The Coral - Butterfly House - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Coral - Butterfly House

by Dan Clay Rating:7 Release Date:2010-07-12

Famous really for the chirpy pop of previous singles 'Pass it On' and 'In the Morning', Liverpool's The Coral return with their fifth full-length album. Having overcome the usually career-swansong of a greatest hits collection, Butterfly House sees them brimming with Beatles nostalgia - minus the chirp.

After losing a guitarist in Bill Ryder-Jones who departed after 2007's poorly received Roots and Echoes, the band have decided that less is more and created a guitar-based sound which, when it works, is a pure joy. With John Leckie, the famous producer behind Radiohead's The Bends, in tow the Wirral five-piece certainly have enough pedigree to suggest a strong comeback.

Things intrigue from the off. Opener 'More Than a Lover' sounds like The Divine Comedy having a downbeat day while the jangly guitar pop of

' gives a strong reminder of what early REM fans are pining for. Awash with mandolin and melancholy chord changes, it's one of the strongest tracks on show.

Thankfully, things take a more upbeat turn on 'Walking in the Winter' with its obvious Beatles and Bunnymen influences. "It's so hard to make living, when the world is so unkind," lead singer James Skelly muses over a country-tinged acoustic backing. 'Sandhills' also impresses with its cheerful harmonies, even if it peters out repetitively.

As the opening chords of title track 'Butterfly House' chime, it's clear there's a pattern emerging. Not allowing too much jollity, the listener gets two melancholy tracks sandwiched between a further two upbeat ones. Building to a rocky finish the track highlights a more polished production with crisp harmonies and Bond-esque strings.

Therefore, after the pleasant but moody 'Green is the Colour' we're treated to the album's sweetest moment. An acoustic gem, 'Falling All Around You' is as good as anything the band's done, a gentle, sweet track which finishes as delightfully as it unfolds with a quiet piano refrain. Seriously, download it now.

From then on, T'wo Faces' begins like 'Ticket to Ride' while 'She's Comin' Around' and lead single

lingers longest, an ode to New York's forgotten playground complete with fairground effects, while closer 'North Parade' builds to a suitably epic rock finish.

Losing the summery pop might be good thing, although not for a summer release. Worth buying for a few really good tracks, The Coral have created a solid comeback album which is more elegiac than previous singles might have led you to believe. Let's hope it's not the death of them.

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