IF IT WAS YOU
While it's tempting to agree with the masses and proclaim "Canadian music blows," we simply cannot. We are unabashedly, madly in love with Maple-leafed musicianship. It comes as no surprise, then, that we are unable to take If It Was You, the latest effort from Calgary's twin sister duo Tegan and Sara out of our "Blame Canada!" rotation. The Quin sisters, who received beaucoup press for their folk-rocky last album, This Business of Art, evidently decided that countless comparisons to Ani DiFranco were not their idea of artistic merit and wisely returned their acoustic guitars back to the Barenaked Ladies. Then, hearing that it was actually possible for Canucks to rock, they picked up a copy of the New Pornographers' phenomenal 2000 debut, Mass Romantic, elicited the help of the Pornographers' own studio wizards, David Carswell and John Collins, and set out to record something noisy. And this is, replete with clangy electric guitars, the Pornographers' knock-you-on-yer-ass keyboards, and the girls' gorgeous croonings (if their Neko Case-esque chorus to "Time Running" doesn't immediately grab you, we don't know what will). But the album's quieter moments—such as the swinging-in-a-hammock "City Girl," the playful rejection ode "Not Tonight" and the electric-only "And Darling"—may also make you want to grab a keg of Labatt's and race up to the border.