7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Superb pop craftsmanship.,
This review is from: Magic and Medicine (Audio CD)
The Coral are incapable of being derivative. Their debut album was the work of a group of magpies, exploring dozens of styles and the creative tensions between them; this follow-up mostly settles for a spiky country/rock atmosphere, yet overlays it with a laid-back but vaguely threatening tone. Lyrically it's still offbeat, delivered in the finest of Wirral accents, and the guitar sound and technique are superb.
This is an album with hidden depths - perhaps not as immediate as the quirky janglepop and sea shanties of the first album, but definitely a more mature and assured work - a band starting to explore one direction at a time rather than a dozen in the same song.
There's great beauty here in amidst the often angular shapes of the music, subtleties that you don't often hear in mainstream pop/rock. And yet it's instantly listener-friendly, memorable hooks and singable choruses drawing you deeper into the bizarre architecture of the songs.
It's invidious to single out any one song for particular attention, but in this case the glorious 'Pass It On' really is a perfect representative of this album, from vaguely Byrdsy intro via the gentle melancholy of the lyrics to the simple mantra-like chorus - music of great honesty, great humanity and above all music that lives on in the mind; the contrast with the echoy and almost Waits-like 'All of Our Love' is absolutely splendid.
A superb followup.