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The Coral – The Coral (2002)

January 20, 2014

[Album 279/1001]220px-The-Coral-The-Coral-220494

I went to see American Hustle with my wonderful wife on the weekend.  To quote Biff Tannen, “great flick, great friggin’ flick!”

For as long as I can remember, the previews have been a highlight of my cinema experience.  Though an inordinate number of non-film-related commercials are now included before the ‘talking picture’ begins, it’s still well worth arriving early for the coming attractions.

One of the previews was for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.  As she so often does, W summarized my thoughts exactly: “Looks like something I’d enjoy at home and then immediately forget.”

Conveniently, that line also applies to The Coral’s eponymous debut.

This 2002 release features psychedelic album art (that’s two in a row after Deee-Lite) and hints of older influences amid a solid early 2000s sound.  With the same hometown & with the same producer (Ian Broudie) at the helm, critics were quick to compare The Zutons (another enjoyable if forgettable group of Liverpudlians) to this debut by The Coral.

Which is better?  It’s looking like a case of six of one…

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From → 2000s

10 Comments
  1. I’m a big fan of these guys (as well as The Zutons), and I think they’re more memorable than you do. I remember buying this debut simply based on an ad placed on the back page of MOJO magazine and a brief review of the album in that same issue, and have been a fan ever since. So consider this a slightly more enthusiastic recommendation to your readers. The Coral’s whole catalog so far is worth exploring. It may not be groundbreaking but it’s always nice to hear youngsters taking on music from previous generations & putting their own spin on it.

    Regarding The Zutons, they’re probably best known now as the band that initially wrote & recorded “Valerie,” later made famous by Amy Winehouse. I may be in the minority, but I feel the original is better.

    Thanks for highlighting this excellent record. I only wish you enjoyed it a little more.

    • Thanks for the comment Rich – I’m impressed you catch so many of these groups on the first round, I’ve got to recalibrate my radar to pick up on more of these initially!

      I thought this album was far from dismissible, and it may end up having a more instantly recognizable quality than I anticipate.

      I found on the relistens, there weren’t many tunes that were leaping out, it was consistently solid. There was the odd bit (like the Black Hole Sun-esque guitar effect on the second song) that immediately jumped.

      There was a hint of sax on this one which was something I found quite charming on the Zutons debut!

      The main measurement I look at (my interest in frequently revisiting) was definitely there, so it’s a keeper in my books.

      • It’s not like I’m on the cutting edge or anything. It’s just worked out that many of the albums you’re revisiting are ones I happened to get into at the time of release. There are so many artists out there, constantly releasing albums, and it’s impossible to keep up with everything. I just read reviews & articles and check out the ones that really catch my eye. For every album I fall in love with each year, there are probably 10 more that I would love just as much if I had the time. I hope you come around to more of The Coral’s music in the future.

      • I’d agree with that 1:10 ratio – it’s a shame that the day is limited to 24 hours.

        Though that sort of undiscovered quality is a reason for optimism about the world: if anyone were to say “There’s no good music therse days” their search just hasn’t been remotely thorough enough.

        Deny it if you must, but you’re on the cutting edge in my books!

  2. ‘Dreaming Of You’ was a tune!

  3. I always thought The Coral were much better than The Zutons. The Coral was a fine debut and boasted one of my favourite singles from 00s: “Dreaming of you”. And what a voice that James Skelly has!

    • The generally accepted wisdom at one point was that to be an effective single, 3 minutes was the magic number.

      I like when groups ignore such advice and put out toe-tapping tunes like this instead!

      I get reminded of 2 songs listening to ‘dreaming of you’ and for me,both are very positive associations. It has the fun, bounciness of Love Cats and the really enjoyable efficiency of this later Airborne Toxic Event song:

      • Agreed. Though I wouldn’t immediately make the connection to the Cure or ATE, the energy is definitely there.

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