The good news is that the coral are back on form. My faith in them was shaken by the slightly shoddy 'nightfreak' offering and i had fears they would continue this trend on the follow up album - but rest assured this is more like the coral we knew from their debut lp.
However the songs are definately darker than any previous release as can be seen from opening track 'she sings the mourning', a trend continued with 'a warning to the curious', and 'far from the crowd'. However thats not to say that the coral have lost their slightly mad side which was so evident on their self titled record, with 'the operator' being a prime example of musical oddity. There is less of the warm country sound that was heard on magic and medicine, with the exception of first single 'in the morning' and the lovely closing track which brings back memories of magic and medicines 'liezah'. My personal favourite track would have to be 'cripples crown', which has the slightly creepy undertone but still a strong melodic chorus.
The result of this is a quality sounding record with a nice mix of moods. However there is something missing from it which would lift it above the high standard set by the debut, which i think is possibly the abscence of a real stand out song or two, (such as 'dreamming of you', or 'i remember when'), with 'in the morning' being the only real candidate for a single. It is this fact that once youve listened to it you will have the memory of enjoiying hearing it, but will be able to recall little of what any of the songs sounded like. However i am perhaps judging it too fast as i have only owned it for a week and it hasnt had a chance to grow.
In conclusion this is a very good album, well worthy of purchase....but its dissapointing that it doesnt meet the standard they showed they were capable of with their debut.