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Album Review

Though the sky is sunny on the cover, Emmerdale is quite a melancholy affair. First song "Sick & Tired" (the single) hints that all is not well in the Cardigans' camp, and later songs ("Black Letter Day," "After All...," "Cloudy Sky") also capture a depressed mood which conflicts with the mostly upbeat and positive arrangements. Of course, all but two of the original songs were written by a converted metal fan, bassist Magnus Svenignsson. In keeping with that fact, the cover of "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" shouldn't surprise anyone, though its clever arrangement and the touching vocals of Nina Persson — even though she's throwing around Ozzy Osbourne lyrics — render the song practically unrecognizable. In the end, the battle between positive arrangements and melancholy lyrics creates a wistful mood that suits the Cardigans well.


Formed: 1992 in Jönköping, Sweden

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s

One of the most pleasing pop groups of the '90s, the Cardigans specialized in sugary confections that would grow annoying very quickly if they weren't backed by solid musicianship and clever arrangements. The band's 1995 breakout album, Life, reflected the Cardigans at their most saccharine -- the sunny disposition of vocalist Nina Persson being the major argument in favor -- and critics inserted the group into the space age pop revivalist camp. The Cardigans later proved that they were more difficult...
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