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CD: The Corrs - Jupiter Calling | reviews, news & interviews

CD: The Corrs - Jupiter Calling

CD: The Corrs - Jupiter Calling

Twenty years on and the Irish family band still cut it

Jupiter Calling: recorded as live

Fresh from their triumphant return to the Royal Albert Hall last month, the Corrs – one of Ireland’s great Nineties exports – are back with a new album, the second since their 2015 comeback, White Light, and the seventh since their 1995 debut, Forgiven, Not Forgotten, thought it was Talk on Corners (1997) which made them international superstars. 

Jupiter Calling is produced by T Bone Burnett who presided over sessions that were, said Caroline Corr, “the most freeing experience we’ve ever had in the studio”. The 13 tracks were recorded as live, with minimal overdubs, an approach that would scare the bejesus out of many of today’s musicians. It’s what gives the album heart and soul, and draws you in from the opening acoustic guitar riff of “Son of Solomon”.

The blend of Celtic folk and soft rock marks them out still, a marriage of acoustic instruments with technology that was evident from the outset and the result of the influence of their late parents, musicians themselves who encouraged their children to learn a variety of instruments – penny whistle, ukulele, fiddle and bodhran are all part of the Corrs’ sound world, along with guitars and keyboards, augmented here by a 1966 Ludwig drum kit.

At the heart of Jupiter Calling is “SOS”, a song for Syria, “the most politically outspoken and evocative” song they’ve ever recorded and a neat expression of middle-class guilt and impotence: “There's pain on the border as far as the eyes can't see / And hell's getting busy while we're in the cheap seats / …Can you hear them crying, SOS / Someone help”.

But the subject of “No Go Baby” is braver by far – miscarriage, the pain of losing a baby, rarely something to sing about: “No go baby / I won’t hold you”. Andrea sings over minimalist accompaniment, curling piano figurations with violin counterpoint which float gently away. It’s these intimate, pared-down moments on Jupiter Calling which work best, emotionally and musically, though “Season of Our Love”, the most produced cut with some delicious sonorities, is among the album’s highlights.

“The Sun and the Moon”, the final track, grew out of studio improvisation. It is at once a prayer for peace and a meditation for the Corrs’ parents. Much of the vocal is wordless, supported by piano, guitar and drum. Echo, and the occasional shimmering cymbal, makes for an ethereal close. Corrs fans won’t be disappointed.

Liz Thomson's website

It’s the intimate, pared-down moments which work best, emotionally and musically

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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