For listeners who had caught up with the Cardigans on their breakout album, Life, the group's third album was a confusing pastiche which included several conventional pop songs, but also added tracks with left-field arrangements and some (comparatively) disturbing lyrics. In reality, however, the group had simply returned to the mood and feel of their debut album. On Emmerdale, the melancholy was personal and solitary in nature, but here depression is focused on unfaithful lovers -- in both the songs which vocalist Nina Persson helped out with lyrics and those written by the rest of the band ("Choke," "Step on Me," "The Great Divide"). Even the single, "Lovefool," is a depressing lament of unrequited affection, and the presence of another Black Sabbath cover ("Iron Man") certainly isn't an immediate upper. Still, First Band on the Moon is saved by the Cardigans' core strengths: Persson's vocals and Svensson's arrangements.
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AllMusic Review by John Bush