A Camp – ‘Colonia’

They're FANTASTIC beards, though.

Another review in the bag. Hooray, go read, etc. This time: the singer from The Cardigans does something else, with men who have beards.

What do you remember about The Cardigans? Y’know – the vaguely memorable Scandinavian pop band of the late 90s. “Love Fool”, probably, because Jim from The Office sang it one time. Is that all you remember of them? Maybe you remember the song itself, famed for its inclusion on the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack? You probably remember bits of “My Favourite Game” (like the controversial video where Nina Persson blows things up in a car, or something), and you’ll remember they did that song “Erase/Rewind” if you look them up on Wikipedia, like what I did.

However you remember them, you probably don’t remember ever buying one of their albums, despite them apparently being dab hands at crafting very catchy, fun songs. They were pretty much the definition of a singles band – a few charting releases, then vanishing into thin air. I bet less than three of you could name anything they did in this millennium without looking it up (save for Persson’s sterling appearance on the Manic Street Preachers’ “Your Love Alone”, which was brilliant). The answer, for anyone too lazy to look it up, is that since 2007, they’ve been on a break, giving front-woman Persson the chance to indulge her more pop-tastic tendencies with this band: A Camp.

And Colonia, their second album (first in America), really is pop music – none of “My Favourite Game”’s rip-roaring riffs here. Instead, we get big, symphonic, proud pop songs, full of string sections, hand-claps and gigantic choruses. It’s all surprisingly old-fashioned: it’s too modern-sounding to be labelled “retro”, but it’s definitely classicist – this is from an era when the music of the masses had some genuine bite and tenacity behind it, rather than some programmed drums and a tossed-off sample.

So, yes. Go read it, dear. It’ll really do wonders for your social life.

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