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Nina Persson - Animal Heart (Album Review)

Tuesday, 18 February 2014 Written by Gavin Rees

‘Animal Heart’, the first solo release by Nina Persson, is a record that emerged from the enjoyable clutter and time-consuming nature of family life.

The solo record as an idea may not have previously sparked Persson’s creative desires - “I always thought it was more glorious to be in a band, and cooler,” she recently told Billboard - but its convenience, in terms of scheduling, made it an increasingly attractive option when set next to taking up with the Cardigans or A Camp again.

Put together with assistance from Shudder To Think’s Nathan Larson - Persson’s husband and father to their son, Nils - and producer Eric D. Johnson, ‘Animal Heart’ is a brisk, often entertaining foray into pop-rock, with a few ballads and synth workouts thrown in for good measure.

Its first curveball is a fairly rigid insistence on steering clear from acoustic singer-songwriter territory, something that allows Persson a little more room for manoeuvre.

She sounds as good as ever, her vocals adding weight to the record’s more direct moments - particularly on the title track and when backed by dancing keyboards on Catch Me Crying - and also embellishing the more rote elements of its slow ones. Burning Bridges For Fuel and Forgot To Tell You are the pick of the ballads here, with both featuring simple but effective melodies and a couple of lyrical quirks to keep things interesting. 

It is true, though, that there are precious few risks taken here. Persson is an enchanting presence and her charisma is central to the record’s successes, but if that added personality was to be cut from it then there’s precious little that we haven’t heard before.

As a whole, ‘Animal Heart’ is proof that Persson can quite comfortably carry a record on her own. Next time around, though, she can feel free to indulge her more idiosyncratic side a little more.

Nina Persson UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows

Wed March 05 2014 - LONDON Scala
Thu March 06 2014 - DUBLIN Button Factory

Click Here to Compare & Buy Nina Persson Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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