It's hard to follow up the record that made you famous. For many artists, that's their first album, and the disappointing results are termed the "sophomore slump." Luckily, Tegan and Sara's star-making Juno-nominated album, So Jealous
, was their fourth--and their fifth album, The Con
, not only avoids any kind of slump but sets a new bar of quality quite high. While both a darker and quirkier album than the near-perfect heartbreak pop of So Jealous
, The Con
skillfully packs its instant hooks in so tight, virtually every line becomes the one you want to sing along to--and the twins' lyrics aren't your typical pop pabulum. Layer upon layer of tasty ear candy coat considered sentiments like "Nobody likes to but I really like to cry," "I felt you in my legs before I ever met you," and "Maybe I would have been something you'd be good at"--lyrics that feel honest and add an emotional urgency and depth rarely heard on the radio. However, the biggest leap Tegan and Sara made on this record was not the lyrical content, but how the album itself was created. The switch to coproducing with indie superstar Christopher Walla (Decemberists, Death Cab for Cutie) is apparent, and part of what gives this record its distinctive and innovative touch. From the odd structure of "I Was Married" to the thumping electronica of "Are You Ten Years Ago," The Con
reverberates with unabashed creativity, and it's a rare pleasure to hear it done so well. I would be surprised if another band this year made a better record--it's really that good. A special bonus for fans: don't shy away from this deluxe edition--it includes a DVD with a feature-length intimate documentary on the making of the album, offering a lot of insight into their creative process. --Alan Wiley
With The Con, singer-songwriter guitarist identical twins Tegan And Sara Quin build on their breakthrough success of 2004's So Jealous one of Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums Of The Year and Juno-nominated for Best Alternative Album. Eighteen months of touring followed, including shows with The Killers. At the same time, their track Walking With A Ghost was ubiquitous, and was covered by The White Stripes. The Con, co-produced by Death Cab For Cutie's Chris Walla, marks the most mature effort to date in the rising career of Tegan And Sara. The Special Edition features a DVD that includes a chapter for every track on the record basically a b-side to the song, exploring the creative process. Both configurations are packaged in a walletpak.