Back In Your Head: The Tegan & Sara Discography Rate | Page 75 | The Popjustice Forum

Back In Your Head: The Tegan & Sara Discography Rate

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by ohnostalgia, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. Aweee, I absolutely love this song. My commentary was short and sweet, but its such an amazing listen.
    ohnostalgia and send photo like this.
  2. 2014

    2014 Staff Member

    Yath the evil is defeated.

    Cute video though.
  3. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    remember an album called sainthood?

    probably not...
    i know better than to trust you.

    this is an interesting one,
    a puzzle if you will.

    they never sounded more divided
    while fighting to stay together.

    SAINTHOOD 7.53


    "Sainthood" is way too underrated as an album, in my opinion. I'll never forget hearing the opening of this song blasting through the speakers and feeling my heart lift. They'd made a leap forward sonically and I feel like quite a few of the songs here sort of foreshadowed their 'big pop move.'"
    - @Ferk

    "Minimalistic pop perfection." -

    "Oh wow, this is my first taste of pre-Heartthrob T&S music. And it feels... so different. Kii. I don't have much to say but yeah... the songwriting is strong, I'll give them that." - @Slice of Life

    "Am I allowed to call this a bop?" - @Sprockrooster

    "It’s my personal opinion that Sainthood takes the best bits of The Con and So Jealous and smashes them into one album."
    - @digitalkaiser

    "C’mon grit and ferocity! I lowkey miss their punky moments, I feel that that’s the one style that they haven’t/couldn’t be able to continue now that they’ve fully embraced synthpop…which, as much as I love their recent output, is a massive shame for me." - @constantino


    Highest Average:
    8.83 @Ferk
    Lowest Average: 6.19 @eccentricsimply

    Highest Ranking Song: Hell
    Most 10s: On Directing
    11s: Sentimental Tune @First2Run

    Highest Tegan Song:
    Highest Sara Song: Arrow


    Northshore is absolutely one of the greatest rock songs they've ever done and I'm so sad you all killed it. Tegan channeling pop punk realness throughout Sainthood is a sight to behold. Now go write for Paramore's new album please and thank you.

    You can trace back Sara's guitarphobia to Sainthood, where she composed strange electro-pop showstoppers Alligator and On Directing. The foreshadowing was strong with this one.

    DISJOINTED, BUT OKAY: Sainthood was composed immediately in the aftermath of their darkest period. The ladies took a trip together to New Orleans to work on their relationship and try their hand at writing songs together. The results are... interesting.

    *follow to further parts



    "Sara and I flew to New Orleans in November, and we wrote together, which is when we wrote the song "Sainthood," which is what inspired this record. It's not actually on the record, but it's the song that sort of inspired us to get working on a new record. We've never written together. In 14 years, we've never sat down in a room together, until we decided that now was the time. So we went and wrote seven songs together, which was really weird. The title track "Sainthood" was really great, but the rest of it was just really strange. I think Sara and I need to be alone to balance ourselves [laughs], like we came up with really weird music. I'm sure it will see the light of day at some point. With the way the music biz is now, you always have to have B-sides and extras.

    Anyway, it was a really fascinating experience and, when we release the record, we're releasing books with the record, I mean, at the same time, and one of the books is about our trip there. We brought a photographer and we taped everything that we did, and it sort of looks at the experience of sitting down together for the first time and writing. It was really exciting. Sara had been getting into Tom Petty and had watched the documentary that came out about him last year [Peter Bogdanovich's Runnin' Down a Dream], and Sara was like, "Everybody writes together! Everybody from that era wrote together. We should write together." And I was like, "We are not Tom Petty!" But it was great. It was a really cool experience. And again, that's sort of when we really started to get inspired and write a lot of music."


    "'The Con' was an anti-studio record, so we wanted to not be in a studio. We recorded it in Chris Walla's (guitarist of Death Cab For Cutie/produced 'The Con' and 'Sainthood') basement. It was just the three of us and we added drums and bass in the last month. It was a very intimate, very intense, pretty heavy record. It's weighed down with a lot of vocals, keyboards, guitars; a very thick sounding record. When we approached 'Sainthood', we approached it from a completely different perspective. It was a band record, we recorded it in a studio, very traditional, we all stood in a room together and played for two months, and tried to get the take with all of us playing our own parts perfectly so we didn't have to overdub very much. With some songs like, 'The Cure', it has like drums, bass, two guitar tracks, organs, vocals; it's not that dense. In a weird way, it opened up the music to seem bigger; I think it's poppier because of that too. I think those are the main differences and, also, we were writing from different perspectives. I was sad, lonely and depressed on 'The Con' and on 'Sainthood,' I was a little bit lighter, writing more about the past and writing from this perspective of maybe a bit more confidence. So, when I listen to the records, I hear that too; I hear a different me." - Tegan


    "When we finished 'Sainthood' [2009 album], we talked very openly about it being a decade-ender. We were using metaphors like 'changing of the guard' to speak about our band. We were gently laying a foundation for the fact that we were going to do something different. We knew that and we wanted our fans to be ready for that. It's an exciting time - we are in our 30s, we are confident and I think we are extremely accomplished. Everything we do now is icing on the cake because we've had so much success. It's now about enjoying it and contributing even more great music to the public." - Tegan


    “I remember my therapist and people around me being like, ‘Has it ever occurred to you that you’re just tired? That you need a break for a minute?’ Like, Wow, how did we get so far apart from each other? I remember in between The Con and Sainthood really deciding that my relationship with Tegan as a sister was far more important than the one in a band.”


    you're directing me
    your eyes focused like a microscope
    the cuts you need
    eyes focused like a microscope

    go steady with me
    i know it turns you off
    when i get talking like a teen
    i get talking like a teen

    you're directing me
    you're dressed up
    i lose my grip i lose my focus
    make those eyes at me
    i lose my grip i lose my focus

    go steady with me
    i know it turns you off
    when i get talking like a teen
    i get talking like a teen
  4. Ok but both The Con and So Jealous are better than Sainthood, so what is the truth?
  5. Sometimes I think Sainthood might actually be my favorite record by them. I love the tension running through it.

    And I'm really going to miss all these write ups when this ends. They are endlessly fascinating ladies to me.
    Slice of Life and ohnostalgia like this.
  6. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    I'm heading off to a movie so today's elimination will be later at night.
  7. It definitely took a while for me to appreciate how good Sainthood is, but I'm glad I had an awakening. Also, Arrow has been stuck in my head the past couple days.
    Ferk and ohnostalgia like this.
  8. Absolutely loving those testimonials. I feel like a rate is a celebration of an artist's music rather than a war of albums and taste. These testimonials are making sure we appreciate their music and the actual rate countdown is just a side event.
    ohnostalgia and Ferk like this.
  9. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    sara: i love the way it turned out, we ended up using a lot of the programming and the demo uh to create the original sonics. and then we sort of added stuff on top, which i was really excited about. and i wrote this song as if it's the- from the perspective of someone singing the song to me, actually.

    tegan: wow.

    sara: yeah. like i sort of wrote the song as if- not necessarily a romantic person either, like i wrote it more as like almost more like a mentor or somebody like a - this is going to sound cheesy - but almost like a guardian angel or somebody who was coming in and snapping me out of uh the place that i was in. and sort of like talking to me about the things that needed to change or the things i needed to do.

    tegan: apparently your guardian angel also wants you to get some because one of the lines is "you should be out driving people wild."

    sara: well it was more, it wasn't about getting some, it really was like about getting out and living your life and being-

    tegan: driving people wild.

    sara: well you know like getting out and having, being present and-

    tegan: wild.

    sara: not wild, there was nothing wild about it. it was more of a song about, you know, with someone maybe who's retreated or is depressed or has stopped sort of engaging in life in a positive way. and i wanted the song to be sung from the perspective of someone who was giving advice, so maybe it's me now giving advice to myself back then.

    tegan: i like it.

    sara: i'm glad. i like it too, it's a really interesting arrangement too and i think i was glad that it didn't, we didn't really do a ton to it in the studio- a lot of the other songs we focused on creating more traditional arrangements or more um pop arrangements, and this song we sort of let it be what it was.

    tegan: this is one of the songs that you said was influenced by film too, you wrote this one shortly after you saw drive.

    sara: yeah.

    tegan: and um it's kinda got a vibe of that a little bit.

    sara: yeah. i definitely wanted it to have a mood and not necessarily- it didn't, in my mind it didn't necessarily need to be a song that we considered for a single or even a fan favourite. it really was just a piece of music-

    tegan: um it wouldn't have been put on the record if we didn't think it was good enough to be at least a fan favourite.

    sara: some fan favourite, some fans like it.

    tegan: i think people are going to love it. so far people are really liking it, you really giver. i mean vocally on this record people are calling it an ambitious record, i think sonically and vocally and melodically we're trying a low of new things. this is a standout for you. plus my singing at the end is great.

    sara: yeah, you were so- it's cool too because the song is about being humble and so you're-

    tegan: i thought the song was about driving people wild.


    #7. Shock To Your System 9.08

    11.00 x 1 @Ferk 10.00 x 6 @constantino @digitalkaiser @LA Hallucinations @LE0Night @ohnostalgia @Petty Mayonnaise @Slice of Life
    LOW: 7.00 x 1 @Posh Spears

    ALBUM: Heartthrob
    WRITER: Sara

    An upset perhaps? Yeah, I think so- I had this pegged for Top 5 easily, but y'all never want to go my way. If I were to give my 11 to any material post 2013, it would've been Shock To Your System. Absolutely no contest this is the pinnacle of their pop songwriting, although perhaps I feel this way because Sara did not compromise on using a more experimental song structure. See I like pop Tegan & Sara, I really do. But I like experimental and interesting Tegan & Sara more- I'll bop to all the Closers and Stop Desires and Boyfriends, but what I really crave are those strange masterpieces, those sad infernos, those emotional rollercoasters. Shock To Your System delivers all three in spades. From that opening distorted siren sound to that menacing bass line to those plaintive synths to those clever punctuating tones to the double verse to that heartstopping WHAT YOU ARE IS LONELYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY to Tegan's heavenly backing vocals, I literally cannot imagine giving this a score lower than 10. There are some songs where you just know. Shock To Your System is that song.

    I like to think of Shock To Your System as Sara's counterpart to Where Does The Good Go, nine years later. Both deal with that huge gaping wound in your soul that you're trying to close, the one you can't fix by retreating and hiding from the world despite your best attempts otherwise. Tegan wrote Where Does the Good Go from that early twenties perspective when she was dealing with heartbreak and the realities and disappointment of being an adult. She wrote it as a warning to us to save ourselves while we could. Sara wrote Shock To Your System from the perspective of a woman in her early thirties who knows how fulfilling love and adult life can be, but has forgotten for a little while. Instead of a warning, this is a call to arms, a pep talk, a come to Jesus moment. A full circle, if you will.

    where do you go with your broken heart in tow
    what do you do with the leftover you
    and how do you know, when to let go
    where does the good go

    you seem like you’re so restless, young at heart

    who gave you reason?

    you should be out driving people wild
    who gave you a reason?

    where do you go when you're in love and the world knows
    how do you live so happily while I am sad and broken down
    what do you say it's up for grabs now that you're on your way down
    where does the good go

    you’re only meant to hurt once in a while
    who gave you reason?

    you’re only meant to cry once in a while

    who gave you a reason?

    look me in the eye and tell me you don't find me attractive
    look me in the heart and tell me you won't go
    look me in the eye and promise no love's like our love
    look me in the heart and unbreak broken, it won't happen

    you got a shock to your system

    pull yourself out of it

    I know that shock to your system

    knocked your heart right out of sync

    what you are
    what you are is lonely

    it's love that leaves and breaks the seal
    of always thinking you would be
    real, happy and healthy, strong and calm
    where does the good go

    you must rely on love once in a while

    to give you reason

    you must rely on me once in a while

    to give you a reason

    I rest my case.

    @Petty Mayonnaise (10) comes out of the Dance Moms closet and drags me with her:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    @digitalkaiser (10) backs up his commentary with a perfect score: "Another song that features a death match type beat, which really works for them. I love this song a lot, it was one of the first few I heard from this album session and I was instantly hooked by the electronic elements in it. It’s very different then a lot of the things they have done before. The lyrics in this make me a wreck though, with the sentiment essentially boiling down too “we fell apart and it was such a blow to you that you fell apart, put yourself back together” Your whole world comes crashing down and it’s hard to realize that after breaking a relationship with someone, that the way you are feeling could possibly just be utter shock in itself, and that you can still pick yourself up from this." @Posh Spears (7) sensed a storm coming their way and dashed off this frantic apology: "Mess at me giving this a 7. It’s basically flaw-free. As always, Sara comes through with amazing lyrics, and I love how the structure of this song deviates from the norm. Those massive drum things or whatever sound amazing and remind me a bit of Kesha’s “Past Lives.” Anybody? No?" AGAIN HAVE THESE REVELATIONS BEFORE YOU SUBMIT YOUR SCORES!!!!! I GAVE YOU SEVEN WEEKS TO LISTEN TO THEIR ALBUMS. AHEM.

    @Jwentz (9): "'What you are is lonely' is such a moment." Yes, a moment worth a 10 you asshole. @Slice of Life (10): "This sounds synthetic in the best possible way. Those falsettos... yum. This won't be out of place in the Hunger Games soundtrack album... which is a compliment, by the way, before you try and come for me. Kii." I don't know why you'd think I'd come after the Hunger Games soundtracks.... I have taste. @send photo (8) feels personally attacked and this time it wasn't my fault: "STOP CALLING ME LONELY I ALREADY KNOW. CHRIST." Although your lack of 10 is a personal attack against me. @constantino (10): "This tense, bleak and smoldering BOP! Production-wise I’d argue that this is easily the strongest on the album by far. Despite them taking this in a completely different direction tonally, the hooks are still there. What an incredible closer. WHAT. YOU. ARE. IS. LONELY." and then links me to a picture I almost didn't open because of the Daily Mail address.


    Shocker! @Ferk didn't give his 11 to a Love You To Death song! Take it away hun: "I kept going back and forth between this and 'I Was A Fool" for my 11, but this ultimately won out. After my relationship ended in 2013, as I said, I was broken. I felt stupid and because I was 19 when I first met him, I felt like I had wasted my youth on him. I felt used, like I was just an empty shell of a person. This song both became the musical accompaniment to a million crying sessions but also like a kind of therapy for me. The lyrics spoke to was almost like the girls themselves were speaking to me, giving me encouragement through this song. "You're only meant to hurt once in awhile/who gave you reason?" "You got a shock to your system/knocked your heart right out of sync" "pull yourself out of must rely on love once in awhile to give you reason" and of course that beautiful climax of "What you are is lonely! What you are..." ...pretty much all the lyrics really. Just listening to the song even now, hearing that rolling production, those beautiful lyrics makes me tear up a bit. I credit this song, and them, for helping to pull me out of some of my absolute lowest points even when I felt like I'd never feel okay again. It will always hold a special place in my heart for that."

    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  10. Shock To Your System is fine, but I wouldn't even put it in the top 10 of their last two albums.
  11. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    You were doing so well today.

    Also that's not what your scores say since you placed it #4 on Hearthrob and within the Top 7 of their last two albums. #receipts
    Slice of Life, Jwentz and send photo like this.
  12. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    I like when people try to make claims even though I have a numerical record of their scores.
    Slice of Life and send photo like this.
  13. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    I won't do this now, but I am planning to reveal for everybody whether they had a higher average for Tegan or Sara songs... So you better start hoping.
    Slice of Life, send photo and Jwentz like this.
  14. Clocked!
  15. Remind me to read through this writeup when I'm sober.

    Shock To Your System is amazing. I'm sorry for being such a fuck up but I'm glad everyone else saw how beautiful it was. Can we cancel this rate and have it win?
    send photo and ohnostalgia like this.
  16. Rooting for I Was A Fool and Closer.
  17. Yas at my 11 still being in...
  18. eccentricsimply

    eccentricsimply Staff Member

    I had the lowest average for Sainthood?

  19. I'm okay with this one going now actually. I kept expecting it to leave much earlier anyway so this is alright.
    ohnostalgia likes this.
  20. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    tegan: so.... yeah we're going to play superstar next, it's crazy that you knew that! are you the same person who yelled superstar that has a sign that says take a selfie? very demanding. is your partner with you tonight? that's your partner? is she really bossy? are you bossy? you're getting your phone out? oh yeah, you want me to take that?

    *takes selfie with sara*

    tegan: okay, settle down woman. i'm sad that that's going on the internet, i did not bring it, but um.... so you guys are great! this is fun. uh this next song when i wrote it i wasn't sad, but i wrote it about a time in my life where i felt like super bummed out, so i want to dedicate it- is anyone here feeling super bummed out? you feel bummed out? why, what happened? you got bad news for your dad? i'm so sorry. how are you doing? yeah, it's hard as you get older you- um during this moment someone threw their bra on stage. what's your name? beth? beth, life is about the moments where you feel your most vulnerable and you feel your worst, someone throws a bra at you.

    ALBUM: Heartthrob
    WRITER: Tegan

    TEGAN: I think I Was A Fool is sorta juxtaposing this idea that like if I'm behaving, I'm going against the grain, I'm going against what I believe. I mean the whole lyrical content of the song is this idea that I, you know, repeatedly packed my bags but then didn't leave. that I stood still, that relationships like mine don't get fixed, they just stay the same. and so I think that um, you know, that's where the idea of like me being a fool, but there's something silly- I mean I didn't want it- you had given me this lecture about not writing these self deprecating, self loathing songs for this record, so I wanted the emotion around even a song where it is me being a fool to be kind of sweet still.

    SARA: Right. One of my main concerns about our band and the image that we've projected all these years is that I think that it's- there's been a lack of empowerment or lack of strength in the songs. We really reveal the vulnerable parts of ourselves and we freely cast ourselves as the losers in a lot of ways. We're always the ones getting dumped, we're always the ones getting mistreated, and I love I Was A Fool, but it's funny because I think that the character or the side of your personality that you share in that song is quite inconsistent with the way that you probably are in a real relationship.

    TEGAN: Sure. Well I think it's an internal dialogue.

    SARA: Do you feel bad, like you're influencing a generation of women and people uh to be weak in relationships, sort of Mad Men-esque style? Like do you feel like you're Betty Draper?

    TEGAN: Well no. I think that being a fool for love is strong. I mean I think ultimately the message of the song is that I stuck around, I did behave. I put my best foot forward.

    SARA: Right.

    TEGAN: I'm not a loser.

    SARA: Fine. You're totally fine.


    Oh wow..... I think some people are going to be mad about this one considering a few weeks ago on Plug DJ I was asked to tag them when I Was A Fool won. But they didn't vote sooooooooooooooo.

    So with I Was A Fool falling at the mythical #6 we've cut the last of Tegan's great vocal performances. She still has songs in the running, but nothing that packs the emotional punch of a Living Room, a The Con, an I Was A Fool. What a shame. I Was A Fool is Tegan's full on piano power ballad moment and she knocks it out of the park and then some. In a different artist's hands this could be seen as a pretty standard ballad, but Tegan sings shades and colours into it. My personal favourite is the way she sings "but I stood still" - I get chills every time. And of course I love any time Tegan and Sara trade vocals back and forth, so the bridge is quite the moment for me. Lyrically, I completely disagree with Sara's assessment of the messages in their earlier work and I think she's putting far too much responsibility on them to be perfect role models. I agree with Tegan; there is great strength in vulnerability and I've always found comfort and strength in how they both sing about love, loss, anxiety, depression, etc. I never once when listening to their discography thought that these ladies were losers. Oh Sara.... never change.

    @digitalkaiser (9) doesn't like sad music, if you hadn't gathered by now: "I am a huge fan of this sprawling ballad. I think this album is the first time Tegan and Sara really did big sweeping ballads in a ‘pop sense’ This one has all the fixings of a classic, and the lyrical content is top notch. It’s a bit of a sad song for me, so It's hard for me to listen to it all that often, but it's undeniably beautiful." @constantino (10) pretends that any of us read the website: "Remember when Peter gushed over this for an entire year?? Good times. It took a few listens to truly snatch me but it did eventually take me for every follicle I had. The ‘but (but) stand (stand) still is all we did, love like ours is never fixed’ moment is pure MAGIC." @Posh Spears (9.5) makes a joke but doesn't deliver the score to back it up: "I’m a fool for this song hehe." You really couldn't give out the other 0.5? @Jwentz (10) praises something from the last two albums? I am shocked: "In their new phase of 80's synth influenced pop this is the one ballad that in my opinion really works, and it really works." @eccentrcsimply (9): "Their insane capacity of making good pop shows here." @Slice of Life (10) would like the ladies to go back to writing songs they can't relate to: "Doing this rate made me realize that I have completely fell in love with this song now. I didn't quite get it then, back when I was very inexperienced in the matters of the heart. But now it truly speaks to me. And it disgust me that I relate so much to this. Ugh. Make it stop." @Sprockrooster (10) calls it "Absolutely brilliant." while @send photo (7) simply sent me: "Her?" I don't understand.

    And as is customary these days, we'll close with @Ferk' (10) guilt tripping the haters: "This song, it's lyrics hit so close to home for me it almost makes me uncomfortable. My first real relationship ended in 2013 and I felt ripped apart. I've mentioned this before, but I'm an atheist but the line "Do you remember me as devout? How I prayed for your call?" still feels like a punch to the gut as well as lyrics like "I stood still it's what I did, love like ours is never fixed". The whole song is like a retelling of my entire relationship. I'd known he was cheating from the beginning, I'd known he was bad for me...but "I was a fool for love". An absolutely stunning song, one of their crowning achievements."

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