The Cardigans – First Band on the Moon

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.

Ali:

The Cardigans – First Band On The Moon
Preconceptions:
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.

Mood:
Meh.

After Listening:
I really enjoyed this album. It is so very 90s pop. It’s like finding a Clearly Canadian in your basement and opening it and getting super excited at all of the bubbles still fighting for the surface. As adorable as that sentence is, I’m never going to be able to look at a soda without thinking that the carbonation are little tiny molecules that are drowning.
I thought that I would hate Lovefool as it was completely overplayed by every radio station in Connecticut, but it brought me back to the years where I wasn’t old enough to drive but still managed to get to the theater to see R&J and thought I was deep and insightful for thinking that the song “Kissing You” was what tragic love was. And Paul Rudd was soooooo hotter than Leo, y’all.

Favorite track/tracks:
Heartbreaker
Step On Me
Lovefool
Iron Man
Great Divide

Least favorite track/tracks:
Been It

Overall (1-5 stars):  4

Josh:

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
Least Favorite: Happy Meal II. While nothing’s outright bad, this might be the most insipid.

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.
Haha the valiumy lounge rendition of Iron Man was a nice surprise. How was that never on a singles day?
The 70’s-ish feel to the last track was pretty random.
Now that light pop doesn’t automatically get my hackles up, I can appreciate The Cardigans a bit more. Nothing amazing about them, just decent pop music with nice vocals, a few mildly interesting things to say here and there, some suppressed desires to experiment and one undeniable hit with awesome meter.

Marissa:

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.

As Listening:
Heartbreaker-I love the dreamlike fuzzy quality of this.
Never Recover- This sounds like it should have been a tv theme show song at some point, perhaps in an alternate universe where Mary Tyler Moore wasn’t popular until 1997.  I really quite like it
I keep expecting to hear “Young Hearts Run Free” after “Lovefool” in a Pavlovian response to my constant listening of the soundtrack. Also Lovefool sounds like the red-headed step child of this album to me.
I think it’s appropriate that the week after The Avengers came out the album we listen to has a single called “Iron Man” on it
Is it just me or does “Great Divide” remind anyone else of “Free As A Bird” that random single that they released as part of the whole Beatles Anthology phase? Speaking of which I remember that whole thing being a pretty predominant part of my life at the time.  That and THE STAND miniseries
After Listening:  I don’t know how it’s possible that I didn’t listen to this every day when I was 14.  I was probably too busy listening to No Doubt and the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack.  I don’t know if I’m just in a hyperbolic/positive mood, but I’m really, really glad that I made this as a substitution pick.  I pretty much loved it.  I thought all of the songs were well-paced, I loved the juxtaposition of Nina’s voice with those really dark lyrics, the dreamy sound on some of the tracks and come on, who doesn’t love a good jazz flute every now and then.  While there’s a pop sensibility to the songs, in my mind mostly due to the fact that all of the songs clock in around three and a half minutes, I was expecting straight pop and instead there’s a darker feel to most of the songs, with the exception of the highly-polished “Lovefool”.  I can’t believe that I’m just listening to this now.  I feel the same as I did when I realized that I had spent so much time NOT knowing how awesome Veronica Mars was.  So now I’m probably gonna go listen to it again and then go watch 10 Things I Hate About You to just round out the 90s experience.  Because Romeo + Juliet is just more of a downer than I want today.

Overall: 4.5

Favorites: Never Recover/Great Divide
Least Favorites- I like all of them, without feeling the need to skip any on first listen.  That could change, but I’m sure it would take several more listens for me to develop preferences.  Skipping songs is an action induced only by actual dislike of a song, or from a need to hear something more suited to your mood.  This is an album that I could easily put on and listen to all the way through.  It doesn’t ask for a dramatic commitment from the listener, but I feel like it offers a satisfying listen.

Mike:

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.
Least Favorite Track: Step on Me –  A sappy forgettable filler track.

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?)

Seth:

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.
Itchy Wool: Been It is a generic 90s song. Any act, from Sublime to Shania Twain could have released it. Actually, I’d probably buy that album. No, I wouldn’t.

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”?

Rating: 3.47
Prelisten Guess: No listing. Was this a replacement pick or did I overlook it?

admin (196 Posts)

Record Club began in the cold, dank, snowmageddon scene that was New England of January 2011. We’re probably no different than you. We all work in cubicles, some in smaller, less private cubicles than others; that just means we have to be even sneakier about how we listen to our music. But we have to listen to our music, mostly as a way of saving our own personal sanity. Sometimes our opinions lead us to debates that may or may not be published in their entirety on this site, but I can promise you’ll at least get a glimpse of the way our minds work. The main goal is to find new music we like or find old music that we didn’t know we liked. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes it’s a total and complete disaster. After our ears have rejoiced or stopped bleeding we try something else. This is our pattern, every Tuesday and Thursday. Sometimes, when the club isn’t officially in session, just to keep everyone on their toes, we throw in a theme day. We’re beginning to run low on our original list, so please, if you have albums that you’d like us to review or themes that you’d like to see our playlist of, feel free to contribute. After all, we’re all in this together once we punch the time clock. So if you’re busy (or just plain bored) lurking in your cubicle as you read this join in. After all, life wasn’t meant to be lived staring at a computer screen. I guarantee you, it’s at least more fun when you plug the headphones in.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *