Heartthrob - Tegan and Sara
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. The twin sisters have pushed themselves creatively and musically, creating something truly special.
  2. Jan 28, 2013
    80
    While longtime fans might be a bit perplexed by the shift, they will find plenty of familiar ground to cling to as the record plays and the smartly written and tear-filled songs follow one after another.
  3. Jan 17, 2013
    70
    The duo's strong suit has always been songwriting, and this still comes through on Heartthrob. [Feb 2013, p.93]
  4. Mar 13, 2013
    50
    Beginning with the naughty promise of "Closer," which voices a transgressive assertion of female sexual desire, the duo rapidly devolves into a string of whiny mash notes accentuated by tinny, synth-heavy instrumentation.
  5. Jan 29, 2013
    89
    Even those who felt lukewarm to Tegan and Sara's past few efforts should fully embrace their dazzling pop rebirth on Heartthrob, one of the best LPs of this young year.
  6. Jan 29, 2013
    70
    The songs are less oblique than their last couple of albums, almost to a fault.... But their lyrical theme of being embattled with themselves remains.
  7. 80
    Tegan and Sara have known this for a long time, but with Heartthrob, they fill the canyon with great meaning and melodies--enough to Flashdance from one end to the other and back again.
  8. Feb 6, 2013
    90
    They may have churned their sound into something new, but their heart and their character is still very much in the right place, and that’s what makes Heartthrob more than just a brilliant pop album, it’s unarguably a brilliant Tegan & Sara album and it’s very, very close to being perfect.
  9. 91
    Beneath all that gloss, though, Heartthrob has an underlying toughness and a clear-eyed take on heartbreak. [8 Feb 2013, p.75]
  10. Jan 29, 2013
    70
    Sure, the LP falters when it casts its net too wide, particularly on the Roxette-indebted "Love They Say" and Twin Shadow outtake "Shock to Your System," but those moments are few.
  11. Jan 28, 2013
    80
    The fact that this album doesn't fit as neatly with their most popular album, The Con, is a good sign--the girls aren't yet ready to rest on their laurels, and instead continue to push their music dynamically forward.
  12. Jan 29, 2013
    75
    If Heartthrob presents a believably irregular vision of how love happens, the album does it with an immediacy and a directness that feels new for these Canadian twin sisters.
  13. Feb 11, 2013
    60
    It's bright and shiny and perky.... But it also risks being faceless--it's Tegan and Sara's least personable, most superficial record. [No. 95, p.60]
  14. Feb 6, 2013
    60
    It's as commercial as it gets but works purely because the Quin girls have fashioned with good tunes that come replete with more than enough hooks to keep everyone happy. [Mar 2013, p.88]
  15. Feb 8, 2013
    60
    Like many victims of the cut-throat mainstream pop game it wants to join, Heartthrob falls down more often than not because the songs capture the immaturity of its target audience a little too well.
  16. Mar 4, 2013
    60
    This was an interesting direction to go in and it definitely has a lot of potential. But the duo will need to do a better job balancing the synths and the songs to succeed.
  17. Jan 31, 2013
    60
    The eerie voice blend still sends the occasional chill up the spine, and their songwriting continues to capture the painful earnestness of youth, but it all feels a bit staged.
  18. Jan 29, 2013
    83
    The music is possibly the duo's best, though it's a little uniform compared to their competing peak The Con, which had shrewder tunelets and weirder sonics.
  19. Jan 28, 2013
    73
    The Roxette and Cyndi Lauper-referencing, soaring keyboard pop of Heartthrob is a welcome stylistic reconciliation, if one that sacrifices their sonic weirdness.
  20. Jan 30, 2013
    90
    The girls can be proud that their efforts have produced the best record of their career, and quite possibly, one of the best records of the year.
  21. 70
    For now, call it a calculated risk that mostly works.
  22. Feb 8, 2013
    40
    By the end, it feels as if Tegan And Sara need to sharpen their edge before they lose their point completely. [Mar 2013, p.110]
  23. Jan 17, 2013
    70
    Their seventh album is a veritable bouncy castle of lush, up-to-the-minute indie synth-pop and blown-out radio choruses, less fussy and more whee than anything they've done.
  24. Jan 29, 2013
    80
    Liberated from the stylistic baggage of their previous albums, the Quins deliver something close to pure intoxicating emotion, granting themselves the freedom to go anywhere they want next time.
  25. Feb 4, 2013
    78
    As crushing as some of these songs are, Heartthrob never lets you feel the weight, but prefers to revel in emotions good or bad, most often while sweating everything out under a crystalline disco ball.
  26. Jan 29, 2013
    83
    In the end, in spite of the fancier veneer, Tegan And Sara remain honest chroniclers of romantic minutiae.
  27. They have now cracked out the synths, ramped up the drum machines, and found their calling in giddy, lovelorn electro-pop.
  28. Feb 11, 2013
    80
    The tunes and recriminations seem to cut deeper than ever on their seventh album.
  29. 80
    Dealing frankly with love, rejection, frustration, self-doubt and self-acceptance, almost every one of the 10 tracks is catchy and distinctive enough to become a hit.
  30. Jan 17, 2013
    70
    They sacrifice a bit of their identity in the trade-off [to be more pop.][Feb 2013, p.80]
  31. Jan 17, 2013
    80
    The across-the-board quality of Heartthrob earns it the merit as yet another high point in the Tegan and Sara discography. [Jan-Feb 2013, p.89]
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 79 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 26
  2. Negative: 6 out of 26
  1. Jan 29, 2013
    10
    I would actually rate this album around an 8.5, but I scored it 10 here because of the pretentious hipster jackasses who gave it a 0 and a 4.I would actually rate this album around an 8.5, but I scored it 10 here because of the pretentious hipster jackasses who gave it a 0 and a 4. Come on, really? There's not liking something and then there's just trolling out of spite. Now to the actual review: Honestly, I enjoyed Heartthrob. After seeing Tegan and Sara put out tracks such as Alligator, Bodywork with Morgan Page, Feel It In My Bones with Tiesto, and other electro hits, this album really feels like a natural evolution of where they're at. It's synth pop at its best, but still retains some lyrical depth and Tegan and Sara soul. It will make you dance, but it can also make you cry. Highlights of the album include Now I'm All Messed Up, Shock To Your System, and I Run Empty. This album is definitely a Sara standout. That being said, this album does have its missteps. Love They Say is throwaway trope and is without a doubt the worst track on the album. I Couldn't Be Your Friend falls just short of being catchy. But still, this album is definitely one you should check out. Don't forget to purchase the Deluxe version because the two bonus songs included are both fantastic. Full Review »
  2. Feb 3, 2013
    9
    This pays a lot of homage to 80s dance music, but it's still Tegan and Sara. They are masters of creating a pop sensibility withoutThis pays a lot of homage to 80s dance music, but it's still Tegan and Sara. They are masters of creating a pop sensibility without sacrificing authenticity. Like many alternative artists, they're transitioning to a more electro-pop sound, which isn't the inspired most choice. Heartthrob is sort of like if T&S took a stab at making a Robyn record with Hot Chip influence, but they did it really, really well. They take this very bubbly, buoyant style, but can make it emotive enough to be sincere. It's a bit of a grower, but it's probably the most accessible Tegan and Sara album to date. Highly recommended. Full Review »
  3. Feb 2, 2013
    9
    Before listening to Heartthrob, I'd never heard a Tegan and Sara song in my life so I came in with no long-term fan baggage, and I have noBefore listening to Heartthrob, I'd never heard a Tegan and Sara song in my life so I came in with no long-term fan baggage, and I have no idea how this album fits into their larger discography. But let me say, on its own merits, this is a first rate pop album. Each song could be its own single, and the band has enough personality, charm and talent to prevent the whole thing from seeming too impersonal, slick, or banal. If you enjoy well constructed pop music even a little bit, buy this album. This is about as good as the genre gets. Full Review »