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A Camp

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

Price: £9.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 Aug. 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polydor Group
  • ASIN: B00005NMVH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 105,301 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Frequent flyer
  2. I can buy you
  3. Angel of sadness
  4. Such a bad comedown
  5. Song for the leftovers
  6. Walking the cow
  7. Hard as a stone
  8. Algebra
  9. Silent night
  10. The same old song
  11. The oddness of the lord
  12. Rock 'n' roll ghost
  13. The bluest eyes in Texas
  14. Elephant

Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

A Camp is the sound of the Cardigans' Nina Persson getting back to her roots. When "Lovefool" catapulted the Cardigans into the major league courtesy of the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack, the ensuing global pop fame threatened to implode the band. They responded by turning into a snarling rock beast with Gran Turismo, but relations became further strained. In a period of rest and recuperation, Cardigans singer Nina Persson turned her nose up at that particular rock beast and went back to her bittersweet guitar beginnings. What A Camp isn't, though, is a retread of early Cardigans. It's a mature, reflective album with lush country overtones that resound with a strident melancholy. Not surprising, perhaps, when Sparklehorse leader Mark Linkous was at the production controls. Even with that influence behind her, A Camp is very much Persson's vehicle. It's the sound of a woman ditching the PVC trousers and blonde tresses for chic dresses and a black bob, leaving the small stuff behind and growing up. All told, it's an unexpectedly pleasing graduation, with honours. --Ben Clancy

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Nina Persson's "debut solo album" (as described on the promo sticker) began life in Sweden in 1998, the same year as the Cardigans' Gran Turismo. It was completed in America throughout 2000 with producer Mark Linkous from the excellent Sparklehorse, during time off from the Cardigans, which had clearly taken on a life of its own, not entirely of her choosing.

A Camp was born in 1997 after a meeting with Niclas Frisk, who co-wrote most of the songs and plays on several of them. Boyfriend Nathan Larson (from Shudder To Think) also plays on all but one of the tracks and co-wrote the opening song. Frequent Flyer sets the mood of the album as it opens with eerie samples, theremin sounds, thuddy drums and Nina's gorgeously bittersweet vocals over an engaging melody. In fact the tunes retain a high standard throughout and the quirky production (though mainstream by Sparklehorse standards) is never less than complementary and interesting. Angel Of Sadness is a stand-out song although I Can Buy You made a first class single.
Although the album consists mostly of original material, a few stray covers shoe-horn their way in - the Replacements' Rock 'n' Roll Ghost; bizarrely, Restless Heart's old US hit The Bluest Eyes In Texas; and Walking The Cow, one of the best known songs of cult singer Daniel Johnston, whose 2003 album Fear Yourself was also produced by Mark Linkous.
A Camp manages the delicate trick of being unmistakably, instantly belonging to Nina Persson whilst at the same time being quite distinct from the Cardigans. May her future projects be as successful
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Format: Audio CD
Let's get the criticism out of the way first. This album has one of the worst sleeves I've ever seen. Now for the praise.
A Camp's debut album (effectively Nina Persson's solo debut) is a strange hybrid of styles, with the influence of Sparklehorse mainstay Mark Linkous very much in evidence. Those of you familiar with the Sparklehorse sound (fragile ballad followed by dirty rock monster) will know what to expect already. It's something of a roller-coaster ride, with Persson's vocal performances masked by distortion effects on some tunes, and at other times sounding as tender and innocent as she did when recording 'Life' with the Cardigans, before they went all Black Sabbath for real.
Two singles kick the album off, and while the country slant of this album has been mentioned, there's also a Byrds/Beatles undercurrent in the frequent switching of major and minor chords. The rest of the album ranges from alt.country to heavier rock to blues, but each style is tackled with respect and energy, allowing the songs to shine through. The backing band don't overcomplicate things (the pedal steel player deserves special mention) while Linkous's production skills polish the whole album up nicely, keeping the sinister undertones of some of the songs alive while allowing the occasional rock wig-out to break up the melancholy.
There are a few low points on the album - Angel of Sadness sounds as if it is an idea waiting for someone to turn it into a song, while Walking The Cow is just plain daft. But there's enough here to show that, even if the Cardigans called it a day tomorrow, Nina Persson will continue to play and sing the music she loves. And she sings it very well.
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By A Customer on 17 Aug. 2001
Format: Audio CD
I was never really a fan of 'The Cardigans', so a solo project from its lead singer wasn't something I was expecting to like this much. Sounding at various points like 'Shawn Colvin' or 'The Carpenters' with fistfuls of Beatles melodies it still manages to sound fresh, original and sumptuous. 'Frequent flyer' and 'I can buy you', the opening tracks on the album, set such I high standard you wonder if the rest of the album can continue to be this good. For the most part the answer is yes, although 'A Camp' is at its best when Nina Persson has the confidence to move further away from the sound of 'The Cardigans'. So for anyone who's heard the single 'I can buy you' and wondered if the album is as good (as I did) I'm happy to report that the answer is yes. With bells on. :)
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Format: Audio CD
I was dubious about an album that has gained so much critical acclaim (5 stars from the times?) but my fears were uncalled for as this is sheer brilliance. I Can Buy U is as poppy as it gets here with a strong melody and almost country feel but it is not the stand out as the album is so strong as a whole. Elephant tucked away at the end turned out to be a brilliant evocative melodramatic song of lost love, Song for the leftovers is all lush and strings, Algebra is similarly brilliant as is the toned down Silent Night. The one mistake if it can be called that is Oddness of the Lord which is as odd as its title but even this is worth listening to over and over.
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Format: Audio CD
It's the same old story, singer from a band does a solo project, voice still good but music mostly limp, often just someone strumming along the provide a bit of background.
I would recommend at first listening skipping the dull first three tracks and druggie fourth track, in case you get bored and stop listening before you reach the good bits. There is some nice cornet playing on "Song for the Leftovers", which as one might guess from the title is about a couple of wallflowers at the end of party getting together.
"Hard as a Stone", halfway through the album, is the first track with any real oomph, in the style of a snarling late '70s punk rocker, vaguely Public Image.
"The Oddness of the Lord" is quite raucous, it would have fitted on Bowie's "No. 1 Outside".
The best tracks are a couple of country & western covers, "Rock 'N' Roll Ghost" and "The Bluest Eyes in Texas". Strangely the former seems to be the least favourite song of fans of its writer's band, "The Replacements".
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