Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

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Album Review: Tegan and Sara – Crybaby

2 min read

Tegan and Sara have always been committed to resisting easy definition. Change is the duo’s mantra and lifeblood. “I think that that’s why bands break up: they get bored because they’re doing the same shit”, Tegan observed in a recent interview with NME ahead of the release of new album, Crybaby. It’s unsurprising then that their tenth studio album is full of surprises.  

From frenetic opener I Can’t Grow Up to slowburner Faded Like A Feeling, Tegan and Sara never settle squarely on one sound or another. Propulsive indie beats are augmented by modern electronic sounds, with experimental vocal inflections in the mix too. I Can’t Grow Up demonstrates one way of being in flux, with the disarming nature of a relationship stoking the youthful energy that drives the track. The song documents the anxious desire to follow feelings through and the frustration that comes with having to keep them in check. It speaks to the instinctive nature of the band’s songwriting, where vulnerabilities are readily explored – their music represents a place where earnesty is held precious. 

Though the band do offer variety throughout, the album is front loaded in terms of quality. It begins strongly with I Can’t Grow Up followed by the spacious and warm synth-pop highlight All I WantedSometimes I See Stars is a redeeming feature of the end of the tracklist with the most rounded arrangement the record has to offer; a satisfying progression built around impactful piano chords. But the album peters out after that with the limp Whatever That Was

Nonetheless, Tegan and Sara keep listeners on their toes with Crybaby. They remain faithful to change and with Crybaby deliver an ode to never “doing the same shit”.