'Erase/Rewind' is the second single from the Cardigans latest album... Its predecessor 'My Favourite Game' continues to be played on radio stations across the country following its use in a popular car commercial.Again with the car adverts! Actually, I don't remember that ad, though it might explain the unusual chart performance of 'My Favourite Game', which hung around remarkably long for a non-Top-10 single in the late 1990s. This follow-up took them to the Top 10 positions for the second time, and the last if you ignore their collaboration with Tom Jones later that year. Whilst its initial success was doubtless assisted by their previous hit (and its "banned" video, featured as a CD-ROM extra on one format of this), there's no question that 'Erase/Rewind' was a genuine hit in its own right and a contributor to the big sales of the Gran Turismo album. It's very much part of the trajectory they were on at this point in their career, trying very hard to rid themselves of the twee candyfloss image that they'd created for themselves but which they were evidently tiring of, especially after the huge success of 'Lovefool' took it beyond people who heard the irony.
Over a whole album this rather nihilistic tone is apparently a bit wearing, which is presumably why so many copies of Gran Turismo turn up in charity shops, and why I've never yet bought one. But on its own, this is a brilliant record with a decidedly unfluffy soundscape of tinkling keyboards, rumbling bass and unusually treated acoustic guitars. The reverb on Nina Persson's vocal just adds to the artificial tone and the use of loops and short repetition, as well as the gradual but steady pace, fit the tone of the lyric, which is determined but emotionally cold. It always seemed to me like the protagonist had finally snapped, but had been so beaten down that even when she took control, she was no longer fully human. As I've said before, I have a soft spot for arty music that's also actively poppy, and I couldn't resist this track although I never bought the single either. I was glad to get it when I bought this though.
Their compatriots The Wannadies, also best-known for a song not necessarily typical of their original intention had surely heard this track when they recorded 'Yeah'. Now 12 veteran Sabrina's version is, er, different.
Also appearing on: Now 37, 41, 44 [with Tom Jones]
Available on: Gran Turismo