Animal Heart is the first solo LP by Nina Persson, best known as lead vocalist and lyricist for Swedish indie pop band The Cardigans.
The album opens with “Animal Heart,” a track that has a sort of ‘80s post-disco new wave vibe, with a driving dance rhythm that lays the foundation for plenty of jingly noises and lyrics; it is a preview of the tone of the record. Songs like “Clip Your Wings,” “Jungle” and “Food For The Beast” all try to reinforce the running animal kingdom metaphor, while featuring similar synthy production. Closer “This Is Heavy Metal” is an outlier, a slow piano ballad that references her young son and tries to convince the listener that the preceding 11 tracks touched them emotionally.
Probably the strangest characteristic of Animal Heart is how the songs radiate this feeling of familiarity. For example, “Catch Me Crying” made me think I was listening to Blondie’s “Heart Of Glass.” After giving the latter a solid listen the similarities became harder to hear, but those freak occurrences can be chalked up to Persson’s musical style. Just as evident in the material she made beyond a decade ago with The Cardigans, it still lies collinearly with the wiggly dance pop genre.
In itself, Animal Heart is a record that makes for easy listening and is sometimes hard-hitting in metaphor. Nina Persson has been making music for a long time, and with her first solo full-length, she is attempting to continue with the kind of music that got her into the international superhit spotlight. Landing in the middle ground between the music of her early career and her more traditional-sounding releases with A Camp, it is great fodder for fans of Persson-core, but probably not likely to grab the attention of many people outside that circle.
In A Word: Safe