This morning’s band from across the pond is a little further across than usual. This album came out in 1996 and was the one the really broke this band into their commercial success.
The Cardigans – First band on the Moon
Listen to it here: http://grooveshark.com/#!/playlist/Cardigans+1st+Band+On+The+Moon/69164085
Read about the band here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cardigans
One year ago: We listened to Outkast’s Stankonia
Fun Facts: Peter Svensson and Magnus Sveningsson, both heavy metal musicians, formed the group on 31 October 1992. The video of the song “My Favourite Game” was censored by MTV for showing reckless driving. Despite this, it went on to become their second global hit song.
|The Cardigans – First Band On The Moon
I’ve definitely heard them before from various late nineties teen movies with a Prince (Jr.) or Danes or mayhaps even a Barrymore, but I didn’t fall super hard for the group until they did a cover of Burning Down the House with Tom muffukin’ Jones. I haven’t heard much of their songs other than those featured in movies. The singers voice is sweet though.
Also? A cardigan is one of the loveliest of the sweater family.
Least favorite track/tracks:
Overall (1-5 stars): 4
|The Cardigans – First Band on the Moon: 3.5 stars
Precon: When Lovefool came out I thought “This chick is incredibly hot and I sure do hate this song.” A few years later I really liked “My Favourite Game” and bought that album but was kind of embarrassed that they were the “love me love me” band. Never having dated a stripper, I lacked the tools to reconcile my conflicting emotions, so I compartmentalized them, keeping my negative feelings about “Lovefool” Cardigans away from my active enjoyment of “Favourite Game” Cardigans. These days I think Lovefool is a fine song, and I’m not as taken with Nordic women.
Favorite Track: Lovefool
The thing that turned me around on Lovefool was, what else, the meter. It’s so strong and unique, I don’t know how it took me so long to notice it. DEAR i FEAR we’re FACing a PROBlem / YOU love ME no LONGer i KNOW and. That’s the hook for me. I’ve been trying to define it. Trochaic tetrameter spiced up with a dactyl or amphibrach toward the end? I don’t know, I’ve never had a formal education on meter, but it catches my ear more and more as I get older.
|The Cardigans-First Band On The Moon
Preconceived Notions-I know Lovefool, of course. I’ve heard some of their other random singles and have no idea why I didn’t listen to them more as a teenager. But then again, I bought the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack instead of the individual band albums, because it was easier, and because I really loved that movie. I’m curious to see how that song fits in to the landscape of the rest of the album.
Favorites: Never Recover/Great Divide
|Preconceived Notions: I’ve heard “Lovefool” as I imagine most have, it was a huge hit around my college campus in 96. It was ok for pop music, but I never had any inclination to delve any deeper. I am bracing for a drippy – & possibly hippy pop album.
After Listening: Less sappy than I feared-about as hippy, but it doesn’t exceed my expectations or interest levels. The biggest part of the problem for me, was actually the part I anticipated liking the most and that’s the vocals. Musically, while I’m not in love with anything, the band does move around a bit – from the pop tones of “Lovefool” to the 60’s style riffs of songs like “Been it” to the spacey sounds of “Happy Meal II”, and even the multiple Black Sabbath references (the beginning and outro of Heartbreaker is deadpan Black Sabbath’s Black Sabbath bass line – complete with a vocal “Oh no, please god help me” ). And while some of the styles did surprise – everything is evened out by a nearly singular vocal delivery that makes me wonder if she’s an Ambien addict. Her voice doesn’t grate on me, but neither does it inspire much of anything, you have to listen to the music for any emotional context. For a song or two this would be passable, if it in between there were some songs with rawer vocals – screams, or bluesy warble – give me something. I think she attempts sexy in a few places, but it’s tough to tell.
Favorite Track: Iron Man – it’s a terribly campy Sabbath cover, but that in itself is a style and the vocals are about as engaging as they get all album – I would guess mainly because her accompaniment is sparse and like it or not you have to focus on them.
Overall 2.71 There isn’t a lot of substance on this record. For a pop hit you certainly could do a lot worse than Lovefool, but for an album there just isn’t enough to sustain interest from start to finish. Heck, there isn’t even enough on here for silly fun. You get the feeling from the limited experimentation musically, and the acclaim for Nina Persson – they must have albums where they take more chances, or at least craft songs different from each other enough to not meld together. This album however sounds like the b-sides collection to a hit song, largely and easily forgettable.
And man do they love Sabbath…
(better than anything on this album-maybe they’re better country style?)
|The Cardigans – First band on the Moon
Preconceptions: It’s that Leo & Claire fishtank band, right? I get them confused with Garbage.
After Listening: Why am I reminded of Esquivel by some of these songs?
Comfy Cashmere: Your New Cuckoo sounds like a track from Katamari Damacy. I think that’s… good? Iron Man is the cover version Tony Stark is playing at his Mad Men-themed cocktail party. Spoiler alert: Christina Hendricks shows up late and ends up in a champagne-glass Jacuzzi with Tony and a very patient Pepper Potts.
Overall: While this album is a pleasant background/soundtrack choice, the listener is left looking for some edge to the vocals. I feel the chick from Garbage could teach Nina Perrson how to put a little piss and grime in these songs. As a side note, how generic a name is “Perrson”?