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The Cardigans - Long Gone Before Daylight Bonus Track 2003 - WITH REVIEWS torrent
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After a five-year absence, Sweden's The Cardigans make a remarkable return with "Long Gone Before Daylight," a beautiful, full-bodied, and fully mature work that marks a clear transition to considerably more confessional material. "Long Gone Before Daylight" is a warm, intimate album filled with great songs that expand their musicianship and collective songwriting talents. The organic production value gives the material a "live in the studio" feel, spearheaded by Nina Persson's voice, which is more expressive and colorful than ever. Features guest appearances from The Hives Howlin' Pelle Almqvist, Ebbot Lundberg from The Soundtrack Of Our Lives, and Nick Royale from Hellacopters. The U.S. version includes an exclusive bonus track and a bonus DVD, packed with music videos, an interview, and three live performance videos.
Long Gone Before Daylight marks a shift in theme for the Cardigans. Their last album, 1998's Gran Turismo, was a masterpiece. With Peter Svensson's quirky, driving, ultra-modern pop backing Nina Persson's icy dissections of doomed relationships, it was a Love Album informed more by Bret Easton Ellis than any high romance. So catchy, so cool and so incredibly bleak--exceptional, intelligent pop in the tradition of Soft Cell and ABC. Long Gone Before Daylight, then, comes as something of a shock when the opening "Communication" and "You're the Storm"--both lush and beautiful pop--find Persson struggling for love then, come the Doors-like "And Then You Kissed Me", actually finding it. Real love, too--not the fascinatingly twisted variety of before. It's a terrible shame, for love reduces the Cardigans to the level of other musicians. But then, unpredictable devils, they hit you with "Couldn't Care Less", as Persson loses it all again, in the following "Please Sisters" begging for advice, succour, anything. And now you realise; it's a pop-rock opera, the tale of one heart's tortuous and tortured journey through the mill. And it's superb. Persson, the finest pop lyricist working today, is on peak form while the band's back-to-roots grand piano and grander acoustic guitars provide an appropriately magnificent backing.
You need only to compare Long Gone Before Midnight's cover to 1995's Life to know that The Cardigans have made a 180 degree stylistic turn. The lighting has changed from overexposed to chiaroscuro and candlelit. Nina Persson is no longer the band's sole representative, posing like a sex kitten in a powder blue ice skating outfit while the male contingent languishes in a series of highly stylized photos inside the booklet. All of the band members now sit comfortably around a dinner table littered with picked-over plates and bottles of wine. Superficially, Persson has gone from effervescent blond to introspective brunette, but The Cardigans at their most plastic still harbored cynicism and moodiness somewhere below the surface. Now the balance is inverted: there are moments of earnest fun and pop perfection among these more serious songs.
Long Gone feels like it was actually recorded in the candle-strewn grotto in which the band is pictured. It is more personal, lyrically speaking, than any of their previous work. The exquisitely penned "And Then You Kissed Me" details an abusive relationship; if it's not an actual first-person account, nails the ebb and flow of a violent love affair. "Hold Me", a mere 30 seconds of finger-picked acoustic guitar and Persson's heart-rending vocals, is among the most eloquently simple statements on the contradictory human fears of abandonment and overwhelmedness; Persson pleads, "Leave me, leave me alone, but don't ever let me go." Her voice, always a treat, has blossomed into a bittersweet wisp of smoke, and like T.S. Eliot's "Yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes," her vocals "curl once about the house and fall asleep" as she belts out drowsy ballads like "If There is a Chance" and mellow pop confections like "For What it's Worth".
Instrumentally, the group is less idiosyncratic, opting for luminescent string sections and harmonica detail rather than whistles and vibraphones. Strangely enough, it never made me miss the old Cardigans (well, maybe just for a moment or two...). Most of the time, it feels like I've watched this pretty little group of Swedes grow up, and the evolution seems smooth and natural. Gran Turismo hinted at Long Gone's somberness -- it's just that here, the music is much simpler and more organic. If I want to hear irrepressibly hooky basslines, plucky dance beats, glossy organs and guitars, I have the old albums. The Cardigans may try on different styles, but they leave their stamp on everything they do. Whether they're writing chart-topping hits or quietly brooding musical storms, they have an undeniable gift for song structure and melody.
When I first heard Long Gone Before Daylight, I almost didn't recognize the group. "They sound like Fleetwood Mac!" I thought. Now, after repeated listenings, I wouldn't hesitate to say that Long Gone is The Cardigans' Rumours. A sensitive, fully mature contribution to the pop music lexicon, it proves that, like the rare child actor who actually works well into adulthood, The Cardigans have weathered a difficult transition.
Artist: The Cardigans
Album: Long Gone Before Daylight
Date Of Release: 2003
Genre: AlternaPop, ChamberPop
Bitrate: VBR --alt-preset extreme