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A Camp - A Camp

A Camp is Nina Persson's (The Cardigans) first solo album.

A Camp
published 2001, Stockholm Records
produced by Mark Linkous (Sparklehorse), executive producer Nina Persson, except The bluest eyes in Texas, produced by Nathan Larson and Rock'n'Roll Ghost, produced by Niclas Frisk


Nina Persson: lead voice, jupiter (6, 8), mellotron (8), pop choir (11), magic genie bass pedals (14)
Nathan Larson: bass (except on 3, 6, 9, 10, 13 and 14), guitars (2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 12), theremin (1), piano (2, 14), hammond (2), steel guitar sequencer (2), drum programming and orchestron (3), keyboards (3,12), sub-bass (4), jupiter (4), mellotron (5), bass pedals (6), fake orchestra (6), harp (9), optigan (9, 10), fake winds (9), strings (11), pop choir (11)
Mark Linkous: samples (1, 3, 4, 9, 14), guitars (2, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 14), backing vocals (2, 11), chamberlin (2, 8), sequential circuits, keyboards and drum programming (3), jupiter (6), orchestron (9), magic genie organ (9, 14), piano and casio (10), guitarpickin' (11) and korg (11),
Kevin March: drums (except on 3, 9, 12 and 14), percussion (1, 2, 7, 8)
Niclas Frisk: piano (1), harmonica (2), guitars (3, 8, 9, 10, 11), e-bow (4), mellotron (5), backing vocals (11)
Clayton Doley - mellotron (4, 8 ), würlitzer (1, 5, 7), piano (1, 6), bass pedals (1, 10)
Al Weatherhead: lap steel (1, 4, 14), guitars (1, 5, 8, 10 14), würlitzer (1), alguitar (11), bass (14)
Niko Röhlcke: steel guitar (2, 3, 9, 11)
Anders Graham Paulsson - bass (3, 9, 11)
Paul Watson - cornet (5, 8, 10)
Charlie Malberg - piano (3, 9, 11)
Joan Wasser - violin (4, 5)
Jane Scarpantoni - cello (4, 5)
Jason Glaser - cello (8, 11), violin (8)
Miguel Urbiztono - heartbeat assistant (9), drums (14)
Julianne Klopotic, Jenny Scheinman, Julie Goodale, Julia Kent - String Quartet (2)
Scott Minor - sample programming (10, 11)
Doug Petty - add (13), keyboards (13)
Andrew Innes - alto sax and tenor sax (7)
Karl Berger: string arrangements and conducting (2)
Jess Hoffa - saw (10)
Todd Vos - pro tools (10)
Anders Henerstam - drums (11)
Pontus Olsson - tandberg tape echo (9)
Jonathan Donahue - saw (8)
David Knowles - trumpet (7)
John & Yoko - rock choir (7)

Track listing

  1. Frequent Flyer (Nina Persson/Nathan Larson)
  2. I Can Buy You (Nina Persson/Niclas Frisk)
  3. Angel of Sadness (Nina Persson/Niclas Frisk)
  4. Such a Bad Comedown (Nina Persson/Niclas Frisk)
  5. Song for the Leftovers (Nina Persson/Niclas Frisk)
  6. Walking the Cow (Daniel Johnston)
  7. Hard as a Stone (Nina Persson/Niclas Frisk)
  8. Algebra (Nina Persson)
  9. Silent Night (Nina Persson/Niclas Frisk)
  10. The Same Old Song (Nina Persson/Niclas Frisk)
  11. The Oddness of the Lord (Nina Persson/Niclas Frisk)
  12. Rock'n'Roll Ghost (Westerberg)
  13. The Bluest Eyes in Texas (Stephenson, Robbins, Dubois)
  14. Elephant (Nina Persson, Mark Linkous)


Preceded by the single I Can Buy You (with a different version of Angel of Sadness and Charlie Charlie), A Camp is Nina Persson's project outside The Cardigans (which are rumoured to make another album next year), with husband Nathan Larson (Shudder to Think) and Mark Linkous (of Sparklehorse, with whom Nina had sung before). A Camp started with a bar discussion between Nina and Niclas Frisk, which prompted the birth of this project.

The disc is a mixed bag of different styles; trip-poppish Gran Turismo-like songs, country ballads, rock tunes and weirder bits. It also includes The Bluest Eyes in Texas, previously released on Boys Don't Cry's soundtrack.

As a rabid fan of The Cardigans, I bought the record to calm down my craving for a new record (no albums since 1998's GT). I had bought the single and worried about the selection; I Can Buy You was certainly strong, but Charlie Charlie was more up my street (it's a cool slow electronical ditty). Even though country is not exactly my cup of tea, there isn't too much for me to hate the album, and I'm beginning to enjoy it. The other tracks are mostly good, with some highlights and some bland songs.

Walking the Cow's surreal lyrics and funky/progressive electronica is my fav track (gee! I didn't know who Daniel Johnston was, check the node!), with rocker Hard as a stone and the warmer Frequent Flyer as close calls. The GT-ish trippy tracks, like Such a Bad Comedown and The Same Old Song are good. Others, like The Oddness of the Lord and Rock'n'Roll Ghost stand out much less, but they are quite ok.

Nina Persson's vocal prowess is much more prominent than on The Cardigans, check out The Same Old Song or Song for the Leftovers (and the others) to listen for her wonderful voice, that responds pretty well to distortion and can sound pretty trashy at times (Hard as a Stone).

All in all, a solid record; which I guess will appeal to wider audiences than cardifans, but the album's varied styles might put off some.


http://www.cardigans.de - The Cardigans collector page, semi-official page
http://www.a-camp.org - A Camp's official site (excellent! you can listen to the whole album and nice Flash stuff)

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