Review - Cardinal

Artist: Cardinal


"You've Lost Me There" may well be one of the most beautifully perfect and beautifully sad pop songs ever recorded, the kind of song that's as solidly effective as it is wispy and insubstantial. It's the kind of song you play over and over again because you can't get enough of it, and every single time you hear it, there's something new to discover. The album that song is on – Cardinal's first, only and long out-of-print album – is similarly singular. Richard Davies, Eric Matthews and Bob Fay stumbled upon an elegant and emotional sound that depended upon lush arrangements and stark simplicity in equal doses. This reissue tacks on a whopping 11 bonus tracks; the demo of "If You Believe in Christmas Trees" shows how capable this band was of spinning beauty out of the most basic elements. More substantial than Davies' work in The Moles and less treacly than Matthews' later solo material, Cardinal is absolutely essential listening.