Signed to Neil Young's Vapor imprint on the strength of a handful of songs, Calgary folk twins Tegan and Sara Quin seemed fast-tracked for pop stardom before their debut album even dropped. The brittle, snappy This Business of Art
was produced by Toronto cabaret chameleon Hawksley Workman and sticks tight to the Ani DiFranco agit-folk template. Frantic strumming is paired in three-minute bursts with the duo's half-sung/half-rapped lyrics, while Workman and pal Karl Mohr fill in the blanks. It's a supremely confident big-label debut, but like DiFranco's music, a bit hollow beyond the initial flash of energy. The songwriting is strong but also somewhat underdeveloped and gimmicky, and given the pyrotechnics lurking behind the board, you can't help but wish that Workman had done more to dress up the songs themselves. --Matt Galloway
Tegan And Sara are not your average singer-songwriter-guitarist identical twins. 2004's So Jealous was named one of Rolling Stone's 50 best albums of the year. They've played Coachella and Lollapalooza, and toured with The Killers, Hot Hot Heat and Neil Young. Their Walking With A Ghost was covered by the White Stripes. They've performed on Late Night, The Late Show and The Late Late Show. Their new album, The Con, is set to reach even higher, with the New York Times saying it could be one of the best albums of the year. Both Spin and Blender awarded The Con four stars.