Album: The Corrs

Borrowed Heaven, Atlantic
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The Independent Culture

Their first album in four years finds The Corrs continuing the direction heralded on the Mutt Lange-produced tracks of 2000's In Blue, which encased the band's harmonies in a kind of shiny Teflon coating that rendered them all but untouchable. With Lange's associate Olle Romo at the helm this time, that untouchability has deepened: the opening track, "Summer Sunshine", has an odd, synthetic-sounding mix, closer to the soulless, cybernetic efficiency of dance music than the earthy rootsiness of folk music. It doesn't help that Andrea Corr's voice has been subjected to the kind of gimmicky vocoder effect that destroys the pristine vocal purity that is her hallmark. The folk roots are barely discernible now - apart from the closing "Silver Strand", based on a traditional Irish air, they're restricted to just a few isolated touches of Uillean pipes. Instead, the group appears to be reacting to changing currents in the pop mainstream: there's a distinct Dido-ish feel to numbers like "Hideaway" and "

Their first album in four years finds The Corrs continuing the direction heralded on the Mutt Lange-produced tracks of 2000's In Blue, which encased the band's harmonies in a kind of shiny Teflon coating that rendered them all but untouchable. With Lange's associate Olle Romo at the helm this time, that untouchability has deepened: the opening track, "Summer Sunshine", has an odd, synthetic-sounding mix, closer to the soulless, cybernetic efficiency of dance music than the earthy rootsiness of folk music. It doesn't help that Andrea Corr's voice has been subjected to the kind of gimmicky vocoder effect that destroys the pristine vocal purity that is her hallmark. The folk roots are barely discernible now - apart from the closing "Silver Strand", based on a traditional Irish air, they're restricted to just a few isolated touches of Uillean pipes. Instead, the group appears to be reacting to changing currents in the pop mainstream: there's a distinct Dido-ish feel to numbers like "Hideaway" and "Goodbye", while the group's version of the Bono/ Gavin Friday/ Maurice Seezer composition "Time Enough for Tears" (from the In America soundtrack) finds them keeping up with the Norah Joneses, with a limpid piano lullaby that even ends with a consolatory whisper, "I know - it's OK, it's OK." Which, for the most part, it is.

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