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Good as it ever was on Wirral act's vintage fifth outing
Francis Jones, 12 Aug 2010
Everything you ever needed to know about The Coral’s sound could be deduced by listening to their 2002 debut album. That self-titled first outing showcased a band smitten with the classic pop and acid-tinged rock of the late sixties and early seventies. Subsequent offerings, including this John Leckie (The Stone Roses, Radiohead, Muse) produced fifth album could be considered a renewing of vows for a band already wed to the sounds and spirit of that era.
They are unflinching in the face of contemporary musical tastes and seemingly impervious to change; even the loss of lead guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones – who quit back in 2008 – has produced no discernible difference in sound here. Remarkably, despite ploughing the same old furrow, the results are exceedingly fertile and testament to their enduring songwriting talent. Frontman, and musical magpie, James Skelly has feathered the band’s nest with all manner of glittering influences, from The Walker Brothers’ dazzle of ‘Roving Jewel’, to the rustic tenderness of the title track with its echoes of Simon & Garfunkel.
There are traces too of the harmony driven tunefulness of other acts like CSNY on ‘1000 Years’ and The Mamas & The Papas on ‘Two Faces’, whilst ‘Green Is The Colour’ contains more than a whisper of Love’s artful psychedelia. Showcasing its procession of heritage sounds, Butterfly House is the musical equivalent of The Antiques Roadshow and an album that will delight and intrigue in equal measure.
KEY TRACK: ‘ROVING JEWEL’