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The long wait is over - The Cardigans are back

TT the Bears, Cambridge, Mass., May 11, 2004

By Jeffrey B. Remz

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. - The Cardigans have been missing in action for a good five years, but despite the long break - at least from these shores - the Swedish pop-based band is back with a vengeance. The group, now a sextet, have a new album out the end of May ("Long Before Daylight") and are touring the States now, a short 13-date tour.

And the layoff doesn't seem to have hurt, at least in the States. In fact, they sold out the approximately 300-person club in advance of the show. Lead singer Nina Persson clearly is the focal point of the group as she proved time and again during the 16-song, 80-minute show. She sings well, not overpowering, not overemoting, but in an easy going effective style. Give credit to the sound board guy as well for mixing her vocals up high enough throughout almost the entire show so that her voice could be heard.

Persson also has an easy going personality, talking with the fans and appreciative of the reception the crowd gave the band.

Whether playing songs from the past or the upcoming CD, most all of the songs were easy enough to get into. Newer songs proved harder musically, losing perhaps some of the softer sound for which The Cardigans have been known. But there's enough to grab onto - even during the slow songs - to make for a night of easy listening.

Interestingly, the closing song, the hit, "My Favorite Game," was perhaps the most rocking especially given the guitar lines of Peter Svensson.

This wasn't an over-the-top show, but The Caridgans showed that a long layoff hasn't left them the worse for wear. In fact, they'll be back for 18 more shows this summer on the Liz Phair-led "Chicks with Attitude tour.

A most hearty welcome back for a band with substance.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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