This album upon the first few listens seems to be a very lateral movement for Tegan and Sara. As always there are a few shining tracks on the album but they almost serve to contrast some of the lesser songs. As a whole “The
Con” is lacking more bright spots. After a few more runs, if you’re really looking for it, depth is discovered in some elements here and there. Mainly lyrically and vocally, the trademark double layered, spitfire vocals are a pleasure to listen to, accented by the poetic, smart lyrics… this album should have been produced with an 808, I would probably like it more. In fairness I could see “The Con” being the type of album that grows on you over time and somewhere in my ears garnering a cult following, but it will
always have those tracks that are left off playlists or have me reaching for the skip button.
Now I don’t want to come off sounding like its all bad, in fact its not bad at all, its just that, when someone asks how this album is one would shrug and sincerely say “its not bad”. “The Con” and “Back in Your Head” (coincidentally the two songs released off the album first) are the strongest and best songs on the disc, quick, smart, clever, and catchy. “Hop a Plane” and “Nineteen” are a close second, with the former being a fun and toe tapping pop song, and the latter full of the swell and emotion Tegan and
Sara fans are used to. (In retrospect four days after I wrote this review I have decided “Nineteen” is probably the best song on the cd)
When I heard Chris Walla of Death Cab for Cutie fame was producing the disc my hopes for this album were very high. Well you can definitely hear his touches drum production, the keys, and the guitars, both sounds and layering… and maybe that’s part of the flaw of this disc. I firmly believe you should be able to hear a producers influence but not identify his fingerprints clearly in the songs. It almost sounds like a Death Cab Tegan and Sara mash up, maybe a little Gwen Stefani thrown in there on the track “Like O, Like H”. You think with all the guest players one sound wouldn’t have so dominated this disc.
I very much enjoy the quirky weirdness of the girls songwriting it guarantees that this album will be a grower not a shower so give me a few months and keep an eye on the blogs and eventually I will probably be professing my love for this record, if I can aurally separate Chris Walla from its DNA
Let me suffice this review by saying dedicated TNS fans with love this album but I am a music fan not a fan of musicians so this review is unbiased from someone familiar with their music who has seen them live a few times and actually really likes them don’t hate me or hit me if I am out at a show.
– 6/10 – JKE Dean