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First Band on the Moon
First Band on the Moon
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Cardigans
Title: First Band on the Moon
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 49
Label: Island / Mercury
Original Release Date: 9/17/1996
Release Date: 9/17/1996
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: Indie & Lo-Fi, Adult Alternative, Euro Pop, Swedish Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 731453311725

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John P. (Theblood2pay) from SUWANEE, GA
Reviewed on 3/9/2011...

CD Reviews

The 90s Needed This
Jeff Hodges | Denton, TX United States | 03/18/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"It would be easy to lump the Cardigans into the mid-90s one-hit wonder category, and perhaps this is justifiable from a certain perspective. Their signature song "Lovefool" was distinctive and catchy, and with contemporaries like Smashmouth, Sugar Ray, and Fastball, whose full albums were radically different from their singles, the music consumer should have been wary. However, I don't think that "Lovefool" is necessarily the best song on "First Band on the Moon." I think that it stands out because, as a single, it received a great deal of production attention. However, it is not in a radically different style than the rest of the album, and I think that several other songs are just as hooky and clever. Suspending the bloated expectations presented by "Lovefool" reveals a pretty solid and enjoyable album.

The Cardigans' sound is pastiched and nostalgic, but at least the styles that they reference are clear. Overall, there is a strong 70s disco aesthetic, complete with strings, to the proceedings, but with a healthy dose of tounge-in-cheek lounge (i.e. the silly "Iron Man" cover). While the presence of a vibraphone probably appealed to my 90's Twin Peaks fanboy side, infectious songs propel "First Band on the Moon" more readily than the specific instruments used. As an example, check out "Been It," which offers chunky riffs and quiet staccato guitar chords, in contrast to "Great Divide," as it dreamily shimmers with mallets and fender-rhodes. If I were to point to a weak tune, it would probably be "Loser," which comes off as two songs that did not quite mesh convincingly into one.

THE LOWDOWN: Even today, people may ask if they "had any other songs." The answer is yes. Purchasing "First Band on the Moon" is not buying a "Lovefool" single with a bunch of B-sides. Instead, it is an album that stands on its own as a consistent and unique example of melodic mid-90s power pop.
Full of contrasts that may take the listener off guard
Daniel Maltzman | Arlington, MA, USA | 10/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Sugary pop melodies with a 60s-retro vibe, music that at first appears happy...but upon further listening turns out to be more melancholy, or comfortably sad than anything else, with really dark depressing lyrics--the Cardigans produced music full of contrasts that may take the listener off guard--not knowing what to think...

"First Band on the Moon" (1996) the band's third album, remains their masterpiece. The potential apparent on the band's first two albums "Emmerdale" (1994) and "Life" (1995) is fully realized here. While most famous for the irresistible hit "Lovefool," "First Band on the Moon" is full of great songs, never missing a beat from start to finish. With soaring melodies, fantastic orchestral arrangements and an ample supply of hooks, these songs are totally infectious and satisfying. But beneath the cheerfulness and cheekiness that first grab holds of you lies a profound sadness. While the melodies at first appear seemingly blissful, there is a strong undercurrent of melancholy in them, producing a sort of bi-polar effect. Same goes for the lyrics. Singer Nina Persson's engaging voice may convey cheeriness at, but the lyrics convey a strong sense of loneliness and longing.

One of the best pop albums of the 1990s.