Heartthrob - Tegan and Sara
Heartthrob Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 79 Ratings

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  • Summary: With the help of producers Greg Kurstin, Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Mike Elizondo, and Rob Cavallo, the Canadian twins display a more mainstream pop sound with their seventh release.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. 91
    Beneath all that gloss, though, Heartthrob has an underlying toughness and a clear-eyed take on heartbreak. [8 Feb 2013, p.75]
  2. The twin sisters have pushed themselves creatively and musically, creating something truly special.
  3. Jan 29, 2013
    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.
  4. Feb 4, 2013
    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.
  5. 70
    For now, call it a calculated risk that mostly works.
  6. Jan 17, 2013
    They sacrifice a bit of their identity in the trade-off [to be more pop.][Feb 2013, p.80]
  7. Feb 8, 2013
    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]

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 26
  2. Negative: 6 out of 26
  1. Jan 29, 2013
    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
  2. Sep 1, 2013
    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.
  3. Feb 3, 2013
    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. Expand
  4. Sep 17, 2013
    Felt the urge to review as well, due to the negative reviews. Let's say your favorite artist comes out with an album. They felt the urge to evolve musically, to open to a wider audience (that was the goal of Hearthrob, after all). Lets say it comes out, it's pop-radio friendly, and musically very interesting. Then lets say you are an uber-hipster piece of crap that compares apples to oranges constantly. That person would not like this album.

    Listen to this album with an open mind. Melodically, they are geniuses. You've never heard these vocals before. Yes, the beats on some songs are uninspired, but they are digging deep for the lyrical content. Seriously, give this a listen. It's not the best pop album ever, but it's up there with the best Tegan and Sara works thus far. And give the girls a break. You can only wallow in super-unknown hipster territory for so long before you realize you actually have to make money to live.
  5. Feb 6, 2014
    It's a good album. The music is fine, and so are the lyrics. But for a dance album, i expected it to be more exciting than this. The tracks i enjoyed the most are: "Goodbye, Goodbye", "Love They Say", and "Now I'm All Messed Up". Expand
  6. Mar 5, 2013
    Having never listened to Tegan and Sara's music before, I approached this with a very open mind, although I had heard that it was a good pop album. Considering that they're an indie band, I wasn't expecting them to be so mainstream sounding with this, but maybe that was the point. The album is bright, breezy pop all about the intracacies of love. I was pleasantly surprised to find that their lyrics were not overly lesbian orientated. This is great, because it would be easy for them to become a niche act, but by keeping the lyrics vague, anyone of any sexual orientation can relate and they can gain more fans. The direction makes me think that the duo are intending to break into the mainstream and they certainly could if they play their cards right. The question is, is their new direction going to continue or will they revert back to their original indie selves? Expand
  7. Jan 29, 2013
    Uniformly awful.

    I´ve been a fan since If It Was You. But being a fan of intelligent indie/folk/punk does not mean I will swallow an
    album of craptastic dance pop, just because I respect the artists who spawned it.

    If the twins emulated Ani DeFranco on their first album, on this, their first disposable album, they're emulating Rhianna, Gaga and Bieber. And that's not exactly what I'd call an artistic evolution. This is their Rod Stewart Moment. When a great artist sells out for money, and in the process, throws away what was great about them in the first place.

    So if T&S want to go this route, good luck. They will always have a special place in my heart for the amazing work they've done (and for being intelligent, and funny and cute as can be along the whole ride).

    But being a fan of good, smart tunes, I simply have no interest in this, um, product.

See all 26 User Reviews