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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
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+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
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+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
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+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
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+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
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+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
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+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
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+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
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The Cardigans
Long Gone Before Daylight

Those little Cardies who made Life seem so sugary sweet and got lost in the awe-inspiring solipsism of game-playing navel-gazing on their underappreciated classic Gran Turismo are all grown up, baby-o, and the winds o' time have blown their sweet Swedes' hearts fair into the grounds of grown-up emotion, with relationship-dom now the bosom nurturing an increased self-awareness and sense of decency and, like, a desire to play music filled with twang. The Cardigans own claim is that Long Gone Before Daylight shows that they're "not too old to rock 'n' roll," but, well, actually, on this evidence, they are. Aside from one track, "A Good Horse," in which they ride an, uh, like, rockin' riff and rock-celebrity backing-vox (Hives/Hellacopters dudes) into some butch territories, this disc is basically a really nice, accomplished, adult(!) record filled to the brim with intelligent variations on the love song, recorded with the kind of choice tone that bands who're all grown up can nail (especially if they head to Eggstone's Tambourine studios, which should be a studio mecca for pop-bands to rival Albini's Audio Engineering for, uh, bands-filled-with-audio-engineers). Center to all this baby-ain't-no-baby-no-more maturity is Nina Persson, of course. Her A Camp solo disc set the stage for this, introducing a whole bunch of elements — the preponderance of twang, the bashful balladry, the occasional ugly rock moment — that her main band has since decided to run with. But, really, it's Persson's perceptive, probing, strangely powerful pop-song lyrics that set the stage, here. Read them on the booklet and they seem way too sing-songy, almost silly, but hear them in the oh-so-romantic context of the songs themselves, and they start seeming like the mystic wisdom of the ancients, or some such. Having said that, having me quote them would play more into the former idea than the latter, perhaps not being the best evidence on hand to prove my point; but, hey, what the fuck, this is a fatuous entertainment product review, so, like, I'm gonna say that "a lady in need is guilty indeed" and "I hold a record for being patient" and "let's drown in feathers and down" and "for what it's worth, I love you/ and what is worse, I really do" are some of the most precise, poignant, prettily-sung pop-song lyrics currently kicking around in my head, coming from from slyly insightful songs detailing continuing foolishness, inexpressiveness between lovers, indulgence in sadness, and scaring off a paramour by dropping the word "love," respectively. All of which probably sounds cute and nice and such, like it's just like The Cardigans of the past, only now they're paying off mortgages. But the more this disc spins, the more this makes sense, and the more Persson's lover's-world becomes clear, becomes vivid, its indulgences in implied lyrical intimacies drawing you into the bed that is the nexus to any lyrical disparity. Persson's words present this central bed, as recurring thematic image, as place for: sleeping, thinking, plotting, talking, collapsing, fucking, and just laying in all day long. It's all of these things at various times. It's also, at varying moments: hot, warm, and cool, with such terms, of course, having naught to do with temperature.

by Anthony Carew

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