Album Review: Nina Persson – Animal Heart

We had intended to post our review of Nina Persson’s Animal Heart earlier in the week but for some reason we did not feel ready. The reason we say this is because this a work that takes time to adsorb and immerse yourself in – and after several listens this mid-tempo pop triumph is an incredibly warming experience.

Persson has a wealth of experience in the world of pop music serving as both the lead singer in bands, The Cardigans and A Camp, but Animal Heart serves as her first official solo effort.

The album opens with the shimmering electronic sound of title track, Animal Heart, packed with synths reminiscent of the golden days of classic vintage synthpop. Persson’s vocals soar above the electronic-backing delivering her lyricism with utmost conviction and heart. Further up-tempo moments like the joyously carefree semantics behind immediate-favourite Clip Your Wings and the Food for the Beast – an intelligent look at the restorative powers of the night club showcased when Persson sings: all broken hearts baby bring them to me fit them together then set themselves free – all serve as album standouts.

Blending together an earnest sweetness with a triumphant theatricality are Animal Heart’s mid-tempo moments. Burning Bridges for Fuel is a raw world-weary ballad that showcases Persson’ delicate vocals against light, low-key production, whilst Dreaming of Houses is a refreshing sultry number backed with earworming drums and an anthemic chorus where Persson declares: Maybe dreaming of houses can save me.  Tracks like Jungle and Forgot To Tell You may originally appear laid-back numbers but ultimately come into their own after multiple listens packed with warm character and a contemporary pop sheen.

Catch Me Cryin’ packs a jazzy attitude as Persson tells us: You’ll never catch me crying for you again in her tale of a broken relationship. Penultimate track, Silver Like The Moon is packed with Persson’s rich Scandinavian tones in a chorus that would feel fitting in the warmth of a European cabaret club on a snowy night.

With its breezy charm and light sense of vocal authority, Animal Heart is an immersive pop gem. It is filled with hooky melodies, charming synths which allow Persson’s blissful skills as a vocalist and songwriter to shine.

Animal Heart is available now from Rough Trade. You can hear the title track below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *