tue 15/10/2019

CD: Tegan & Sara - Hey I'm Just Like You | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Tegan & Sara - Hey I'm Just Like You

CD: Tegan & Sara - Hey I'm Just Like You

The twins revisit high school

There comes a time for reflection in everyone’s lives – perhaps for Canadian indie-pop duo Tegan & Sara this is it. Harking back to the 1990s, they have found and re-worked tracks written in their teenage years, taking grains of truth from their own once lost lyrics and melodies, trussing them up with fancy production values and a new wave retro-pop sound.

The album is launching just after the twins’ memoir, “High School” – a coming of age story of growing up in Calgary. Hey, I’m Just Like You feels like the musical accompaniment that should have been tucked into its sleeve.

Created with an appealing experimental electro sheen, there’s something effortless about the intimacy and rawness of these tracks, that sit somewhere between the result of the fears, tears, hormonal freakouts and funs of being a teen, and a retrospective analysis of how far Tegan and Sara have come since.

There is lyrical melodrama in “Hold My Breath Until I Die”, with a catchy hook and glossy beats that call up Chris (formerly Christine & the Queens) and Robyn. “I’ll be back some day” contains all the repetitive twanging bass of the 90s, and “Don’t Believe The Things They Tell You” takes on a rockier tone as it deconstructs the reality of a mother’s promise. We see lyrical piano and ballady poignance in “Hello I’m Right Here” which swings into “I Don’t Owe You Anything” – an I-hate-you-I-love-you kind of pop song that can only have come from a teenager.

There are words about backflips, secrets, memories; songs that swill belonging, insecurity, anxiety about the future in the same plastic cup as acoustic guitar strumming and comfortable harmonies. There’s a bunch of fun swearing (”Keep Them Close Cause They Will Fuck You Too”) and excellent break up anthems in “We Don’t Have Fun When We’re Together Anymore”/“You Go Away And I Don’t Mind” – which makes me wonder why we ever move away from such adolescent ideology.

But this album isn’t merely a re-hash of teenage angst, it’s a nuanced reflection of the choices we make, the paths we take, the periods of transition as the path curves anew that all boil down to the same thing – an honest and relatable assessment of the truth within insecurities and hopes that can run for a life time.

Re-opening their original journals and resurrecting the naïve innocence that crescendos with the promise of youth and yet still resonates today, consolidates Tegan & Sara’s story, reminding us of their journey and why it's always been good.

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