“Now I’m all messed up
Sick inside, wondering where
Where you’re leaving your makeup
Now I’m all messed up
Sick inside wondering who
Whose life you’re making worthwhile
Go, go, go if you want
I can’t stop you
Go if you want
I can’t stop you”
~Now I’m All Messed Up
This album (and this is very intentional, I think) sounds like it could’ve been recorded by The Bangles or “Like a Virgin”-era Madonna, which is kinda awesome. It seems to me, after a couple of through-headphones through-listens, Tegan and Sara take their evolution into pop very seriously. “Heartthrob” is pretty one-note, in terms of melody and song structure and rhythm and tones. But it’s catchy as fuck. Like this track, “Now I’m All Messed Up,” that’s some “we-picked-the-right-chord-changes” decisions at work. And overall the whole thing kind of makes me want to be at a hipster dance party.
Lyrically it’s not groundbreaking, it’s not full of beautiful lines and scenes and twists of turns of phrases as you might expect from artists with such a folksy background as T&S, But it is so hard to fuck with the straightforward, something like “Goodbye/Like the first time.” Four words and I know exactly what they mean.
Why waste time on fanciful phrasings when you can be straight up about it? And since it’s pop music, you can decorate in other ways. So the whole listen-to-my-hurt-heart message with a bunch of synths and back-up vocals and retro drum samples has been done to death. It’s like marshmallow flavored icing, with pointless but pretty pink sprinkles. You know it’s bad for you but it’s so hard to not go back for a second taste.
“How come you don’t want me now?
Why don’t you want to wait this out?
How come you always lead me on
Never take my call, hear me out?
Why don’t you want to win me now?
Why don’t you want to show me off?
Tell me why you couldn’t try,
Couldn’t try and keep me here?”
~How Come You Don’t Want Me Now?
Yeah, did I mention these songs are honest as hell? More candy, please.