distinct themes to the record as well. Sara writes mainly about her experiences of settling into a routine life and trading in freedom for stability. In the opening track, "I Was Married," she muses on the topic of married life and gay marriage in general, and the homophobia that persists in Canada and the United States.

Meanwhile, Tegan is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Her songs deal with the restlessness of being in your mid-20s and still struggling to find your place in the world. In "Soil, Soil," she explains: "Oh, and I'm feeling directionless, yes, but that's to be expected and I know that best." "Are You Ten Years Ago," a standout keyboard and moog-driven song with rapid, overlapping vocals is about mentally and emotionally reverting to an earlier time in your life, feeling like personal growth only leads you around in circles. Throughout the record, the women remain incredibly intimate with their lyrics (in "Knife Going In," Sara mentions her partner by name) and don't shy away from expressing the highs and lows of love.

Helping in this recording is an impressive list of punk rock / indie heavyweights. The Con was produced by Chris Walla of Death Cab for Cutie, and features Jason McGerr (also of DCFC) on drums. Sara had Matt Sharp of Weezer / the Rentals play bass on her songs, while Tegan enlisted Hunter Burgan of AFI for hers.

Thanks to prominent placement on the previously mentioned popular medical drama and a high-profile cover of their song "Walking with a Ghost" by the White Stripes, the band has seen an enormous increase in profile since their last release in 2004. This attention has been well-deserved. For all the labels that get attached to Tegan and Sara, one aspect of their craft is never overshadowed: They are fantastic songwriters. The Con is a rock-solid offering from a band that has only gotten better with each release.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
i-hate-winnipeg (December 8, 2007)

absolute brilliance.

don't most guys on here have dyke haircuts anyways?

lushj (August 8, 2007)

This is growing on me. Much better than the pre-So Jealous folk records.

Anonymous (August 7, 2007)

skaboom is not a hetero , but really TEGAN. I have documented proof!

Anonymous (August 6, 2007)

fuck these hipster-hype slut cakes

Anonymous (August 6, 2007)

this album really grew on me. I'm not as into the more techno songs but "Hop a Plane" has been on every playlist I've made for a month. And the last track is a real surprise. Totally gets stuck in my head. Good stuff.

Anonymous (August 6, 2007)

"I bet only one of them is a lesbian. One of them must be lying. It can't be fucking possible. I know how stupid that sounds, but it sounds so im-fucking-probable."

I mean, since it's likely that there are genetic factors that contribute to being gay, the fact that they're identical twins would actually make it less surprising...

Neill_Cawley (August 6, 2007)

Uh, because girls are icky? And two girls are twice as icky as one? Don't you know math? TWO is TWICE as much as ONE. What are you, a cunt lover? You one of them muscular, football loving, heteros? That's fucking disgusting.

-Neill Cawley

-Score is for you, try sucking a wiener every once in a while, it's good for you.

Anonymous (August 5, 2007)

What kind of loser would like a band of 2 girls, let alone 2 girls that like other girls? This Skaboom character is a total hetero.

-Neill Cawley

What the hell? How can you not like girl on girl action?

Anonymous (August 5, 2007)

I know a girl in VIctoria who made out with one of them. Shes got a pic on her fridge of herself with one of them when they played here. Nothing wrong with that. I'm just saying

Deadpan (August 5, 2007)

Good lord, this album rules so hard. I know you're never supposed to like the obligatory catchy lead single, but I can't stop singing Back In Your Head, no matter how hard I try.

But seriously. Anyone making the "fucking dykes" comments may as well expend the little bit of extra effort it takes to type "I am a complete fucking cunt" as well. It makes sense.

adam (August 5, 2007)

This is a really enjoyable record, I never bothered to check out their past stuff but i'll have to now.


Neill_Cawley (August 4, 2007)

What kind of loser would like a band of 2 girls, let alone 2 girls that like other girls? This Skaboom character is a total hetero.

-Neill Cawley

defianceohioequalslove (August 4, 2007)

I don't feel too manly saying this, but "The Con" is a damn good song.

Anonymous (August 4, 2007)

I bet only one of them is a lesbian. One of them must be lying. It can't be fucking possible. I know how stupid that sounds, but it sounds so im-fucking-probable.

mcgregor107 (August 4, 2007)

"How is the vagina coming alone, Skaboom?"


thus_spoke_sean (August 4, 2007)

the con even being mentioned here is a perfect example of why punknews.org sucks!

How come? Because you think the band sucks? Or because you dont think that pop music with punk influence should be covered here?

I'd say that it iis being covered here because a number of users on this site like Tegan and Sara. Therefore.....

Anonymous (August 4, 2007)

This album is pure pop for now people.

tylerdurden8136 (August 4, 2007)


Anonymous (August 4, 2007)

the con even being mentioned here is a perfect example of why punknews.org sucks!

FuckYouOiOiOi (August 4, 2007)

what a bunch of bullshit. this is the opposite of punk rock.

misterpink (August 3, 2007)

amazing album

kenjamin (August 3, 2007)

skaboom, I really really like this. I think it was you who turned me onto them. P.S. I've been without internet all summer so I had to "quit" the board.

Anonymous (August 3, 2007)


SloaneDaley (August 3, 2007)

I've only listened to the album once but I didn't like the sound they went for on a lot of the songs. Still this is pretty good pop rock from what I've heard.

Anonymous (August 3, 2007)

so they're identical twins, AND they're lesbians?

niveK82 (August 3, 2007)

How is the vagina coming alone, Skaboom?

jacknife737 (August 3, 2007)

nice review, i can't quite comment on the music, as i've only listend to the first couple tracks on the allbum (so far), but funny side note:, i'm watching a youtube preformance of them on Conan palying "Back in Your Head" - when Conan comes on stage to greet them, hes almost a foot and a half taller then them

skaboom (August 3, 2007)

Oh, I realized an error. That quote is from "Soil, Soil", not "Nineteen". Sorry if there is any confusion.

Anonymous (August 3, 2007)

Archangel, I'm sure we'd all love to see your utterly brilliant reviewing ability. The org says they'll post 2 reviews per album, so why dont you quit your fucking complaining and write the infinately superior review of this album we all know you are capable of writing.

Score is for you.

Anonymous (August 3, 2007)

""Like O, Like H" is too good. Like, end-of-the-year mixtape good."

I must agree. Also "I cannot express how much fuck this band" is one of my favorites as well.

The good songs are really good, but the meh songs are really meh. College girls too shy for punk but not snobby enough for indie will eat it up.


Archangel (August 3, 2007)

I'm a fan of Tegan and Sara and will eventually get this CD, I'm sure...

but I had to stop reading this early because every time I see the word "lush" in an album review, I roll my eyes so hard that I can't see the rest of the poorly chosen words. Score is for that.

Piata (August 3, 2007)

There's homophobia in Canada? O_o

Anonymous (August 3, 2007)

is this a joke? fuck these dykes. give me a break.

WarIsPeace (August 3, 2007)

Good review/album. Sometimes it risks making the album a bit disjointed, but the diversity in songs is really what makes the album good. It kinda reminds me of the new Straylight Run album a bit in that regard, but better.

skaboom (August 3, 2007)

Whoa thanks for posting my review guys.

Anonymous (August 3, 2007)

PJZ: Remember, everything sounds like crap on light night shows.

thus_spoke_sean (August 3, 2007)

nice review, i was planning on wrtiing my own, but just got the cd two days ago.

one thing i would emphasize is how fucking good this record sounds, chris did an amazing production job, moments like when the title track kicks in are really beautifully done. but again, this is good review, and a damn good album.

mfohio (August 3, 2007)

one more thing. RIPLEY, ALIEN 2-4 SUCKED!

PJZ (August 3, 2007)

last night i was watching leno and i saw that tegan and sara were playing, so i kept watching(bad decision). i had heard a couple of songs before off of various comps and just from random-ass places, and they sounded to me like they had potentionl. so when i finally got to the part where they played, i watched. it was really really boring. no frills. no nothing. not even boring indie cred. nothing. i gave them a fighting chance, and i got nothing. it was awful.

mfohio (August 3, 2007)

and fuck their slanty/chopped hipster hair. thats so 2005!

mfohio (August 3, 2007)

fuck this band and their stupid, dykey, side-ways vaginas.

skamanifesto (August 3, 2007)

haha every time i read the "I cannot express how much fuck this band" comment, i still laugh out loud. it never gets old.

inagreendase (August 3, 2007)

I can't properly rate this album until I judge its "sing along in the car"-ability, but the more I look like a tool, the better it is. And it's gonna be fairly high.

"Like O, Like H" is too good. Like, end-of-the-year mixtape good.

Anonymous (August 3, 2007)

yes, someone finally wrote a review for this album. i think its great. do you agree that "Like O, Like H" is probably the weirdest song theyve ever written?

Anonymous (August 3, 2007)

I cannot express how much fuck this band

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