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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Go to the The Cardigans website  The Cardigans - Long Gone Before Daylight [Stockholm Records - 2003]

After releasing 3 albums with a sort of easy-tune-ish pop: shiny and happy on the surface but not seldomly with a subtle bitter twist that wasn’t obvious to just everybody, they scored a big hit with Lovefool. The song was used on the very popular movieRomeo & Juliet and the new, very generic, video completely ignored the melancholy of the excellent first version and the song itself. But they were stars now!

The album First Band On The Moon already showed that the band was heading in a more atmospheric and dark direction with songs like The Great Divide. Gran Turismo, the album following it in 1998 was even darker and almost depressive. Although not bad at all it seemed they completely lost the playfulness of their earlier releases. Nina seemed to have taken singing lessons and didn’t sound like a little girl anymore (not bad at all, the vocals on earlier albums could get a little on your nerves sometimes). Stardom seemed to have took its toll though.

The band took a rest of a few years. Nina Persson did an album with A Camp and in the meanwhile the original bassplayer returned. Long Gone Before Daylight is not a literal return to Emmerdale nor a continuation of Gran Turismo. There’s certainly no Lovefool on it either. Cardigans new style is gentle pop with slight country and some blues and rock influences. Generally the music is very laidback and tasteful.

Opener Communication pretty much sets the tone: relaxed, somewhat melancholic, a feeling of sitting round a campfire. Couldn’t Care Less and Take Me Into The Night are in the same vein. There are more uptempo tracks like the Live And Learn (with a Bob Dylan imitation in the chorus) and Please Sister with ’60’s strings and bells. In a way the music sounds very Swedish thanks to a lot a American influences, if that makes any sense. As always, the production is impeccable and very clear with lots of detail.

The Cardigans somewhat reinvented themselves with Long Gone Before Daylight. I had to get used to it a bit, as they touch upon some styles that don’t get played that much in my house. After getting over my own prejudices I have to say I’ve grown to like this album a lot. It’s a great album to play on a hot summernight (and we had quite a few of those this year). A pleasant album, a bit melancholic and romantic, with some nice lyrics too! (Be sure to pick up the new version with 2 bonustracks if you're as late as me with buying this one :) )

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

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