The first Coral album I bought was their self titled one debut. I loved that album, if it had a 'big song' it was Dreaming of You and by big song I mean that they played it on Conan one night and that I could actually find a video for it.
Dreaming of You was catchy as hell and the rest of album was pretty sweet too. They got called 'pirate rock' cause of their sound. They had a lot of references to treasure or skeleton keys or sailing and the like. Either way, the whole album was a delight to listen to. The standout tracks include Waiting for Heartaches, Skeleton Key, Shadows Fall, Goodbye and of course, Dreaming of You.
Then I bought their second (and third?) album, Magic and Medicine. I liked it, but not as much as their first one. Gone was the 'pirateness' of The Coral. Some songs still stuck out however. Bill McCai is far and away my favorite track on the CD. It's about a middle aged man who doesn't exactly care for his life. Maybe it sounded a little bit like Dreaming of You, I'm not sure, but either way, I love it. I love the chorus (And everyday when he gets the train/Looks out the window and thinks in vain/If I could only be that boy again) it's bouncy and fun (plus there's a lot of cowbell). My only complaint is that the song only clocks in at 2:37, I could've gone for a lot more. Magic and Medicine has more folk elements to it (when compared to The Coral), the album it reminds me of the most is The Kinks' Muswell Hillbillies. I like the CD a ton, just not as much as their debut, but the highights on the CD are: Liezah, Don't Think You're the First, Pass it On and my favorite track Bill McCai. Though, no matter what the songs sound like, the Coral always seem to have a weird undercurrent to their tunes.
Magic and Medicine came with two dics though. The other was Nightfreak and the Sons of Becker, a album of weird songs and weirder lyrics. I'm not gonna lie, I never got into this album and only gave it a few listens; nothing really stood out to me. The longest song is at 3:15 (Sorrow or the Song) and the shortest is Why Does the Sun Come Up? (clocking in at 0:38). Needless to say, it's a weird album, mostly experiemental stuff, and I'm glad it came free with Magic and Medicine, so I didn't spend money on it.
Which brings us to their newest album, Invisible Invasion, what was I in for? Was it a return to the pirate rock? Was it more weird shit? Was there going to be one song I absolutely loved? Was the album going to be worth it? In order, no, kinda, of course and yes.
The was no long awaited return to the pirate rock I loved on their debut... however, the weird shit I love about this band is alive and well. Listen to Arabian Sand. Delightful. Was there one song that just stood out and was welcomed into my list of "songs I would put on mix CDs for my friends"? Yes, and that song is their first single from this album, In the Morning. What a sunny, bouncy song. This song should be huge, it should be in movies, it should be on the radio. I love it. The band is still dark and weird, and I don't want to say less experiemental, but I think definitely more accessible. So Long Ago has a jangly folk rock feel to it while The Operator has a harder, driving feel to it. A Warning to the Curious sounds like it belongs on the first box set of Nuggets, it belongs right in the middle of the 60s. Anyway, unless you couldn't tell, the CD is definitely worth 15 bucks. In the Morning by itself is worth $15.
Anyway, that's my brief history with The Coral. If you don't want to check out the albums, fine. But do youself a favor and download Dreaming of You, Bill McCai and In the Morning, you won't regret it.