The Cardigans Long Gone Before Daylight

[Koch; 2004]

Rating: 2/5

Styles: alternative rock, christian contemporary
Others: Righteous Boy, Everything But the Girl, Liz Phair

The Cardigans are one of those crossover bands, beloved, or at least fondly remembered, by many persons of indie bent, thanks to fond memories of mid/late-'90s hits like "Lovefool" from First Band on the Moon ('96). Hell, they even covered Sabbath's "Iron Man" on that record; besides, who wouldn't love a cute Swedish chick like singer Nina Persson. Nina, by the way, has cast her platinum blonde look aside to adopt a darker (natural?) look with a bunch of colorful eyeshadow to boot.

Regardless of past charms and enduring good looks, this record still pretty much sucks. Okay, okay, I'll allow that perhaps I'm not the target audience for a slab of immaculately-produced soft-pop/rock. But since you're here at Jim O'Rourke Castle, I bet you're not, either. Though the Cardigans never aspired to the cred of someone like Liz Phair, this abandonment of edginess might still seem like a minor betrayal to nostalgia buyers. The songs all sound pretty much the same; this could be Avril Lavigne, Sheryl Crow; hell, it could be Christian Contemporary.

The U.S. version comes with a bonus DVD which features a couple music videos, including a downright ridiculous one with rabbit-suited lovers ("For What It's Worth") and another for "You're the Storm," which centers on the line, "You're the storm that I belieeeeeve in…" At least the production is good. And the band now kind of looks like a Scandinavian version of Stillwater from Almost Famous. Also, there's a free DVD!

1. Communication
2. You're the Storm
3. A Good Horse
4. And Then You Kissed Me
5. Couldn't Care Less
6. Please Sister
7. For What It's Worth
8. Lead Me into the Night
9. Live and Learn
10. Feathers and Down
11. 03.45: No Sleep
12. Hold Me
13. If There Is a Chance