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Music: The Cardigans
A Swedish pop group formed in 1992. Their big US airplay hit was "Lovefool" from their third album First Band on the Moon (and perhaps more pertinently featured in the ''Romeo + Juliet'' soundtrack), though their big hit album internationally was the Darker and Edgier follow-up Gran Turismo, featuring the European hits "My Favourite Game" and "Erase/Rewind".

Discography:

  • Emmerdale (1994)
  • Life (1995)
    • The international edition of Life is a selection drawn from both of the above albums.
  • First Band on the Moon (1996)
  • Gran Turismo (1998)
  • Long Gone Before Daylight (2003)
  • Super Extra Gravity (2005)

Tropes associated with The Cardigans:

  • Album Title Drop:
    • Long Gone Before Daylight is a line from the album's closing track "03:45: No Sleep".
    • Life zigzags it. The title drop occurs in the track "Closing Time", which was only featured on the original Swedish issue and dropped from the international releases.
  • Bowdlerize: "My Favourite Game" has a tamer version where Nina is just seen driving. Although that version still shows she occasionally lets go of the steering wheel completely.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: The narrator of "Lovefool".
  • Clueless Detective: "Travelling With Charley" is about the narrator's "detective darling" who "has never solved a case" but "has always style".
  • Department of Redundancy Department: "Junk of the Heart" tells us, "The junk of the heart / is the junk of the heart". Repeatedly.
  • Drives Like Crazy: The entire point of "My Favourite Game" video.
  • Epic... er, Rocking?: "Cocktail Party Bloody Cocktail Party". Nearly 16 minutes of a lounge piano medley of tunes from Life with cocktail party sound effects in the background.
    • "Closing Time" on the original Swedish version of "Life" is over ten minutes, though three minutes of it are just ambient sound from the recording studio.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The UK edition of "Super Extra Gravity" has a 22 second long bonus track called... "Bonus Track".
  • Foreign Language Title: Gran Turismo.
  • Long Runner Line Up: A shining example; the band's line-up has remained unchanged since 1992.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Particularly on Emmerdale and First Band On The Moon (and to a certain extent on Life, though lyrically it's somewhat Lighter and Softer then the albums before and after it), the lyrics were often much darker than the music would suggest ("Lovefool" is a prime example). Later on, the lyrics remained dark, but the music was more likely to match them.
  • Multiple Endings: The video for "My Favourite Game". After placing a rock on her car's accelerator and causing havoc on the freeway, Nina crashes her car into a van coming the other way. You then get one of four endings:
    • She is thrown over the top of the van and lands in the road, then gets up and walks away.
    • She is thrown over the top of the van and lands in the road, dead.
    • She is thrown over the top of the van and starts to get up, but is then hit by the rock and killed.
    • She hits her own windscreen and is decapitated. Only the head ends up in the road.
  • New Sound Album:
    • Gran Turismo was Darker and Edgier than what they'd done before, and had more of a focus on electronics.
    • Long Gone Before Daylight - if not actually full-on alt-country, then certainly heavily influenced by that style.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Lovefool" has both "love" and "fool" in it many times, but never together. "Been It" lists many things the narrator has "been" but the title phrase never appears. "Travelling With Charley never mentions Charley by name, "Pikebubbles", "Country Hell" and "Happy Meal" are all straight-up non appearing titles.
  • Religion Rant Song: "Godspell" is a Type 3, aimed at a particular strain of evangelical Christianity common in Nina Persson's hometown.
  • Shout-Out: In its album version, "Black Letter Day" has a spoken verse with a shout out to the astronomer Tycho Brahe.
    • The album Gran Turismo was named after the video game which they played frequently during the tour for First Band On The Moon.
  • Softer And Slower Cover: A favourite trope, arguably to the point of being a Running Gag. They made loungecore versions of Black Sabbath's "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" and "Iron Man", Ozzy Osbourne's solo track "Mr Crowley", and Thin Lizzy's "The Boys Are Back In Town".
  • Sound Effect Bleep: A guitar lick stands in for the word "whore" in the "Censored Radio Edit" (well, at least they were honest about it) of "Been It". Something of a Bleep Dammit, since the word rhymes with "more".
  • Uncommon Time: "Pikebubbles" is in 5/4.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: "Erase And Rewind". The video has two versions: In one version (used to promote the film 13thFloor), they manage to stop the walls in time; in the other, they are flattened.
  • Wanderlust Song: "Daddy's Car"
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: On the Swedish edition of Life, the final track "Closing Time" tells us what happened to some of the characters from the other songs. (In brief: they all lived Happily Ever After).
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