If there are certain albums that had a cultural impact far beyond their overall sales figures, the debut album by Cardinal--released in 1994 by the duo of Eric Matthews and Richard Davies--counts highly among them.
Coming at a time when grunge, for better or worse, had come to dominate the rock 'n' roll scene, the textured and melodic work of Matthews and Davies provided almost precisely its conceptual opposite: melodies, harmonies, exotic instrumentation, sophisticated arrangements, songs that evoked the undersung classic sound of the early Bee Gees, the Left Banke and other pop greats, all oozing with sincerity, very little irony, and an obvious love for the pure form of pop music. Those who heard it loved it--very much so--and, for better or worse, a new genre called "orchestral pop" was coined to describe their work.
But Cardinal was a short-lived affair. Matthews and Davies soon went their separate ways, each releasing highly regarded solo albums, and the former band soon took onRead More »from 2012 SXSW Flashback: Cardinal