Great Reef No Barrier
Any group produced by Portisheadâ€šÃ„Ã´s Geoff Barrow and Adrian Utley canâ€šÃ„Ã´t be half bad. In the case of The Coralâ€šÃ„Ã´s newest album Invisible Invasion, calling them half good would be vastly understating matters. The seven (thatâ€šÃ„Ã´s right seven) members of the band flourish in Barrow and Utleyâ€šÃ„Ã´s expertly balanced production. Each of the groupâ€šÃ„Ã´s diverse songs cohesively works together without coming off as schizophrenic.Invisible Invasion has an overall pleasant britpop feel coated with just enough from varying genres as to never become stagnant. The upbeat ska melodies of â€šÃ„ÃºSomething Inside of Meâ€šÃ„Ã¹ has lead singer James Skelly riding up and down the rhythm irresistibly. â€šÃ„ÃºFar From the Crowdâ€šÃ„Ã¹ includes acoustic guitars played off against single blips of noise and sullen vocals. The late album track â€šÃ„ÃºArabian Sandâ€šÃ„Ã¹ borders on hard rock with vintage 60s keyboards while Skelly belts â€šÃ„ÃºCan you dance with the lepers in the madmanâ€šÃ„Ã´s house?â€šÃ„Ã¹ Even the pensive ballads like â€šÃ„ÃºLate Afternoonâ€šÃ„Ã¹ take on extra levels of sincerity thanks to some well-placed drone-y strings.
One of the strongest components, however, is the efficient bass playing of Paul Duffy. His powerful bottom end fretting could alone carry songs such as â€šÃ„ÃºCripples Crownâ€šÃ„Ã¹ where all elements of the band connect as it is.
Thereâ€šÃ„Ã´s nothing drastically revolutionary here. The Coral seem less concerned with reinventing the wheel and far more determined to craft inventive pop ditties. This is not to say the group glistens with over produced studio tricks to the point of annoyance, merely that they play a good simple song. Listen to â€šÃ„ÃºA Warning To The Curiousâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and see, thereâ€šÃ„Ã´s a bright future in store for this band.