Long Gone Before Daylight marks a shift in theme for the Cardigans. Their last album, 1998's Gran Turismo, was a masterpiece.
With Peter Svensson's quirky, driving, ultra-modern pop backing Nina Persson's icy dissections of doomed relationships, it was a Love Album informed more by Bret Easton Ellis than any high romance. So catchy, so cool and so incredibly bleak--exceptional, intelligent pop in the tradition of Soft Cell and ABC. Long Gone Before Daylight, then, comes as something of a shock when the opening "Communication" and "You're the Storm"--both lush and beautiful pop--find Persson struggling for love then, come the Doors-like "And Then You Kissed Me", actually finding it. Real love, too--not the fascinatingly twisted variety of before.
It's a terrible shame, for love reduces the Cardigans to the level of other musicians. But then, unpredictable devils, they hit you with "Couldn't Care Less", as Persson loses it all again, in the following "Please Sisters" begging for advice, succour, anything. And now you realise; it's a pop-rock opera, the tale of one heart's tortuous and tortured journey through the mill. And it's superb.
Persson, the finest pop lyricist working today, is on peak form while the band's back-to-roots grand piano and grander acoustic guitars provide an appropriately magnificent backing. --Dominic Wills
The Cardigans - Long Gone Before Daylight
2. You're The Storm
3. A Good Horse
4. And Then You Kissed Me
5. Couldn't Care Less
6. Please Sister
7. For What It's Worth
8. Lead Me Into The Night
9. Live And Learn
10. Feathers And Down
11. 03.45: No Sleep