Thursday, 12 May 2011

Classic Albums: The Con (2007)

This is the first in a series of blog posts that will explore my favourite albums. 

When the members of my favourite band, Tegan and Sara Quin announced they were releasing a new album in 2007, I was understandably ecstatic. The announcement was fuelled to musical orgasm status when Sara revealed that the girls had enlisted the lead guitarist from my second favourite band, Death Cab for Cutie to produce the record. Getting Christopher Walla to produce Tegan and Sara was like the musical gods coming down to greet me, giving me a slight knowing wink whilst I pee my pants in excited anticipation. Ladies and gents, this was my equivalent of Brian Wilson producing a Beatles record.

The Con Tegan and Sara’s 5th album was released on July 27th, 2007. However, being the dedicated fan boy that I am, I couldn’t wait, and I trawled through websites looking for a leak the only way I knew how. Finally on May 27th 2007, I found one, The 26 minutes it took me to download the leak were the longest of my life (Not least because my parents were watching David Koch and Melissa Doyle hosting Where Are They Now? The Show For Has Beens, Drug Addicts, & Lounge Singers). The big question was did The Con live up to my hype?


The album before The Con, So Jealous had the catchy tunes of Take Me Anywhere, Speak Slow, and You Wouldn’t Like Me but the girls songwriting for this album matured beyond belief. The songwriting is more introspective than previous efforts. The title track is in my top 5 of my all time favourites,  However, its others like the favourite for 2nd place in that contest Dark Come Soon, where she really showcases her skills.

As for Walla, what can you say about Walla? He is a genius!  Ignore Death Cab for just one second and you will soon realise that this was a golden period for him. He produced two classic albums in two years, with The Decemberists The Crane’s Wife in 2006. Not only did he played to the girls strengths of catchy, emotive songwriting, but he has also given the girls a much more polished and fuller sound. Gone are the heavy use of acoustic guitars of If It Was You in favour of the synths. Cynics would most likely cringe at the description, but it really does work. Walla evoked  Phil Spector, (Minus the homicidal rage) everything he does turns to gold. He could even make Rebecca Black sound good.

It covers all the bases for what constitues a great album, emotional depth, catchy tunes, and technical wizardry. These are the reasons its my favourite album of all time.

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