Hello everyone to a new reshuffled version of my old and dead Music Mondays! (Sorry about the misleading subtitle) this is going to be more or less the same style than the last Music Monday, I choose a group and start rambling about their music... quite simple my friendoes!

So today I will be talking about one of my favourite singers, Nina Perssons, aka the face and voice from that famous 90s Swedish band The Cardigans! And you might say, but wait they are well known, so how come this is a hipster thing?

Hah! you are all so naïve! I will be talking about their first album! The lesser know collective work from them! Actually this album was their second album, because their first one was only released in their mother land Sweden and in Japan, but for the rest of the world this one is their first release.

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So who are the Cardigans, well IF (and is say it like that because my source is a bit shady sometimes) Wikipedia is right their humble beginnings come from Heavy Metal! (Yep TUT look what they did to your poor lovely underground mineral!)

Peter Svensson and Magnus Sveningsson, both heavy metal musicians, formed the group on 31 October 1992 in Jönköping, Sweden, with drummer Bengt Lagerberg, keyboardist Lars-Olof Johansson and lead singer Nina Persson. Living together in a small apartment, The Cardigans recorded a demo tape with Persson providing lead vocals on only one of the songs towards the end of the tracklist.

So it appears it was Miss Nina herself that changed their darkness into light... or rather Life, since that is the title of the album, which was released over here in America as a compilation of their first two albums in Sweden (Emmerdale being the first, boasting songs like Rise and Shine, and Life, being the second with tracks like Celia Inside), so if anyone decides to give a listen you will find two tendencies within the american version of this album. Anyhoo enough chit-chat, let’s hear some of this delicious release from 1996!

That one up there is titled Carnival, it is the first song from the album, quite a good opener, you can hear how Nina takes the lead over the rest of the band, something that doesn’t happen very often in this album, another thing you can instantly notice is the arrangement of the song, which is going to repeat itself in the rest of the album, we have a basic funk arrangement for the lead guitar, the drums have a bit of jazzy feel to them, and there’s heavy use of the keyboards to accompany the vocals.

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This leads me a different track, Rise and Shine, actually this song is from Emmerdale, and it is noticeable since it strays away from the rest of their songs in this album, this one is more pop oriented rather than a eclectic mix of styles.

Now going back to Life, here’s Celia Inside, quite a simple but extremely catchy song, again see how the vocals are the highlight of the track, but how can you ignore those trumpets when the chorus starts? Or what about those warm guitar riffs?

The band had a different kind of energy than in later albums, extremely soft but well versed and well arranged (which is why I like Nina Persson’s own A Camp), it was a pleasant experience the first time I heard this album =) and it remains one of my favourites to date =)

It’s ridiculous how sweet these songs are, the use of the flute and xylophone, the simple jazzy like arrangement of the bass guitar and the drums =) but then there’s a funky guitar giving colour to the song... haha it’s silly how they thought of combining so many different elements and styles into a song, and mostly all of their album.

Heh! they even managed to stuck a Black Sabbath cover in here, which it actually feels a bit creepy with Nina’s sweet voice in lieu of Ozzy scrappy and whiney voice (that’s a positive critique btw I like his signature style, but that may be for another Hipster Music Review).

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And with that said I’m off, Thanks to cookie_mon for giving me the inspiration to write about this (although she wasn’t aware about it)...

And Happy Birthday to BattleBorn (my crazy Irish counterpart) and Damson_Rhee (I finally wrote Damson instead of having to correct it from DamNson!) may you two have happy days and lots of cakes! I could use this as a birthday gift to you both... but that’s cheap! but you guys might eenjoy this so... pretend that it is a gift from me to you =)