“A Camp is Nina Persson of The Cardigans,” read the sticker on A Camp’s 2001 debut, but the music, lyrics, and production on the follow-up, Colonia, are all credited to “A Camp.” Thinly veiled solo project or not, the reason to listen to Colonia is Persson’s smooth voice. She sings directly, without flash or pretension; her only indulgence is a mournful quaver, which she employs with restraint and taste. The overall effect is sincere believability, which is especially helpful when she’s explaining, say, that imaginary gods can’t save you. The album is suffused with defeat: Persson and guest Nicolai Dunger commiserate over failed romance in “Golden Teeth And Silver Medals,” and on the divorce-themed “I Signed The Line,” Persson unsentimentally states, “I like to end what I started.” Colonia starts strong, but it’s uneven. After a clutch of songs that includes the near-perfect life lesson “Stronger Than Jesus,” Colonia peters out with three laments that lose their power when grouped together, and two instrumentals that waste opportunities to hear more of that wonderful voice.
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