Thursday, 20 October 2016

Great Lost Album – Cardinal – ‘Cardinal’

I was going to choose one track from Cardinal's 1994 debut (and only until 2012's 'Hymns') release but the whole album is on Youtube and, to be honest, the whole works better than the parts. An album that will be forever associated in my mind with the summer of that year (it was released in March despite all the Christmas references and I recall getting it a month or so pre release) the entire record is an understated, baroque flecked masterpiece. Sure, it owes debts to early 70's Bowie, a host of mid 80's Fire Records and Shimmy Disc types, early Scott Walker and fits neatly alongside the likes of The Auteurs in that acoustically designed rock mode but its an album that is full formed, completely realised and so sure of itself that it never needs to reach for production dynamics to make its point.

At the time I recall it being one of those album, those of us in the know in the music biz, a seemingly more social, close knit and connected world than today's email driven 'business' would find kinship over a shared love of the record. It became the soundtrack to the post gig / club nights when we would all end up at someone's house until dawn broke. It's a perfect record to watch the sun rise to.
It felt like an album that was destined for the Best Of lists for time in memoriam but it seems to have slipped from collective memory.

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