Monday, August 25, 2008


Magic and Medicine-
The Coral
Status-Out as of 2003
Rating-3 Feathers

The Coral are one of those underrated bands, even in England where they are from. By this point, these guys from Hoylake have one album out (‘The Coral’) and are known for such hits (in the U.S.) as ‘Dreaming of You'. Now with their second album out, ‘Magic and Medicine’, one could hope that these fantastic musicians make a better name for themselves. ‘In the Forest’ is a great beginning to the album. The keyboard that goes throughout adds a mystical feel to it that will be seen throughout the record. ‘Don’t Think You’re the First’ is a semi-creepy song. The guitar style they use in this helps add a very eerie and haunting mood to it that keeps you wanting more. Unlike the first two, ‘Liezah’ is very clean; almost a light skiffle. Though it contains short bursts of weird melodies, it’s becomes an acoustic sound that you’ll hear throughout the album also. ‘Talkin’ Gypsy Market Blues’ is really annoying. They’ve got the whole blues thing down, but my God, the vocals are irritating. The song gets very monotonous and James Skelly is not meant to sing the blues, ever. ‘Secret Kiss’ is a lot better than ‘TGMB’. It’s a light sounding song that has elements of the creepy keyboard sound, but the overall mood is similar to that of ‘Liezah’. ‘Milkwood Blues’ is the last blues song, and it’s better than the other, but it’s not great. They know how to play the blues, but the song is far too dragged out and too mellow. It’s almost cocktail party type music. ‘Bill McCai’ tells the story of a depressed middle-aged man whose ‘kids don’t even notice him’ and he wishes he were a little boy again. The song is a hugely nice change to the previous bunch. It’s a little gloomy, but with a hopeful tone. What really helps it is it’s undeniable catchiness. ‘Eskimo Lament’ is very dreamlike. Half way through, it gets brassy and weird but it’s still far too slow for my liking. The whole ‘rain rain go away’ idea is an exhausted concept which really makes the song lack cleverness. ‘Careless Hands’ is too similar to the last song for the fact that it’s overdrawn and you’re dying for it to end. ‘Pass it On’ sounds very similar to ‘You Like Me Too Much’ by The Beatles. It’s calm like the last two, but it’s a bit more upbeat. It’s nostalgic and it’s downright beautiful. ‘All Of Our Love’ is a combination of the calm and haunting styles of the album. The song doesn’t sound like it was mixed properly (i.e. The guitar is too loud, the vocals are too quiet…) and it’s exceedingly repetitive. ‘Confessions of A.D.D.D.’ starts out nice but it gets almost western, which is not nice to the ears or the headache you’ve developed from the last song. Halfway through it gets significantly better and I’m glad they didn’t end the album on a slow note. Though the album was ultra-fantastic or anything, they are still a sound band that with more maturity and experience are bound to make an album that’s more cohesive and pulled together. With clear early sixties and fifties influences, they are promising and just need a little Magic and Medicine.

“I think Liverpool has kept a lot of its musical innocence. The sound that often comes out is what has sort of been passed on or influenced by another Liverpool band. It’s stayed traditional with guitar music and we’ve stayed true to it.”-Ian Skelly

Video for Pass it On

The Coral's Official Website
Note: This is their 2nd album and since then, they've come out with two others. Invisible Invasion, the one that came out directly after this, has Rootkit on it (it's a software that'll screw up your computer if you load it on) so I'd make sure you get a copy of it that doesn't have it (which I don't know how you'd tell and it's Sony's doing, not theirs). Also, because they're on Deltasonic, no band of theirs has any CD that has a U.S. release so if you find these albums in stores you're lucky. I found this at Bestbuy, the only CD of The Coral they had.

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