Monday, August 08, 2005

the coral - the invisible invasion [album review]

[Sony International]

It’s a drag having to review albums like this. I could be listening to the new Devendra Banhart album (unreleased, but hot off the internet), but instead I’m stuck with The Coral’s new effort. Why would I want to listening to something so decidedly average when there’s so much other interesting stuff out there? The Coral fail to answer this perhaps basic question on their latest release, The Invisible Invasion, on which they recede further into the drab, pseudo-psychedelic Brit-rock for which they are known.

And it’s pretty much totally uninteresting. Thirty-five minutes of 60s inspired Britpop might have used to sound like a pretty okay idea, but now it’s pretty tired. The Coral themselves also seem tired and quite jaded on this release. Earlier albums expressed some vigour and enthusiasm, but here the vocalist sounds strangely sober, particulary in comparison to the energy of earlier EPs like Magic & Medicine. It’s not what you’d call retrospective – it’s just stuck in the past. Forget The Beatles already! Godammnit. I don’t know why the British obsession with them still lingers so much. Okay, so they were a good band and undeniably revolutionary, but this blind patriotism is getting pretty old. So is the same old NME press banter associated with supposedly “best new bands” that seems to have bolstered The Coral into being a lot more than they really are.

The Invisible Invasion probably isn’t that awful. There are actually quite few good songs on this album. It’s just the thought of every other amazing thing I could be listening to right now that tarnishes this release because of its overarching averageness. If you like music without having to think a whole lot (or at all) then you might like this. Otherwise, steer clear. Even if you like 60s inspired pop – you’d be better of looking elsewhere (try anything from the Elephant 6 label for any Beatles/Beach Boys recalling needs). That is precisely the problem with The Coral. While their earlier stuff may have been okay, listening to them now seems pretty pointless.

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