|1. Spanish Main|
|2. I Remember When|
|3. Shadows Fall|
|4. Dreaming of You|
|5. Simon Diamond|
|7. Waiting for the Heartaches|
|8. Skeleton Key|
|9. Wild Fire|
|10. Bad Man|
|11. Calenders and Clocks|
From the marauding opening guitar of Spanish Main (only lyric: "We'll set sail again, we're heading for the Spanish main!") to the jangly weird-out of Calendars and Clocks, The Coral is about as eclectic and silly as debuts can get. We have a ballad about a man turning into a tree (Simon-and-Garfunkel-ish Simon Diamond), a harmonica-filled masterpiece that recalls, at moments, Madness (Shadows Fall), something that resembles a Bond theme (Wildfire) and two enjoyable, ska-like singles that you'll have to make a conscious effort to avoid singing along to (Dreaming of You, Goodbye). The lyrics are weird, the music changes directions just when you least expect it (I Remember When suddenly bursts into Russian Polska - "Hi, hi, hi, hi!") and the barbershop-quartet vocals sound, as well as silly, pretty damned good.
Sure, it's incoherent and completely all over the place - the running theme seems to be that there isn't one - but that just makes this stuff listenable, fun, and happily surprising. And in a world of predictable music that you've heard before, surely surprises must be a good thing?
Set sail. You'll love it.
If you like steriotypical music with little change and regular rhythms, perhaps this is not for you- it is true, some of the tracks (particularly 'Wildfire') cna get a little irratating, especially if you listern to them (like me)non stop on a 6 hr car journey. But I think the fact that after the 6 hrs 95% of the tracks were as fresh and enjoyable as ever says more about the album then words could.
Look out for the pirate behind you in Skeleton Key, feel the ghostly nostalgic atmosphere in Shadows Fall and skip anything that gets too repetative and annoying. Well worth the money- I have not regretted buying this once.
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