I've never written a review before for a cd, but felt compelled as the latest work from The Cardigans struck me as something great and I feared they would be spoken of badly or misinterpreted by someone, hindering another from experiencing this revolution in music. So in an attempt to rescue the underdog-let me bring this album into the light and assure you that you're making a wise choice in considering this cd.
I've been a Cardigans fan for nearly as long as they've been around, which is close to a decade. Their music seems to move with the general feeling of the musically inclined at that point and time, even so far as initiating the next wave of emotion. When I was younger and needed a different sound from everything so commercial that was being spoon fed to us, I was given Life, their second album. As I grew up, it seemed their music transitioned as well rather than recreating itself and becoming diluted. Life was such an innocently tainted album with a hush of warm anger that you would be long basking in it's light before you felt sly schemes already manifesting themselves in your mind and disrupted your organized view of love and friendship. For the Cardigans, their inspiration was found in hard rock, death metal groups and a desire to go against everything their small lives had led them to up until their converging, so I wasn't as surprised when they began inching toward the darkness with covers of black sabbath and anthems against love.
It had been years since Gran Turismo when I learned they'd released Long Gone Before Daylight. I was skeptical because I didn't find myself relating to them as much when Gran Turismo came out, and sensed that maybe as an artist, they we're more a tool for commercialism rather than the love of music. But trusting them, I bought the cd and soon it took the reigns of my emotions that I'd unsuccessfully controlled, and steered me into a direction that I almost wasn't sure that I was allowed to feel. Giving her failed love a physical manifestation (And then he kissed me) by solemly singing of how this emotion beat her and left her bruised evokes an understanding of how relationships, in their endings, are powerful enough to seemingly affect you in that manner. It was perfectly calm yet deeply upset, the antithesis of what's been playing and produced, and exactly what I needed to hear . It felt like emotions could be expressed by just listening to that album and that I understood what was being expressed.
So, much to my surprise, Super Extra Gravity was right around the corner to being released, because apparently LGBD was not released in the US until a year after it had come out in Europe.
Putting that cd in drew so much anticipation from me and I knew that their opening chords were the start of something great. The first track is a collection of chaos, timing, depth and intelligence that sets you up for the rest of the album. Godspeed, the next track, is one of my favorite songs. I've read that it's about the town they are from, which is engrossed in the christian religion. The song- a declaration of rebellion and opened eyes to their dogma. The following songs are amazing without trying to be and that's what I love about them. Each one breaking the mold of traditional song structure, allowing an obsessive love over a song to develop from something as obscure as the last chords strummed not once throughout the entire song, but used to seal the end of a track. They're not wrapped in the production so much that it begins to lose it's original spark, yet not so fearful of being understood that they short change themselves.
This album is angrier and louder than LGBD, and in a lot of ways, resembles the same process we take in getting over a relationship in that LGBD was a quiet, hurtful rage that spurned Super Extra Gravity into orbit as a way of healing. Super Extra Gravity was the perfect transition from LGBD and my faith in The Cardigans as true musicians has deepened even further. I would love one day to hear them go back to their breezy-afternoon-cocktail-lounge roots as a testimony that they're who they've always been, only showing the human quality of another emotion.