The Corrs - Borrowed Heaven

I'm guessing but I'd say that The Corrs were greeted on the east coast of the US like long-lost relatives, which, no doubt, is how they are looked upon by the Irish-American population resident there. Despite their forefathers having left the country decades before, before passing a sneering pity for Ireland through the generations, Irish Americans are lightining quick to haul in any old connection to the homeland no matter how threadbare it may appear.

Little wonder then that whilst Guiness, Bushmills and the Kennedy family are Ireland's most successful exports, I'm sure the paddywhackery of Riverdance was rushing in hard on their heels before the last year has seen in favour smaller venues as audiences dwindled. Anyone who's seen the show will recognise the blend of pop

Whilst The Corrs were no match for Riverdance, you can certainly understand how they were as warmly welcomed and claimed the prize that ought to have been In Tua Nua's some twenty years ago. What both bands and Riverdance did was to mix a modern Irish folk with pop and although it ebbs and flows in the music of The Corrs moreso than it did with In Tua Nua, particularly on In Blue, it does still make irregular appearances.

This latest album goes back to the sound of Talk On Corners and Forgiven Not Forgotten rather than the pop/rock of In Blue, meaning that the Irish traditional influences are now more pronounced. At times, however, this sound is forced into the songs in a rather heavy-handed fashion such as on Angel, wherein a driving coda brings the song to a close but elsewhere, as on Time Enough For Tears and Baby Be Brave, the use of violin and tin whistle is more sympathetic and the songs are better as a result.

With Borrowed Heaven, there is still a strong pop influence but one that is more tempered than it was on the ambitious but overreaching In Blue, an album that tried hard to move The Corrs' sound on but ended up being less impressive than its two predecessors. Therefore, the album still contains songs like Confidence For Quiet, which features a big, rock chorus, and Humdrum, a song that opens in a manner that's not dissimilar to Finlay Quaye's Supreme I Preme from Maverick A Strike. Elsewhere, Goodbye has a theme throughout it that recalls Coldplay's Clocks so it's a pity, then, that the album's opening song, Summer Sunshine, which is also its lead single, is both the least impressive and the least fitting song here, particularly as it begins with a guitar riff that's a match for John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John's You're The One That I Want.

There are some lovely songs on the album - Time Enough For Tears, Long Night and, best of all, Borrowed Heaven, which shows Andrea Corr setting a wonderful phrasing in the chorus to the music - and over repeated listenings it does get better but it's often so inconsequential as to be barely there. Doubtless those who feel in love with the music of The Corrs following Talk On Corners and Forgiven Not Forgotten will welcome them back as Borrowed Heaven simply distils their sound into something that approaches those album's best moments but there really isn't anything here to appeal to those who have as much passion for The Corrs as they do for the taste of water.

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