COULD WALKING WITH A GHOST FIX YOU UP ?
By Marise Collins
Photo courtesy of Tracy Lee via Flickr.com
Arguably spurring the take-off of their career, the Juno-nominated 2004 release by Canadian duo Tegan and Sara fails to disappoint. As the 3rd instalment on Vapor records, and 4th overall So Jealous displays the twins? remarkable growth as musicians.
In a notable departure from their angsty and often lyric-heavy earlier works, Tegan and Sara take a more radio-friendly approach to the album as a whole. The easily accessible Speak Slow, Walking With A Ghost and I Know I Know welcome subtle yet effective synthesizers to the mix. Paying homage to their individuality, the often clear distinction between ?Tegan? and ?Sara? songs proves to create a winning balance. The simpler yet strong Tegan songs, such as I Know I Know and Where Does The Good Go give solid structure to the album. Sara?s more abstract and experimental flare produces real gems like title track So Jealous and Walking With A Ghost.
In a feat not seen since the unreleased catchy punk-influenced anthem Trouble, Walking With A Ghost employs an extreme minimalist approach filled out with synthesizer. With a mere 5 lines in essence the song relies on repetition without redundancy. The repetition of ?you?re out of my mind? highlights the irony of delusional obsession and the inability to let go.
Love has been a strong motive throughout their records and So Jealous is no exception. The duo has often received media attention for their status as out, lesbian twins. Despite this, the musicians retain faithfulness to the diversity of their fan base, favouring their trademark non-gender specific pronouns in songs. The constant and conscious use of genderless ?you? makes for a versatile record free from stereotypical confinement.
Despite a few weaker tracks in I Can?t Take It and We Didn?t Do It, So Jealous remains the cornerstone album in Tegan and Sara?s developments. It is the ultimate in-between album, marrying their humble singer-songwriter beginnings to the soon-to-be trademark synth-sounds and more intricate material. Even 6 years down the line, So Jealous remains the perfect entry-level album for the new listener with enough accessibility while hinting at what lies ahead. For the devout fan, too, it makes for the perfect nostalgic experience and a stripped-down-to-the-essence souvenir proving how far these women have come.
Tags: indie, alternative, tegan, sara, so jealous, vapor, juno, love, queer