A cool, sweet, cocktail-pop confection that never feels like a cream puff? Yes, mainly because singer Nina Persson has taken over half of the writing duties on the Swedish outfit's third release, a suave mix of bachelor-pad quirkiness and earnest love songs. Demure yet sharp-shooting, Persson begs for lies on the almost criminally catchy "Lovefool," and delivers a lilting version of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" that actually transcends its initial shock value. The Cardigans play Feb. 20 and 21 at the El Rey Theatre.
Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good), four stars (excellent).