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Gran Turismo (Remastered)
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Gran Turismo CD Stockholm Records, 559 081-2, 1998, 11 Track
Until now, the Swedish group the Cardigans were easily identified by their sunny, pop-friendly, melodic releases. Fearing being typecast as an act fluffier than a Nordic lamb, the band decided to head farther north for the winter. With Gran Turismo, their fifth release, you'll need your favorite, um, sweater, because the season has turned, the atmosphere is frosty, and, indeed, the nights are long and dark. Gran Turismo is a trip-hop album following the lead of grim meisters Portishead. The CD is punctuated with distorted, muted, uncomplicated guitar riffs and keyboard effects that often sound like a harpsichord played through a fuzz box. Nina Persson's slightly aching, sleepy little cutesy lead vocals sound as frictionless as rubbing two ice cubes together. Although the skies are grayer here, the one familiar musical element is their simple yet compelling rhythm structures, as evidenced in their jazz-informed drum patterns. If the Cardigans weren't competent musicians, this album would come across as nothing more than a career-sustaining maneuver. But with this solid, dark, and intriguing release, they've clearly demonstrated their ability to compose great songs, no matter what the weather. --Beth Bessmer
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Language : English
- Product Dimensions : 5.31 x 5.63 x 0.39 inches; 3.53 Ounces
- Manufacturer : Mercury
- Original Release Date : 1998
- SPARS Code : DDD
- Date First Available : July 25, 2006
- Label : Mercury
- ASIN : B00000DLVA
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #109,474 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Almost like Portishead by way of Garbage, it's clear from the opening crawl of "Paralyzed" that the listener is in for an windy road ahead. "This is where your sanity gives in, and love begins" croons lead vocalist and centerpiece Nina Persson, hinting at the themes of obsession and recklessness explored in the album's other ten tracks. "Erase/Rewind" eases the listener into things with its ear candy and ear-worm melody, before taking a detour through schizophrenic side streets like "Hanging Around" and "Marvel Hill." Avid alternative radio listeners in 1998 likely remember hearing "My Favourite Game" in between spins of "Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)" and "The Dope Show," and it sticks out like a sore thumb even here, as one of the more straight-forward and harder driving songs. Likewise, "Do You Believe?", with its sinister synths giving way to what sounds like the soundtrack to a boss level on an old-school Nintendo game, ratchets the intensity up a few notches, just as the album winds to a somewhat peaceful and resolved conclusion. Appropriately, one of the album's final numbers, "Junk of The Hearts" plays like a remix of an unreleased track from "Last Band on the Moon," bringing things full circle.
In their short time together as a recording act, The Cardigans would prove to be a versatile and formidable act, always changing shapes and dodging trends with each release. "Gran Turismo" is the beginning of that journey. It twists and turns and evades predictability, all the while keeping up a breakneck pace. By the time the trip winds down, you're ready for one more go-round. For fans expecting more of the same from the popsters that dominated rounds of Pop-Up video once upon a time: sorry. You won't get Lovefooled again.
Top reviews from other countries
Mastering is mostly good but i think it's a bit louder than it should, i think it could have been more tame and that could help some dynamics shine more. Maybe even could have benefited with 2 discs instead of one.
All in all a good album that i would recommend, just hope you get luckier with the light clicks.
If there's a The Cardigans album you ought to buy, this is the one.