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Monday, March 19, 2012

The Cardigans -- Emmerdale

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7/10

From one band who conjures the past to another. Like Cake, The Cardigans bring to mind images of previous decades.  In the case of Emmerdale, The Cardigans' debut, the songs sound like the soundtrack for some type of timeless 20th Century Picnic. Ssss.  Nina Persson's vocals and the band's arrangements are light and airy.  Flutes and flugelhorns pop up often enough to give Emmerdale the feel of a 1950's television commercial.  This functions as both a blessing and a curse--this music is pleasant and enjoyable, but tough to focus on too diligently.  What separates Emmerdale from a Cold War candy commercial, though, are guitarist Peter Svensson's bleak lyrics, and Persson's sweet inflection as she sings them.
"Black Letter Day" is a great example:

I drank all that I could, much more than I should, in simple despair
I drank all that I could, much more than I should, to find someone there
All my strength is dead and gone
She sings these lines like she is running down to the mall to pick up some shoes.  That bizarre juxtaposition adds some humor and dare I say, psychology, to the proceedings and sets Emmerdale apart.

1 Sick and Tired 3:25
2 Black Letter Day 4:31
 3 In the Afternoon 4:10
4 Over the Water 2:16
5 After All... 2:56
6 Cloudy Sky 4:07
 7 Our Space 3:31
 8 Rise and Shine 3:31
9 Celia Inside 3:36
10 Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Black Sabbath Cover) 4:32
11 Seems Hard 3:57
12 Last Song 3:21

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