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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 7 February 2004
I'm a big fan of the coral, they are unlike most bands around at present. They focus on the substance rather than the style - refusing to jump on the bandwagon of "rock'n'roll". Instead they look to create an alternative sound that is not as retro as the media suggests. Yes listening to certain tracks from their work it becomes clear that the likes of Love - Forever Changes is an apparent influence. But this does not mean they are out to replicate such a sound, but to evolve. Examples of this are "keep me company", or "I forgot my name" - these two songs are the highlights for me. These tracks are not just about rock music but folk and reggae also. There is more to the coral than "dreaming of you" and "pass it on".
This album was intended to be different, experimental, about the music. In the album it's clear they like to poke fun at themselves and others, as is seen in the intro of track 2 "venom cable" - which is clearly having a dig at music "geeks" - which could well be themselves.
All in all, since i've bought this album it's not been of my sound system. It's flows better than most albums around at present and is worth every penny.
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on 6 February 2004
I didnt catch the coral vibe instantly, i didnt jump straight on their bandwagon.Obviuosly one couldnt fail to enjoy the single 'dreaming of you'. I actually bought the debut album and magic and medicine on the same day...and instantly became hooked on their music..they just seem to create so much unique sound, that you just keeps you listening over and over again..
so after firmly establishing themselves as one of the brightest acts around at the moment..the coral decided they wanted to release this mini-album...and im definitely glad that they did..
the trick sis to not expect too much from this, it was never going to be a classic album, but it is vintage coral just getting these songs out of their system before moving on to hopefully that classic album in the pipeline, and knowing the coral we won't have to wait too long...
the album is short, but contains enough highlights to make it a worthwile venture..in my opinion the best tracks are venom cable, forgot my name, and migraine...but a massive coral fan isnt going to need to skip any tracks...
if you liked their first two albums then you should definitely get this...
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on 18 May 2013
"Six lads make two critically and commercially acclaimed albums, play ridiculously high up the bill on the Pyramid Stage at Glasto, and then proceed to throw it all away on this mediocre set of 'songs'". This is the type of media and fan backlash that was going on around the time of this brave mini albums release. Could they possibly take it any more at face value? It's true that on first impressions this album can seem throwaway, self-indulgent and even childish, but if we took every single thing we encountered in our everyday lives at face value we'd be a very stupid and naive race.

Which brings me to how "Nightfreak and the Sons of Becker" was conceived. Rather than make an almighty push for 3rd album greatness, The Coral instead decided to head for the nearest studio and record 11 tracks LIVE and under 10 days (which apparently was the same amount of time it took to write the songs). When you take that on its merits, it's a staggering achievement. Not only that but the band seem to be having a grand ol' dollop of FUN while doing so, never a bad thing you'll agree?

This is all well and good but how are the songs? Obviously the crux of any music album. Well the first 25 seconds of the social-paranoia "Migraine" are worth the price of admission alone, so there's that. Joking aside the songs and sequencing are mostly spot-on and rarely outstay their welcome (3:28 is your longest), although to be fair if you stood most of "Nightfreak" up against any of The Corals discography there wouldn't be much comparison. Apart from "Sorrow or the Song" there's nothing you'd be too enthused to slap onto your 'Best of The Coral" playlist.

But is that not the point of this caper, to create something spontaneous and inject a much needed sense of the complete random into Pop music? Please note that this is the same Coral who possess that unique, otherworldly sound and character, yet it still feels almost at odds with their 'normal' stuff (which is about as far from 'normal' as you could get in the first place) It's a mostly brilliant exercise in the arts of the avant garde, while still retaining a coyness and childlike innocence which is paramount to its artistic success.

Back to the songs. "Aunties Operation" stakes a claim for a modern day version of The Beatles' "Happiness Is A Warm Gun", while the first four tracks have their fair share of high points and giggles. It's only when the album deviates from this approach via "Keep Me Company" that things take a step back, but that's just my opinion.

To summarise... I'm not pretending that this project is anything more than it is, the songs are no frills and basic, nor is there a would-be single in sight. To put it better, by the time i'd stopped laughing long enough at the end of "Migraine", and was able to take in the sheer ridiculousness of "Lovers Paradise", my sh*t-eating grin was well and truly plastered all over my face. Now if that's not worth five stars I don't know what is ;)
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on 24 May 2004
Frankly, I love the coral... Many of their songs seem melodic and smooth and then jump to a crazy guitar fest before finishing... Some start as insane as they end... This mini album is really what youd expect - it sounds quite rushed, not quite perfected. The songs all have the same twist that was found in the first two albums, but here it is all together too unsubtle, and quite a bit less enjoyable...
I keep wanting to go back to listen to magic and medicine and the coral (the album), but i just dont get that with this really... it lacks the songs that just stick in your head... the insanity of 'simon diamond' and 'in the forest' are a couple of supurb songs, the quality of which is simply not matched here unfortunately... but then it is what it is - its not really a full album, and i strongly beleive that the corals next release will be as supurb as there first.
if you have neither of the first two albums, then i suggest you buy one first, as they are far better put together... if you already own both BUY THIS... although it lacks the brilliance present in the others, it is still a good (not great)album in its own right, and gives you 'more of that infectious sound' (as a fellow reviewer so wisely put it)...
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on 12 December 2004
This album has largely been overlooked by the music press (possbily due to the fact it is a miny), and seem to be dismissing the Coral as slightly silly, kind-of-retro scousers who because of their tongue-in-cheek attitude in the studio as well as onstage will never sell as well as the Zutons. This is a stupid attitude to have. Unlike, say, Oasis, the Coral do not just nick stuff from the 60s. Instead, they take 60s music (especially psychedelic music) as an INFLUENCE, which they then EXPAND UPON. And boy they sure do expand on it effectively.
This album is similar to their previous efforts, but manages to outclass them on several fronts. For one thing, it is less influenced by the Beatles (their debut was very Beatles-tinged), or Dylan (Magic and Medicine) (note these are not the only influences on their previous albums, just examples), but instead takes much more from Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, and, in my opinion, at least matches it in terms of deranged genius.
God knows what they're going on about in the sleeve notes, and at only 28 minutes long you could get the impression that it is needlessly short. But it isn't. All the songs are exactly the right length, and the album has exactly the right number of them. This is punk psychedelia. The Coral have, on purpose or just by accident, managed to balance perfectly the whimsical brilliance of Syd Barrett and the schizophrenic madness of the Pixies (yeah, I know, not psychedelic, but I'm not trying to pigeonhole them here, just explain their sound), whilst maintaining a genuine and wholly earnest streak of individuality, both in terms of music and in terms of style- the Coral are not just another NME, eighties-revivalist sort-of-rock band. The Coral are the real deal. If this wasn't a miny album I'm sure it would be hailed as one of the best of the year, if not all time, but instead we have to content ourselves with Scissor Sisters, Keane and the Streets.
Buy this album now. Everyone should own a copy of it. You'll know what I'm going on about when you hear it. Every song is a cosmic slice of... well I don't even know what, man. It's just great. This is the best album of 2004, and if this is just a miny then I can't wait to hear what the Coral are going to produce given a full forty minutes or whatever.
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on 24 January 2004
After hearing every song once on this low-key release from The Coral and I strongly reccomend it to everyone who liked their first 2 albums. It carries from these two albums but their sound is maturing fast and they may well prove to be a great band and be remebered forever. Well worth buying. (also great live!!!)
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on 5 February 2004
Okay, this is weird. I like it more than second album, 'Magic and Medicine', but less than debut 'The Coral'. I think the Coral are at their best when they're confounding expectations. It's just that they might have gone a little too far with this techno-sea-shanty-lullabies lark. Still genius, though.
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on 29 September 2004
The Coral have shown the same approach to writing and touring that was common place 20-30 years ago, in a time before bands would be expected to produce massive, critically accepted million sellers. Few bands like the Coral exist these days that develop into something amazing over a few years, few record companies have the patience to allow a band to mature over several albums. This is what is happening here, however rather than become over-produced the band are sounding more raw and immediate. That is not to say that they are inept musically. These are a talented bunch of lads who can mix melodies very well.
Of all the tracks here, Migraine is a more edgey step from the earlier more whimsical sea shanty feel of the first album. As stated in the other reviews, this album does not ease you into the world of the Coral easily, look for the other 2 albums before this one.
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I have been a fan of The Coral since their self titled first album a couple of years ago. I thought that that one was great and although their second was good (Magic and Medicine) it didn't compare to their first one for me.

However, this mini-album is very good. Every track is a winner and I have to say that it is at least as good as the first album. I liked it on the first listening and it's actually getting better as I play it more. If you liked the other Coral albums then don't hesitate in getting hold of this one.
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on 28 January 2004
This album, while only just under half an hour long, has all the right mannerisms to be embraced lovingly to the chest of all Coral fans. In fact, had it been a bit longer, I would have touted it as their best work yet.
Sounding more akin to the first album than their second, it's all paranoid riffs and frantic drumming. There's even some bizarre humour included on Why Does The Sun Come Up? "That's government property, son." Genius.
There are a wide range of styles on show here. with the last track, Lovers Paradise, sounding like something that you'd here in a Blackpool dance hall for the elderly, but it's sooo good.
I listened to this album 5 times on the day I bought it, which I think says it all. Everyone should own this piece of Coral brilliance
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