Band members Related acts
line up 1 ()
- Andrea Corr - lead vocals, tin whistle,
- Caroline Corr -- drums, percussion, keyboards, backing vocals
- Jim Corr -- guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
- Sharon Corr -- violin, backing vocals
- Jason Duffy -- drums
- Keith Duffy -- bass
- Anthony Drennan -- guitar
- Kienan Kiely -- keyboards, accordion
- John O'Brien -- programming, synthesizers
- Andre Corr (solo efforts)
- Sharon Corr (solo efforts)
Rating: 4 stars ****
Title: Borrowed Heaven
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: CD format
Available: not for sale
Catalog ID: not for sale
Price: not for sale
The Corrs' first studio release in four years, 2004's "Borrowed Heaven" may be the last time I was actually excited to buy a new album. It's funny, but I can remember playing the CD in my Jeep and being told in no uncertain terms by my older son that it was an un-cool purchase. It may have been un-cool, but my aging ears have always enjoyed the collection. Yeah, I'll readily admit the collection found the band beginning to show signs of wear and tear and artistic fatigue. The occasional attempts to update their sound weren't always successful; the electronica and rap-influenced 'Humdrum' was either going to make you smile at their willingness to experiment, or simply cringe in horror. Their attempts to go retro were equally marginal. The lone Celtic instrumental 'Silver Strand' was tagged to the end of the collection and while it was pretty enough, sounded like a throwaway performance, perhaps intended to console their Celtic-era fans. Similarly, the lone non-original, the Bono-penned 'Time Enough for Tears' sounded like an MOR-Christmas carol that mistakenly was included in the final album mix. But underlying those shortcomings this was still a Corrs album which meant it was highly commercial, full of radio friendly melodies and those instantly recognizable, glistening harmonies. Plenty of favorites on this one including the singles 'Summer Sunshine' and 'Angel'. That said, the title track (featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo on backing vocals), was an amazing performance and I'll even admit that 'Humdrum' was worth hearing. Nice late inning addition to their catalog.
Heaven" track listing:
The glistening 'Summer Sunshine' opened the album with what amounted to a full tilt return to their original pop roots. Immediately infectious, you simply couldn't shake this one out of your head. Quite a problem for folks who weren't Corrs fans. Atlantic wasted no time tapping this as the leadoff single. Atlantic released a promotional video for the tune, though it was hardly the most inspirational concept you've ever seen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BWBk1IjxgM .
2.) Angel (Andrea Corr - Caroline Corr - Jim Corr - Sharon Corr) - 3:26 rating: **** stars
Dedicated to their late mother Jean, the combination of John O'Brien's programming and what sounded like Keith Duffy's fuzz bass, and acoustic guitar made 'Angel' even more commercial than the leadoff track. Atlantic tapped it as another single, along with another promotional video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baQQhoUHvas .
3.) Hideaway (Andrea Corr - Caroline Corr - Jim Corr - Sharon Corr) - 3:17 rating: **** stars
Pushing the synthesizers to the forefront, 'Hideaway' started out as a pretty ballad, complete with the sisters wonderful harmony vocals. As it rolled along, aided by some nice Jim Corr and Tim Pierce electric guitar, the tune picked up speed and energy. The slightly ominous undercurrent gave the tune a nice edge.
4.) Long Night (Andrea Corr - Caroline Corr - Jim Corr - Sharon Corr) - 3:47 rating: *** stars
Every time I write off one of their tunes as just another throwaway mournful ballad, The Corrs managed to pull something out of their bag of tricks that surprises me. In the case of 'Long Night' the saving grace was the sisters' stunning harmonies and Sharon's brief violin solo (and I don't even like violin). Yes, there was another promotional video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rh1JsvFKgX4
5.) Goodbye (Andrea Corr - Caroline Corr - Jim Corr - Sharon Corr) - 4:11 rating: *** stars
Even though it was clearly written with commercial intents, 'Goodbye' was the first tune that didn't register with me. Andrea and company just sounded like they were trying a tad too hard this time out. And the video can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oj9X3unZ6UU
6.) Time Enough for Tears (Bono - Gavin Friday - Maurice Seezer) - 5:03 rating: *** stars
The album's lone cover, 'Time Enough for Tears" was penned by band friend Bono. Recorded for the Jim Sheridan movie "In America", it should not come as a surprise to learn the song sounded unlike anything else on the album and in this case that wasn't a good thing since Bono saddled the band with a plodding, MOR-ish ballad that sounded like a Christmas carol that had somehow ended up in a corner lunge. Pretty bad.
7.) Humdrum (Andrea Corr - Caroline Corr - Jim Corr - Sharon Corr)- 3:43 rating: **** stars
Hum, ever wondered what The Corrs would sound like if they dipped their collective toes into urban rap and dance music ? Hearing the 'scratching' opening and Andrea's rap-styled lead vocals was momentarily jarring, but their patented sound ultimately won the day. Probably not a career direction for the band, but when all was said and done, the results were actually far better than you would have expected. Rather hear this than some European band trying to record a reggae tune. Not sure where it came from, but YouTube has a nifty clip of the song in an acoustic setting:: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53K2ERxhz0c
8.) Even If (Andrea Corr - Caroline Corr - Jim Corr - Sharon Corr) - 3:03 rating: *** stars
Okay, I'll admit that their songs occasionally start to sound alike ... The sparkly 'Even If' was one of those tunes that sounded like it had been cobbled together from leftover parts of earlier tunes. Not bad, but you couldn't help but play where-have-I-heard-that-before when the song came on.
9.) Borrow Heaven (Andrea Corr - Caroline Corr - Jim Corr - Sharon Corr)- 3;11 rating: **** stars
With a hypnotic, percussion heavy rhythm, Ladysmith Black Mambazo on backing vocals, and some nifty contemporary production effects, the title track was different enough to catch your ear, yet remain highly attractive to folks who loved their classic Celtic-pop sound. Kind of a Peter Gabriel-meets-Johnny Clegg vibe going on and it was one of the album standouts with some thoughtful lyrics that should strike a chord with believers and non-believers alike. YouTube has a wonderful performance of the track from a 2004 appearance in Geneva. For anyone who doubted Caroline could actually drum, check this one out : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhbStcxhOZ4
10.) Confidence for Quiet (Andrea Corr - Caroline Corr - Jim Corr - Sharon Corr) - 3:11 rating: *** stars
'Confidence for Quiet' found the band seemingly trying to up the rock quotient. Competent, but hardly one of the most memorable tunes.
11.) Baby Be Brave (Andrea Corr - Caroline Corr - Jim Corr - Sharon Corr) - 3:58 rating: **** stars
Probably the album's overlooked surprise, showcasing more of John O'Brien's synthesizer programming, 'Baby Be Brave' was another tune that successfully updated their pop roots with a touch of contemporary studio effects. Kicked along by Andrea's desperate vocal, this was a nice, urgent sounding rocker that should have been a massive hit for the group.
12.) Silver Strand (instrumental) (Andrea Corr - Caroline Corr - Jim Corr - Sharon Corr) - 4:26 rating: *** stars
Apparently written for the debut album, but shelved, 'Silver Strand' briefly gave Sharon the spotlight. A pretty, highly orchestrated number clearly meant to appeal to their more traditional folk following. To my ears it sounded like something that could have been lifted from a Mark Knopfler soundtrack. Another live, acoustic clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeRuJPivtvg
Atlantic released three singles off the album, though only the first saw a US release:
- 2004's 'Summer Sunshine'
- 2004's 'Summer'
- 2004's 'Long Night'
Backed by an extensive tour and the singles, the album sold well throughout the world, with the curious exception of the States where it peaked at # 61on the album charts.
Rating: 3 stars ***
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: CD format
Available: not for sale
Catalog ID: not for sale
Price: not for sale
"Home" track listing:
1.) My Lagan Love
2.) Spancill Hill
3,) Peggy Glendin
4.) Black Is the Colour
5.) Heart Like a Wheel
6.) Buachill On Eirne
7.) Old Hug
8.) Moodough Shore
9.) Old Town
10.) Dimming of the Day
11.) Brid Og Ni Mhaille
12.) Haste to the Wedding
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Home is The Corrs' fifth and last studio album. An Irish-themed album, it includes covers of old Irish songs and traditionals, but also covers of non-Irish songs such as "Heart Like A Wheel". It includes two tracks in Irish, "Buachaill Ón Éirne" and "Bríd Óg Ní Mháille"; and three instrumentals, "Old Hag (You Killed Me)", "Haste To The Wedding", and "Return From Fingal". Home was compiled from a songbook of the late Jean Corr (their mother). The album was released exactly 10 years after the release of their first album Forgiven, Not Forgotten.
Although The Corrs returned to their Irish roots, the success of this album and its singles has been poor.
"Old Town" performed poorly in the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number 43. The decision to cover and release the song was questioned, with Gareth Maher of CLUAS.com calling it "a disastrous one". Mark Weisinger from PopMatters stated that "anyone who has been waiting since the original, unremixed version of Talk On Corners for the Corrs to abandon their pursuit of the American pop charts to deliver another record along the lines of Forgiven, Not Forgotten will finally find their waiting repaid handsomely." The studio recording of "Haste to the Wedding" on Home is sometimes compared unfavorably to the live version on the In Blue Special Edition.
Despite album and singles sales below expectations, the album did manage to sell over one million copies worldwide. This is their 5th consecutive #1 studio album in Irish.
All songs written by The Corrs, except where noted.
Charts and certifications
The title of the Corrs' fifth full-length studio album, Home, alludes to the fact that the family quartet is returning to its Celtic roots after spending several years pursuing crossover pop success. Not that the group has abandoned the perks of its international fame -- this time around, they've gotten superstar producer Mitchell Froom to helm the recording -- nor has the group ever been a strictly traditional Celtic group; even on their debut album they worked with producer David Foster, best known for his adult contemporary hits for Celine Dion and Whitney Houston, which isn't exactly traditional. In fact, Froom helps guide the Corrs to make their most traditional Celtic album ever, while retaining the pleasingly polished production of their crossover pop albums. Home also has a shade of the artiness that has marked Froom's past productions -- he doesn't simply let the music breathe, he has it paint soundscapes -- without getting overwhelmed with trickery. He lets the Corrs takes center stage and they've never sounded better than they do here, due both to the recording and the excellent song selection. The quartet relies heavily on a songbook of their late mother, but among these traditional songs they weave in such contemporary classics as Anna McGarrigle's "Heart Like a Wheel" and Richard Thompson's "Dimming of the Day," while adding Phil Lynott's "Old Town" for a welcome, lighthearted change of pace. It all adds up to a rich, resonant album that's the Corrs' best to date.
When Wolfe wrote this line, providing the title for his final semi-autobiographical novel, he was living as an expatriate of his hometown in the American South, sentenced to exile, reviled in his community much like kindred spirit William Faulkner. His crime, like Faulkner’s, was using thinly veiled reconfigurations of people and events in his town in order to expose the ugly underbelly of Southern prejudice and hatred. He was predictably ostracized, but not before delivering what is considered by many to be one of the greatest novels of the 20th century. No one would consider Wolfe’s observations to be a tribute, but rather a harsh critical reaction, and his subsequent shunning was almost certainly inevitable. Such “warts and all” honesty never plays to Peoria, especially if you’re from Peoria, because no one wants to be reminded of their shortcomings, either as individuals or as a society. People seek comfort.
The Corrs are a band that provides such comfort in their songs. Never ones to play too close to the fires of uncomfortable truth, they paint in broad strokes of idealization. While some would condemn this as unchallenging or patronizing, it, too, has its place. No one says that you have to be a misanthropic to be honest (for anyone who would argue, take the Beastie Boys’ celebration of New York’s culture and society in most of its great albums as evidence to the contrary). The Corrs’ truths are often similarly sentimental, but where the Beastie Boys choose to pay respect to the rougher edges of their birthplace and its prostitutes, crack dealers and crooked cops, the Corrs’ remembrances are more muted, rendered in watercolor sweeps of sentimentality. Never has this been truer than on the album Home.
From the opening piano figure of first track, “My Lagan Love”, one immediately senses that this is their love letter to their native Ireland. A breezy Celtic-influenced melody winds its way through an Irish folk rhythm, supplemented by a majestic sweeping orchestra that, placed against the lilting strains of a tin whistle, seems to conjure almost mythic images of rolling green hills and lush marshes. The second track “Spancil Hill” confirms, as its circular refrain gives way at the end to a hypnotic jig. By the third track, the mournful, haunting “Peggy Gordon”, if you close your eyes, you can nearly smell the foam crashing against the rocks beneath a grassy, panoramic cliff.
Anyone wishing for the Corrs to deliver one of their bouncy Mutt Lange-produced pop gems has, by this point, almost certainly left the building. But those who remain will find treasure after treasure, as the wistful “Black Is the Colour” leads into a beautiful and subtle reading of chestnut “Heart Like a Wheel” that makes Linda Ronstadt’s version sound nearly burlesque in its overwrought emotion. This is not to say that the album has no moments of boundless bliss. The Phil Lynott-penned “Old Town” may well be the single catchiest song they’ve recorded since “Breathless”. But with its Todd Rundgren beat and Piccadilly Square orchestral flourishes, it’s almost certainly too defiantly retro to have much of an impact on a pop chart dominated by divas and hip-hop chant-a-longs.
But perhaps the album’s greatest moments come when the Corrs break into one of their by now near-legendary instrumentals. These are the moments that fans often come to see in their live shows, and the two here (“Old Hag” and “Haste to the Wedding”) donҒt disappoint. If you don’t at least tap your feet or shake your head side-to-side in a “Riverdance” motion, you may need to see a doctor to assure you still have a pulse. Nearly as mesmerizing, however is the acapella intro to the Gaelic-sung “Brid Og Ni Mhaille”, proving that the band is as diverse as it is talented.
If there is a criticism of this album, it is only that it seems to go by too quickly. The over 45-minute playing time is certainly respectable (a few of the recent, much shorter Weezer albums have regrettably seemed a lot longer), but one is left wanting more. Still, such quibbling aside, anyone who has been waiting since the original, unremixed version of Talk On Corners for the Corrs to abandon their pursuit of the American pop charts to deliver another record along the lines of Forgiven, Not Forgotten will finally find their waiting repaid handsomely. Maybe you cant go home again, but if you never really leave, as the Corrs obviously havenҒt, and if you can make home sound this welcoming, perhaps you can find a way to bring the rest of the world home to you.
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