Tegan and Sara So Jealous

Tegan and Sara's second stab at the rock machine sees John Collins and David Carsell sitting back in the production chair and it’s a good thing too as the record burns with fiery pop smarts. Intelligent arrangements, inspired performances and mighty fine tunes mean that Collins and Carsell had good raw material to work with. The sheen they add to album opener "You Wouldn't Like Me,” with chunky guitar pulses under a steady muted strum pattern, give the girls the keys to mainstream success and yet still allow them the right to claim indie cred: not an easy feat. "Take Me Anywhere,” with it's snarly school girl lyrics and chorus dominated structure, might even make honest women of the Avril fans and "I Bet it Stung,” with its driving rhythm vamp, lets the girls get punky as they squeeze words out through a distortion channel. Maybe it's not the punk they claim to have played when they were 15 but it's probably far better. And even though the record is littered with references to self-doubt, So Jealous is the most assured the twins have sounded. Now that the sisters are two albums away from their angry Ani phase, it's good to see they've maintained the strides in finding their own voice set out on If It Was You and continue to build in that direction. (Universal)