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Roots And Echoes

Melody takes precedence on Roots And Echoes, and this makes it stronger and tighter than The Coral’s previous releases.

Rating: 8 / 10

Clare O'Reilly, 02 Aug 2007

I began to think of The Coral’s latest album as a ‘soundtrack’ almost straightaway.

That’s not to say that Roots And Echoes is so obviously commercial that ad executives and movie producers will be falling over themselves to nab the rights (though they might well be), but rather that the tone, mood and setting of each song are evoked so exquisitely that the record manages to conjure up a ‘mini-movie’ in the imagination.

These ‘mini-mind-movies’ are facilitated by clear, concise lyrics and a retro-centric atmosphere. Track five, ‘Firefly’, for example, transports the listener onto the set of a surreal spy movie, while ‘Jaqueline’ could be sung by a man ambling across the Wild West on horseback.

The Coral describe the record as “less Beefheart and more Bacharach” and this sentiment is particularly evident on the melancholy ‘Not So Lonely’. Here, Shelly’s voice soars above the simple, stripped-down accompaniment, and although the lyrics are upbeat (“I’m not so lonely anymore”), the bittersweet arrangement emphasises the plaintive undertones. It's a simple song that captures beautifully the futility of pretending things are okay.

Melody takes precedence on Roots And Echoes, and this makes it stronger and tighter than The Coral’s previous releases. Although a couple of tracks fly under the radar, the strength of the majority makes up for it. An almost cinematic experience.

Rating: 8 / 10
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