Love's hits - Cardigans - Long Gone Before Daylight

2006-03-29 18:18

Departing from the bewitching, but ultimately blank pop palette of 1998's Gran Turismo, on Long Gone Before Daylight Swedish outfit the Cardigans drop the offbeat observations and cynically hip for a slick, modern pop tip sensibility and...well, actually write songs about falling in love.

Relax, though, this is no mere sappy set of odes to love's delirious romance.

On the opening "Communication" and "You're the Storm" vocalist Persson muses over love's hits and misses, adrift on a mid-tempo breeze of lush and languid pop paeans before finding a driving rock groove on the tongue in cheek titled "A Good Horse". Packed with a Bangles-style alternative adult contemporary punch, it's tailored to seduce the 30-something. Of course, as the love grows, so the mood turns yearning on country rock track "And Then You Kissed Me", a shimmering testimony to love.

Okay, so those cool Scandinavian emotional mood scapes may be gone. But they've matured from clever architects of catchy, fluffy pop, and actually having something to sing about.

They're longer content to map a sham succession of stylised love scenes. The fragile "Couldn't Care Less" sighs gently into an acoustic groove and the subsequent "Please Sister" aches for understanding. This is no mere polished pop exercise in soap soaked cynicism.
Not just sappy pop. Not just obscure musings. The Cardigans' latest is less stylised, more passionate.

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