If writing about music is like dancing about architecture, then I’d be doing some sort of awkward middle-school-gym shuffle in front of a concrete block building right now. There’s so little remarkable material on A Camp’s Colonia (CD), it’s hard to find anything to say about it at all, and even harder to praise it.
For the most part, the album seems to be an exercise in getting vocalist Nina Persson’s familiar Cardigans call in front of a checklist of pop-ready musical backdrops. Orchestral indie-pop? Check (“The Crowning”). Country in an alternative mode? Check (“Stronger Than Jesus”). Sarah McLachlan-style brooding balladry? Check (“Bear On the Beach”). There’s string-laden ooo-wop girl-pop born of the 60’s, an overblown duet straight out of an 80’s movie soundtrack, and psuedo-soul along with more tired trickery, and unfortunately none of it includes any of the snappy, simple style that made The Cardigans work. My recommendation: don’t waste your time exploring this Colonia.