Monday, May 01, 2006

The Corrs - Home (2006)

Commercially The Corrs are 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 current CD, The Corrs finally appear to have found a home. The band still sounds very much like they always do 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 yet Home 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. Add in Richard Thompson's "Dimming Of the Day" and Anna McGarrigle's "Heart Like A Wheel." There are two very danceable instrumental Irish jigs with great titles: "Old Hag" and "Haste To The Wedding." Both 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 can't get out of my CD player no matter how hard I try.

1 comment:

  1. Nice review Charlie. I've actually been waiting for them to do an album like this since the day way back in 1996 when I saw them do an in-store performance at The Wiz to promote the impending release of their first album - back then they sounded exactly like what's on the Home cd. Also, I might add that although the Corrs are well represented on dvd with lots of good live shows, The Best of the Corrs dvd is essential for anyone who likes them even a little. It presents videos of all their singles up to 2002. After viewing this dvd I'd give it all up for Andrea Corr in a heartbeat.

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