January 20, 2012
Cardinal - 'Hymns'
This record offers nothing more than a whistleable melody
3 / 10 American duo [a]Cardinal[/a] released their sole album of gleaming chamber pop back in 1994. Proudly out of step with the times, it was ignored by most but loved by a few (including [a]Gruff Rhys[/a], who raved about it in NME’s Greatest Albums You’ve Never Heard issue). Now reformed, whatever magic Cardinal once had has evaporated in the intervening 18 years. ‘Hymns’’ wan vocals, arch lyrics and annoying trumpet flourishes make [a]The Shins[/a] sound like rugged rock desperados. For a pair of wannabe pop classicists, Cardinal’s cardinal sin is the failure to provide anything approaching a whistleable melody. Most pointless comeback of the year.
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