Cardigans Super Extra Gravity

The cover of the Cardigans’ latest release might lead one to believe that the album is completely embarrassing — especially for erstwhile fans who already felt sort of guilty about liking "Lovefool” so much back in 1996. Well, Super Extra Gravity is not embarrassing, though that would at least be something — this is mostly just boring. Bland pop in a mid-’90s, Natalie Imbruglia vein (but without a hook to beat "Torn”), the production is very "now,” and the band still seem endearingly sweet (in song, not liner notes), but this doesn't save the content. Singer Nina Persson, who seems to have traded in her sparkly pastel look for sartorial glam, has a much stronger voice nowadays — but over trite lyrics, blasé guitar work, last-grab twang and predictable melody, it becomes less exceptional. There are some catchy made-for-radio moments, like the chorus of "I Need Some Fine Wine, And You, You Need to Be Nicer” (I’m not kidding), but these moments are catchy more in the "you’d nod your head if you heard it in the dentist’s office” sense. If you thought Life was charming, don’t fret — you probably won’t want to burn your copy after hearing Super Extra Gravity. You will, however, be disappointed. (Universal)