(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

The Coral (2002) , 6.5/10
Magic and Medicine (2003), 5/10
Nightfreak and the Sons of Becker (2004), 4/10
The Invisible Invasion (2005), 5/10
Roots & Echoes (2007), 6.5/10
Butterfly House (2010), 4.5/10
Bill Ryder-Jones: If (2011), 6/10
The Curse of Love (2014), 4/10
Distance Inbetween (2016), 5/10
Move through the Dawn (2018), 4/10
Coral Island (2021), 6/10

Liverpool's sextet Coral (vocalist James Skelly, guitarists Bill Ryder-Jones and Lee Southall, keyboardist Nick Power, bassist Paul Duffy, and drummer Ian Skelly) debuted with the single Shadows Fall (2001) and the EPs The Oldest Path (2001) and Skeleton Key (2002).

They harked back to the effervescent psychedelic Brit-pop of the mid-Sixties for The Coral (Deltasonic, 2002), a technicolor parade of catchy refrains such as Shadows Fall, Simon Diamond plus the early singles Dreaming of You and Goodbye.

Magic and Medicine (Deltasonic, 2003) lacked the nostalgic verve of the debut but became their greatest commercial success, spawning four hit singles, including Pass It On and Don't Think You're The First, although the most original song is perhaps Talkin' Gypsy Market Blues.

By the time that the awful mini-album Nightfreak and the Sons of Becker (2004) was released (it feels like a collection of leftovers that should have been left over), they had become just one of the many Brit-poppers on the planet.

The Invisible Invasion (2005) generally fails but it contains one of their purest pop arias, In The Morning. They returned to what they do best on Roots & Echoes (2007), a sort of business card by veteran oldies collectors.

Roots & Echoes (2007) is a diligent tribute to the 1960s, a perfect soundtrack for a nostalgic film (In The Rain, Put The Sun Back, Jacqueline and so on).

Singles Collection (2008) is a double-disk anthology.

Coral's guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones turned to movie soundtracks in the late 2000s and debuted solo with the orchestral soundtrack to an Italo Calvino novel, If (2011).

Butterfly House (2010), the first album without Bill Ryder-Jones, aimed for the softer tones of the 1960s, like the music of Simon & Garfunkel and the Byrds.

The Curse of Love (2014) is an unreleased album of 2006, a rather monotonous experience.

After a five-year hiatus, they regrouped with new guitarist Paul Molloy and released Distance Inbetween (2016), a more overtly retro-psychedelic collection (Connector, Miss Fortune, Holy Revelation).

Move through the Dawn (2018), instead, had no psychedelic vibe but the generic smooth pop sheen of the Electric Light Orchestra.

The ambitious double concept album Coral Island (2021) is a charming tribute to the age of the Zombies and the Kinks (Take Me Back to the Summertime), a lukewarm stew of jangling folk-rock, psychedelic pop, and bubblegum-pop.

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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