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THE CARDIGANS The Best Of Universal (2007)

The Cardigans

Perhaps best known in the UK for their brief dalliance with the UK singles charts in 1998 with the singles My Favourite Game and Erase/Rewind from their Gran Tourismo album, there's actually a lot more to The Cardigans. Great songs, great playing and, of course, the incomparable vocals of Nina Perrson.

This Best Of is just that, a trawling of their 6 albums (which have netted 10 million plus sales) avoiding the easy option of simply loading it with their 17 singles, although many of them (13 in fact) do make it to the final 21 track listing. And looking back, it's remarkable to note that the UK has proved to be the band's most lucrative market in terms of chart success.

This 79 minute chronologically sequenced collection, which is an ideal starter for anyone wanting to explore the breadth of their back catalogue, falls into a number of distinct phases - first the light and breezy indie pop of their first 3 albums typified by Lovefool - their highest ever charting single, the edgy pop / rock of Gran Tourismo, and finally the fully functioning rock of their magnificent (and much overlooked) 5th album Long Gone Before Midnight. But it does make for a somewhat abstract collection.

I've long been a fan of this band, and looking back, you can see them go from strength to strength, although their sales don't necessarily reflect the same pattern. Which is a shame, because their latter day output has been moody and magnificent.


Review by Pete Whalley

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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