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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Cardigans -- Long Gone Before Daylight

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9/10

Gran Turismo hinted at emotional exhaustion, so it came as no surprise that The Cardigans took a five year break following their darkest album.  Five years offers a lot of chances for perspective, but what The Cardigans came up with after their half-decade off is still a bit shocking.
From 1st to 10th grade I had to ride the bus.  Around the fourth or fifth grade, the bus driver found the radio knob.  She liked country music.  She liked country music a whole, whole lot.  This meant I got to hear terrible songs like "Heads Carolina, Tails California" ad-nauseum, and it was so, so awesome. I loved this music so much, when I finally graduated to the last seat on the bus, I started sneaking my Walkman aboard and busting out cassettes. What sweet freedom I achieved...until one day I picked up the new, long-awaited release from my favorite Swedish band named after an article of clothing.
Long Gone Before Daylight is a country album.
I knew this going in, but purchased it anyway out of loyalty.  But within the first few notes of "Communication," I knew I had nothing to worry about, and on top of that, was in for something really special.

Long Gone Before Daylight makes me use cringe-worthy words like gorgeous or wince-worthy (is that a thing?) phrases like achingly beautiful. If all country music sounded like this, I would listen to country music all the time and wear a five-gallon hat to work.  Nina's voice sounds angelic, and the band sound like they are osmotically filtering dopamine into your head through your pillow.  Good grief this album is beautiful.  I loved it so much in 2004, I effusively elected it album of the year, and while it may not be perfect, I'd make the same choice today (If you aren't reading this today, then the date I wrote this is on top of the post.  That is a thing.  If wince-worthy is, as well, get back to me so Merriam-Webster can send me a check).  Dang it, I know you people (yes, YOU PEOPLE) just think this band is a gag because you've only heard "Lovefool," but go listen to this album.  Then you won't have to do drugs anymore, you dagburn junkies! GET OFF MY LAWN!
Sorry, what was I saying?

NOTE: Make sure you get the 2004 US release of this album. The 2003 Swedish release excludes the last three songs, which are all excellent, particularly "If There Is a Chance," which is one of those calm, reassuring, middle of the night songs to listen to when you can't sleep for worry.
2004 Stockholm Records
1 Communication 4:28
2 You're the Storm 3:53
3 A Good Horse 3:17
4 And Then You Kissed Me 6:03
5 Couldn't Care Less 5:32
6 Please Sister 4:37
7 For What It's Worth 4:18
8 Lead Me into the Night 4:32
9 Live and Learn 4:16
10 Feathers and Down 4:30
11 03:45: No Sleep 3:41
12 Hold Me [Mini Version] 0:33
13 If There Is a Chance 4:14
14 For the Boys 3:37

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