LONG GONE BEFORE DAYLIGHT
ALBUM STOCKHOLM, UNIVERSAL RELEASE:
MARCH 24, 2003 REVIEW: MARCH 26, 2003
you think The Cardigans should stick to the slightly less than alternative
pop they blessed us with in the 90:s? Do you like the heavily produced
and electronically flavoured "Gran Turismo"-album, but nothing
else in the their back catalogue? Are you in any way a follower of "the
less is more when it comes to guitars"-path? Do you hate country?
Well, then you can stop reading right now.
Gone Before Daylight" is about guitars. It's about mature songs tinged
with country. It's about doing that one album that will attract virtually
everyone, even if that means losing some hardcore fans along the road
(if an ever-changing band like The Cardigans can have any hardcore fans,
Gone Before Daylight" is all those things and more. It's one hell
of an album, if you like mature pop. "Communication", single
track "For What It's Worth" and "You're the Storm"
shining through in a bundle of songs promising to produce still more favourites
in repeated listens. Up-tempo "A Good Horse", with Howlin' Pelle
Almquist from The Hives and Nicke from The Hellacopters on backing vocals,
promises a lot and so does "Leave and Learn" with Ebbot from
Soundtrack of our Lives filling the same function (and with more grace,
I might add).
Nina Persson has never sung better, Peter Svensson never written better
tunes - The Cardigans have never sounded so damn good. To make things
better still, "Long Gone Before Daylight" sounds OK when listened
to on any hi fi-set, but reveals new and exciting details when listened
to on headphones (REM anyone?). In "Long Gone Before Daylight"
you can find nice arrangements, poppy chords, strings, bells - everything
to wish for.
why the, in this context, low grade? Well, "Long Gone Before Daylight"
does tend to get a bit boring. There's no friction, no frustration; only
a streamlined perfect production that leaves me wondering how well this
album will stand up to the test of time. Is it a classic, to which all
future alternative pop releases will be compared? I think not. This is
not an alternative release. It sees The Cardigans waving goodbye to a
large part of the alternative camp, with Release in the front line, sailing
off into the sun(set) of calculated commercialism. I mean, members from
The Hives and The Soundtrack of our Lives on backing vocals? How blatantly
can you flirt with The World's fling with Swedish rock at the moment and
get away with it?
said, this is a really good album, delivering all that A Camp promised
and giving us Europeans yet another reason to buy good Americana sprung
from the European soil.
Cardigans, it was nice to have you with us.