Rock Albums:

Gran Turismo



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Gran Turismo by The Cardigans
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The Cardigans: Nina Persson (vocals); Lasse Johansson (acoustic guitar, keyboards); Peter Svensson (guitar); Magnus Sveningsson (bass); Bengt Lagerberg (drums).

Recorded at Country Hell Studios, Svaneholm, Sweden.

In 1997, even as "Lovefool" climbed the Adult Contemporary radio-play charts and further sold mainstream America on the sound of "Swedish pop," something separated the Cardigans from sugary countrymates such as Roxette and Ace of Base. Yes, they placed their metallic guitars out-front while their colleagues hid behind layers of sequencers, making for a more "alternative" approach to "pop." More defining, though, was the sinister cloud that always hung around their songs, no matter how sunny the delivery and the setting. On GRAN TURISMO, the Cardigans follow this dark muse--which already beckoned them to cover Black Sabbath twice in two records--further incorporating a deeply affected melancholia into their Euro-pop ways.

On a bed of lush, melodic keyboards, Nina Persson's light tenor brings an angelic disposition to nearly every word she coos, no matter how pessimistic, while trip-hop beats keep the heartbreak moving forward. More importantly, the dirty squalls and lo-fi drive of Moogs and guitars amidst the band's pristinely produced songs seem deeply infected with the sound of American indie-rock (think Blur aping Pavement). And when this newfound influence collides head-on with the Cardigans' inherent way with a tune, GRAN TURISMO approaches the sublime in ways their previous records didn't.

What the critics say...

Entertainment Weekly (11/6/98, p.88) - "Just when you thought it was safe to write off these Swedes as an Austin Powers-era novelty blip, they go all contemporary, shedding their tired '60s-isms in favor of blissfully kitschless trip-hop..." - Rating: B+
Q (12/99, p.115) - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...the sound is more claustrophobic and compressed although still lit with great tunes....Naiifs or smart-alec? Whatever, this is great, original stuff."

Track Listing:

Disc 1:
  1. Paralyzed
  2. Erase/Rewind
  3. Explode
  4. Starter
  5. Hanging Around
  6. Higher
  7. Marvel Hill
  8. My Favourite Game
  9. Do You Believe
  10. Junk Of The Hearts
  11. Nil
Release date Australia
November 3rd, 1998
Number of Discs
Product ID

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