“… you a Heather?” / “No, I’m a Veronica…”

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The Veronicas: Lisa Origliasso and Jessica Origliasso

The Veronicas are an Australian pop duo from Brisbane, formed in 1999 by identical twin sisters Lisa Origliasso and Jessica Origliasso.The duo’s self-titled 3rd album was released on November 21, 2014, seven years after their 2nd album, Hook Me Up (2007). The new album not only reflects a change in labels, from Warner Bros. to Sony, but a change in their familiar pop/rock sound, drawing influences from “blues, trip-hop, rock and roll, grunge and rap.” The Veronicas is the sisters’ most mature release to date, and my favorite album of the week.

The Veronicas, I only recently just learned, take their name the movie Heathers (1988). Heathers, starring Christian Slater [doing his best Jack Nicholson impersonation] and Winona Ryder, is one of my (many) all-time favorite films, so I’m surprised that I didn’t make the connection earlier. “Greetings and salutations… you a Heather?” Slater, as rebel J.D., wonders after meeting Ryder‘s character. She is part of a popular clique with three other girls who are all named Heather. “No, I’m a Veronica… Sawyer,” she tells him. Heathers is chock full of great quotes. My favorite has always been this one from clique leader Heather Chandler (Kim Walker): “Well, fuck me gently with a chainsaw. Do I look like Mother Teresa?” Check out more great quotes by clicking here. Anyway…

The_Veronicas_2014_ The_VeronicasThe Veronicas was originally intended to be released through Warner Bros. as Life On Mars to be released in 2012. “Lolita” was pre-released as single, followed by an official video. However, the album was postponed and, eventually, shelved. The Veronicas split with Warner, signed with Sony, and continued working on their newly retitled 3rd album.

“You Ruin Me” was the first single released from The Veronicas. It’s a moving power ballad in which Lisa, accompanied only by piano and strings, sings about being manipulated by a cheating ex: “Cause you play me like a symphony / Play me till your fingers bleed / I’m your greatest masterpiece / You ruin me.” The official video’s ballet visuals were inspired by the 2010 film Black Swan. “You Ruin Me” is a great ballad, but, “Let Me Out” is a grittier one. “Let Me Out” is where the grunge influence can be heard. The song sounds like Hole with bigger pop production. Excellent track. I do love the ballads. “Cold” is a Katy Perry-esque kind of power ballad with rap-like, almost spoken verses. “If You Love Someone”, the 2nd single, is similar but more upbeat. “You and Me” is a sparse, acoustic, neo-folk ballad. The neo-folk sound is also heard in tracks like the Delta Rae-esque “Sanctified” and the more gospel-like “Always.” Lisa and Jessica, vocally, sound like P!nk and, sometimes, like Taylor Momsen of The Pretty Reckless. I don’t know who sings which parts in their songs because, being identical twins, their voices are similar. However, despite being identical twins, they are very easy to tell apart in photos and videos. Anyway, the P!nk comparison, in vocals and style, can be heard in songs like “Mad Love” and, especially, “More Like Me”, whose pre-chorus recalls the pre-chorus of P!nk‘s “Who Knew”. “Cruel” is a bouncy pop/rocker with darker lyrics, while “Line of Fire” adds a darker groove. The Lady GaGa-esque “Did You Miss Me (I’m a Veronica)” not only references the line from Heathers but is also the sisters’ call to arms after their long absence. I love this line: “I’m like Snow White with a gun / Shoot you down, bang bang / You’re done.”

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Lisa Origliasso and Jessica Origliasso

Now, as much as I love The Veronicas, overall, one track stands out for me above all the rest. That song is the amazingly catchy and stunningly heartfelt pop/rocker “Born Bob Dylan.” I love this song about finding the strength, and the right words, to tell a loved one how you feel: “I wish I was born Bob Dylan / Had all the words to speak my feelings / I wish I stood up like Rosa Parks / And follow my heart, unafraid of the truth / Even if I stood alone.” Brilliant! Definitely my favorite song of the week! Hopefully, The Veronicas and/or Sony will realize how cool this track is and release it as the 3rd single [or the 4th or the 5th] with an official video. But, for now, let’s watch the official video for “You Ruin Me” here …

Next, let’s watch the official video for “Lolita”. The song itself is good [a little too techno for my tastes], but, the video is bad-ass! Somebody get The Veronicas in an action film! Have them kick zombie ass or something! Watch the video here …

OK, the truth is that each of The Veronicas‘ previous two albums has one track each that stands above the rest for me. However, both albums, overall, still deliver awesome Aussie pop/rock. Hook Me Up (2007), The Veronicas‘ more pop-oriented 2nd album, featured five singles: Hook Me Up“, “Untouched“, “This Love“, “Take Me on the Floor“, and “Popular”. However, “Revenge Is Sweeter (Than You Ever Were)” and the more rock-oriented “All I Have” are my favorites, while the standout track, for me, is “In Another Life”. Sure, the melody of this track’s verses recalls Alanis Morissette‘s “Ironic”, but, I love it anyway. It’s a heartbreaking ballad about wanting someone you can’t have anymore: “You know I love you, I really do / But I can’t fight anymore for you / And I don’t know, maybe we’ll be together again / Sometime, in another life.” Beautiful.

The Secret Life of… (2005), The Veronicas‘ more pop/rock-oriented debut album, featured five singles as well: 4ever“, “Everything I’m Not“, “When It All Falls Apart“, “Revolution [written by Raine Maida (of Our Lady Peace) and his wife Chantal Kreviazuk], and “Leave Me Alone”. All favorites. “Heavily Broken” and “Mouth Shut” are other favorites. I prefer this album’s catchy pop/rock over Hook Me Up‘s dance pop. The standout track, on this excellent album, is “I Could Get Used To This”. It’s a great song about loving how much your special someone loves you: “I’m feeling it comin’ over me / With you it all comes naturally / Lost the reflex to resist / And I could get used to this.” However, as much as I love this song, I love the cover by all-girl pop/rockers Everlife [from their 2007 self-titled 2nd album] a little more. The Veronicas‘ original version is POP/rock, while Everlife‘s cover version is more pop/ROCK. It’s a tough call, but, I actually heard Everlife‘s version first. But, it’s a great song – by either artist.

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Lisa Origliasso and Jessica Origliasso

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4 thoughts on ““… you a Heather?” / “No, I’m a Veronica…”

  1. Pingback: The Veronicas « Girls, Guns & Zombies!

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