Released : 1998
In Britain during the seventies and eighties we had a perverse collective jealousy of Sweden; some of this was due to their apparent permissiveness and laissez-faire attitude to subjects like pornography and drugs, whilst far more insidiously ABBA colonised the Top 40 with their post-Eurovision saccharine globs of pop. IKEA came much later.
When The Cardigans arrived from over there the first impression was one of surprise. Although their elfin front woman Nina Persson had more than enough sex appeal to satisfy any home grown male fantasies, the quintet sounded decidedly Anglophile, breakthrough hit Lovefool slotting elegantly into the Britpop oeuvre and sounding in fact more authentically, you know, cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off than most of it’s domestic peers.
By 1998’s Gran Turismo the penny it seemed had dropped with Perrson and her compatriots; imitation isn’t always the sincerest form of flattery and, in general, yeoman of this sceptered isle are suckers for their own truths. Erase/Rewind was impressively cooler, different, somehow more Nordic. Bass heavy and swept with chilly synths, Persson told us she’d been changing her mind. Maybe it was all the free sex and drugs we thought everybody got over there: maybe it was the flat pack furniture. Whatever, finally The Cardigans were as cool as we thought they’d be.