The Corrs - Home (2006)
Commercially, The Corrs became a blockbuster success but to me they were never totally satisfying because they always lacked a clear identity. Did they want to be a mainstream pop band who frequently recorded some wimpy material or did they want to explore their Irish folk roots? The quartet tried to have it both ways, and unfortunately the two genres didn't always mesh well together. That uncertainty often lead to some schizophrenic and uneven albums.
With Home, their aptly named CD from 2006 - and their last before a lengthy, decade long hiatus - The Corrs finally appeared to have found a home. The band still sounds very much like they always did but the three sisters and their brother have completely embraced their colorful musical heritage and in the process produced their most intelligent, and therefore their best, CD ever. There are no original compositions on Home but it doesn't feel like a covers album because it honors their late mother, Jean Corr, and is filled with music they truly love. All of these songs are part of the songbook played by their mother's own band. The album is not a rote work of standards that artists on the decline often record out of desperation because they have lost their muse or throw together due to a contractual obligation.
Most of these folk songs are in the public domain. In addition, Richard Thompson's "Dimming Of the Day" and Anna McGarrigle's "Heart Like A Wheel" are combined with two very danceable, instrumental, Irish jigs with great titles: "Old Hag" and "Haste To The Wedding." The latter two feature many standard Irish folk instruments including tin whistles, uillean pipes, and bodhrans. Andrea Corr sings two songs in Gaelic. It all blends into a very fine modern pop album of Irish folk songs that I couldn't get out of my CD player for a long time no matter how hard I tried.