From the moment I first heard that Nina Persson was releasing her debut solo album, I was extremely excited. Best known for being the lead singer with The Cardigans, she has also released two other albums under the name of A Camp. The two albums (A Camp in 2001 and Colonia in 2009) can be considered solo albums of hers but this is her first release using her own name. I’ve been a huge fan of her work since the mid 90’s when I first heard My Favourite Game by The Cardigans on the PlayStation game Gran Turismo. Since then, The Cardigans became one of my favourite bands.
From start to finish, Animal Heart is nothing but spectacular. The album is extremely fresh sounding and beautifully produced. Her husband, Nathan Larson, co-produced the album. The songs are extremely infectious and leave you wanting more and more the minute you hit that play button. The opening title track (and single) is a fantastic up-tempo number even with the slightly cheesy “come be my man” chorus lyrics. But those aside, it’s a wonderful opener. And from then the album just gets better and better. Burning Bridges For Fuel has a wonderful moody feel to it which is helped by a descending chord progression which sounds absolutely fantastic. The mood builds and builds throughout the song and ends with an amazing instrumental outro to die for.
Clip Your Wings is one of my favourite songs from the album and one I’ve found very hard not to play over and over again. The vocal melody in particular is sublime with Nina sounding fantastic. Forgot to Tell You is another one of those songs and I personally think it would have fit beautifully on The Cardigans’ Long Gone Before Daylight album.
- Animal Heart
- Burning Bridges For Fuel
- Dreaming Of Houses
- Clip Your Wings
- Food For The Beast
- Forgot To Tell You
- Catch Me Crying
- The Grand Destruction Game
- Silver Like The Moon
- This Is Heavy Metal
The second to last song, This Is Heavy Metal, is unbelievably beautiful. Accompanied by just a piano, Nina sounds as good as she ever has. At some points in the song you expect a full band to come in but that doesn’t happen and the piano remains the only instrument. It’s wonderful. It’s one of the highlights of the album for sure and that’s an understatement because there are a lot of highlights! In fact the album is one big highlight. The songs themselves are helped along even more by the wonderful instrumentation.
The more and more I listen to the album the more I think how faultless it is. There really are no bad moments whatsoever. It’s perfect. For me personally, this is one of the best albums of the year and it’s only February! I for one would really love a new album from The Cardigans at some point but if that never materialises then I’d be very happy with more solo albums from Nina Persson.
Overall I give this album a solid 10/10. It’s a definite must listen not only for fans of Nina and The Cardigans but music listeners in general. It’s perfect.