The Coral, ‘The Invisible Invasion’

Back with their fourth album in three years, Scouse scamps The Coral have never really been away since they released their self-titled debut, and the result seems to be that their sound hasn’t moved on much since then. The Invisible Invasion is pretty much more of the same psychedelic jangly pop, but this time it sounds watered down and frankly it isn’t a patch on past efforts.

Much has been made in the music press of the presence of former Portishead knob-twiddlers Geoff Barrow and Adrian Utley on production duties, but they don’t seem to have made any significant contribution to the sound. Instead, the band have crafted twelve pleasant pop songs that may fit in well on the radio playlists but don’t offer the originality and exhilaration of previous efforts.

If an album could be damned by faint praise, this would be it. The Invisible Invasion is simply ‘quite good.’ At less than forty minutes long, it’s brief and most memorable song is lead single In The Morning which has quite rightly been all over the radio in recent weeks. On this, James Skelly actually sounds like he can sing. Meanwhile Arabian Sand sounds like the Zutons, and So Long Ago reminded me of Belle and Sebastian. There is nothing wrong with anything here, it just doesn’t do anything new.

(Jenny Lee)

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