The Cardigans

Rise and Shine: Under the Covers

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A pretty seriously weird EP released only in Canada, Rise and Shine: Under the Covers shows off both the Cardigans' musical roots and their playfully twisted sense of humor. Starting off with a new recording of their own "Rise and Shine" (despite what the packaging says, this is not the version that appeared on the 1995 album, Life, nor is it the original version from 1994's Emmerdale, but a faster version with soprano saxophone fills and an even airier than usual vocal from Nina Persson), the EP then explores the Swedish band's fondness for '70s heavy metal. Thin Lizzy's "The Boys Are Back in Town" is given a lazy samba-style reading, complete with vibes and a nearly a cappella final verse. The shocking thing is how well the revised arrangement fits the song. The Cardigans' fondness for Black Sabbath is well-documented, and the EP includes Life's imaginative reworking of "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath," but the Ozzy Osborne solo track, "Mr. Crowley," gets an even weirder treatment. Recorded for a Swedish radio session, the song is rendered entirely a cappella, with the four male members of the band ba-ba-ba-ing and aah-ing politely like a Scandinavian version of the Four Freshmen while Persson angelically sings the praises of the late British self-described mystic. It's every bit as weird and wonderful as that description sounds. The EP closes with "In the Afternoon," a dreamy track from Emmerdale, which at the time had not been released outside of Sweden.

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