First concert review

Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter writes: "It's easier to believe The Cardigans. The band started their tour in Copenhaguen this wednesday. Now as a respected rock band with artistic integrity." (Spoiler warning.)
Here follows the rest of the review:

I've heard many say that The Cardigans are over. And superficially it may seem to be the case. They only sell a fraction of the records they did in the past, they don't sell out big arenas, they don't play Manhattan but Hoboken NJ. But it could very well be the other way around. Now it begins; the struggle from MTV-band to respected rock band with artistic integrity.

A couple of years ago they were talking about a crossroad, about either quitting the band or going for something new. The two latest albums more than suggest that ambition. "Long Gone Before Daylight" was a rapture in the sense that they based it on the band interactions. They played together, the songs and the sound came from the ensemble work and from the dynamics they only used to exhibit on live shows.

On the latest "Super Extra Gravity" they strech the borders some more and have now completely shed the old Cardigans, the ones that debuted with perfect twee-pop, had a singer that posed as an ice-skating princess and charmed japanese girls with songs about love.

On their tour premiere in Copenhaguen they played none of their older hits. Aside from three songs from "Gran Turismo" all the songs were culled from their two latest albums. The question is if they even know how to play their older material today. The risk is that "Lovefool" would sound like the odd one out, their musical expression today is another.

Vega is packed this evening. It's not the most optimal venue, but definitively one of the most beautiful I've seen. The audience is enthusiastic and mixed, The Cardigans seem to be more popular here than in Stockholm.

Just as much as The Cardigans have grown as a band, Nina Persson has grown as a singer and front-figure. She radiates clarity and intensity and even though she's dressed in accordance to the fashion of today, she locks genuinely rock. Her voice has a different timbre as well, there is a blackness there that wasn't there just a couple of years ago, it's easier to believe what she sings these days.

It's not an easy pleasing setlist they present. They start with "Drip Drop Teardrop", one of the more awkward songs from the new album where the influences from both Pixies and Patti Smith shine through. It's pretty representative of the new album.

There are several examples of songs that they've purposely "uglified", where the drummer plays in a studied and hard manner and where the bass and guitar chop out the song. It's only a bit into the concert that the warmth enters, when "Live and Learn" follows "For What It's Worth". They chafe against the harder songs that surround them to great effects.

That The Cardigans want to develop, and that they feel a need to revolt against their previous ideals, is probably a good creative trick. But as a listener I sometimes see it as if I'm being used for an experiment. After some odd encores "Communication" comes as a relief.

By PO Tidholm, Dagens Nyheter Link (in Swedish)


A very objective and descriptive review from the country's foremost cultural newspaper. A positive one at that. Nicely done Cardigans!
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