Heartthrob - Tegan and Sara
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 78 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 67 out of 78
  2. Negative: 8 out of 78

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  1. Sep 1, 2013
    10
    This is quite possibly the most ingenious album to have come out in the last 5 years years and definitely gets my vote for best album of the year. Reasons being:
    Tegan & Sara often tend to over think concepts and over write songs. This is a common tendency of the very creative. They have had to be very thoughtful in choosing producers who can take their jungle of ideas and extract a clear
    thought. Its not about album sales. It's about giving people something to connect to. On "Heartthrob", you hear this message loud and clear. The shallow and self aware will dismiss it as "easy" or "sell out". It takes musicality and a mature appreciation to see what the Quinns are doing here. They have packaged the lifespan of a relationship into an album. There is a full spectrum of emotions and emerging maturity here. From a sweet rush of chemicals in your body to the utter heartbreak of a failed relationship, one person's life is captured in ten, well thought out tracks.
    In terms of their career, this is a massive stride forward and a marked improvement on their abilities as song writers to pen something that is honest, recognizable and catchy.
    Music does not get more perfect than this.
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  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 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. Collapse
  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 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. Expand
  4. Jan 30, 2013
    10
    This is not your early Tegan and Sara. If you heard their first single, it tells you what they were aiming for. They jumped back into the synth pop of the 80s and if, like me, you embrace how Tegan and Sara aren't afraid to change things up while keeping true to their deep core, you will love this. But I have devout followers who can't stand this, and think its crap. Personally, I trust in what these girls do, and for the 7th time, I'm not disappointed in the least. Expand
  5. 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. 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. Expand
  6. Jan 30, 2013
    10
    I don't understand why people don't like it? It's not at all generic or mainstream at all because it sounds like nothing on radio right now. With Heartthrob, they put their own spin on groovy synthpop songs with catchy hooks and choruses. The lyrical content and writing style is the same, but the only difference from their previous material is that the album has pop production instead of indie rock production. From a pop music point of view, this album is perfect and deserves to be recognised as such. The fans who do not like this sudden leap into pop music may not like this, but, oh well, you win some, you lose some. Don't be so mad that it's different. Different is good. Expand
  7. Feb 10, 2013
    10
    I've been listening to them for over a decade and, even though their sound has changed a bit, am loving this album. I've been listening to it/dancing to it on repeat for the past week. It's a good one.
  8. Feb 13, 2013
    9
    Though lyrically lacking in comparison to previous albums, Heartthrob is a cohesive and enjoyable record that still manages to strike chords of memories of young, unrequited love. Being of fan of the band since So Jealous, I, for one, was not upset with the change in direction. I felt Sainthood, although a great record, was lacking in many areas. As stated in many reviews, the album has an 80s sound to it, and despite upbeat synthesizers, the lyrics still manage to capture a sadness. Although the move from the sisters to make this record more of a pop sound has resulted in critics to call them sell-outs or less-than musicians, the album is meticulous and flows just as well as their previous records; there is in fact a brain to this creation. The Quin sisters best efforts come in the songs Closer, Drove Me Wild, How Come You Don't Want Me, and the last song: Shock to Your System, which is the best song on the entire album. After countless collaborations with prominent DJs in the music world, I feel that Heartthrob is a valuable and emotionally charged album. Expand
  9. Mar 9, 2013
    10
    There's nothing wrong with music which is more layered, or "polished", or even if it sounds "popular". It's still their voices, still their lyrics, it's also still a new sound which they approved of. And so do I.
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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. They have now cracked out the synths, ramped up the drum machines, and found their calling in giddy, lovelorn electro-pop.