Nina Persson, lead singer of the Swedish pop group The Cardigans, has just released her first solo album, Animal Heart. In addition to the work by The Cardigans, she has also been featured on The Manic Street Preachers song, “Your Love Alone Is Not Enough,” and on a tribute album to Serge Gainsbourg. With sorrowful titles like “Catch Me Crying” and “The Grand Destruction Game,” the release is very moving.
Animal Heart opens with the title-track, which is also the first single off the record. It brings to mind Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac with its slow tempo, focus on her distinct voice, and sagacious lyrics. “Burning Bridges For Fuel” comes next, and is a much slower song. With its clear drums and Persson’s soft voice, it is calming. Different from the others is “Digestif,” which is a techno-like interlude. Closing the release is “This Is Heavy Metal,” which is not heavy metal in the least. The song itself is short in length and ends the record in a whisper rather than in a bang.
Nina Persson’s first solo album is very good, and satisfies a desire for soft, feminine music that is gently dismal rather than in-your-face depressing. Each cut could easily be played through headphones on a walk through a park or alone taking while taking a bath. Although The Cardigans are back on a reunion tour after a five-year hiatus, Nina Persson sounds great by herself. Animal Heart really allows her to showcase her breathy voice and her songwriting skills.