It’s easy to take The Coral for granted so prolific was their early form with new albums arriving each successive year. Surprisingly then there was a gap followed by the regrettably pedestrian Roots & Echoes and The Singles Collection and with the loss of lead guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones many began to question whether we had seen the last of them.
On the contrary latest record Butterfly House sees the Merseyside quintet reborn to deliver arguably their best, most complete album yet. There’s no big shocks or surprises, still the signature fusion of 60’s psychedelia, folk and rock but thankfully they sound as though they are enjoying music once more.
While others are obsessed with the 80’s synth revival The Coral have stuck to their guns, conjuring up what they do best, rich guitar gems. It’s all delivered with a reassuring air of calm and confidence with lots of sumptuous hooks, intricate arrangements and lush melodies, topped off by Skelly’s rich and distinctive vocals – see ‘1000 years’, ‘Roving Jewel’ and ‘Walking in the Winter’. It’s not all plain sailing as the missing edge to their sound has returned too with ‘She’s Coming Around’, ‘North Parade’ and title track ‘Butterfly House’.
It’s a triumphant return with one of the years most unlikely candidates for album of the year, they are certainly still a force to be reckoned with.
Mp3: The Coral – More Than A Lover