The Cardigans

Listening to the Cardigans' Gran Tourismo, I was surprised that this was the band that brought us "Lovefool" a few years ago. Behind the candy-coated façade of "Lovefool" lies a moody, dark band ready to emerge. Judging from this latest effort, they should stay in hiding.

Gran Tourismo re-introduces the Cardigans as creators of electric, somber music. Some of the Cardigans' new songs are listless, melancholy ballads while others are upbeat electric-rock songs. The first single off the album, "My Favourite Game," is representative of the entire album-switching between great, upbeat rock verses to a boring, slow, depressing chorus. Likewise, Gran Tourismo alternates between winning numbers and songs that aren't worth listening to.

Throughout Gran Tourismo, singer Nina Persson's vocals are unimpressive. Her voice is lifeless and sounds as if she's just tired of singing. A little effort on Nina's part certainly would have improved the album. But Gran Tourismo isn't an entire waste. "Paralyzed" is interesting, with lots of cool effects. "Hanging Around" has a great beat and "Higher" is actually successful in creating a moody atmosphere. "My Favourite Game" and "Erase/Rewind" have the potential to be pop hits. These five songs keep Gran Tourismo afloat, but the rest of the album is just noise.

The Cardigans are still searching for a niche in the music industry. If they abandon their careers as gloomy songwriters and stick with the rock/pop format that has been kind to them in the past, the Cardigans might have a long, successful career ahead of them.

-By Tom Jackson


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