Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: The Coral, Roots & Echoes

The Coral are a six-piece that have attracted a good deal of attention in their native England for several albums that hinted at something special but never quite got there.  They are known coralfor specializing in a modern take on a combination of ’60s and ’70s garage rock with the Merseybeat sound and tame psychedelia.  On “Roots & Echoes” they take that sound more in the direction of soft rock and pop from the same period. 

The Coral are very good at reproducing the sounds of the music they admire from the past.  Their songs are well written, arranged and played.  If you walked into a local  club in 1968 and found these guys playing as an unknown band they’d probably have knocked you out.  However, 1968 was a long time ago and the music from the period has been hashed and rehashed so many times that you need to do something  much more than competantly recreate it to attract contemporary interest.  This seems to be The Coral’s main problem.  They’re very good at writing and playing an older style of music but they don’t do much more than imitate what’s gone before.

They’re also pretty dull.  For example, “Fireflies” has a decided Doors sound but it’s the Doors with somebody like Glenn Campbell fronting the band.  There’s no edge, no excitement.  Maybe it’s because the musical giants of the period have been so extensively reexamined that The Coral appear to be looking to performers like Campbell and Bobby Goldsboro for inspiration but what was bland then hasn’t improved with time.

If you were a big fan of the Campbell/Goldsboro style of pop and soft rock and would like to hear new music in the same vein, then “Roots & Echoes” might be an album you’ll enjoy.  If you never found this music to be of much interest, then The Coral’s excellent reproduction of it is unlikely to do much for you. 

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11/23/2007 - Posted by | CD reviews, music, music reviews

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