But it's a challenge they've met head on with Heartthrob, which sands down the rougher edges of 2009's previous offering Sainthood and adds a generous coat of Trade High Gloss. The breeze-blasting chorus of lead single 'Closer' does its best to help longtime fans adjust to the new T&S; but with its cheerleader-style chants and synth-drenched verses courtesy of executive producer Greg Kurstin, the learning curve is steep.
The tight and perky pop production throughout - which also comes at the hands of Goldfrapp and Paramore knob twiddler Justin Meldal-Johnsen - offsets some refreshingly insightful lyrics. 'I'm Not Your Hero' bobs along playfully as they sing defiantly about tackling life the hard way ("I never walked the party line/ doesn't mean that I was never afraid"), and hook-jammed 'I Couldn't Be Your Friend' is a delicious kiss-off in which they add "even if I tried again" with a mature, been-there-done-that wink.
The quality hardly dips (save closing number 'Shock To Your System' if we're being really picky), but piano ballad 'I Was A Fool' still manages to shine brightest for its wistful melody and ability to transport us back to a more innocent time, while 'How Come You Don't Want Me' successfully pulls off angsty without sounding bratty. The result is straightforward - even conventional in places - guitar pop, but rarely does it sound this accomplished.
Tracks to download: 'I Was A Fool', 'Closer', 'I Couldn't Be Your Friend', 'I'm Not Your Hero', 'Now I'm All Messed Up'
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Watch Tegan and Sara's 'Closer' video below: