Dripping with new ideas, fresh sounds + overall masterful creativity
Kieran Macadie
12:34 28th April 2021

More about:

After nearly two decades since the release of their debut album in 2002, The Coral are back with their epic new double album Coral Island, which is dripping with new ideas, fresh sounds, and overall masterful creativity which the band have clearly kept a tight grasp on since their emergence in the early 2000s.

The thematic double album is split into two parts, the first being the bright and optimistic Welcome To Coral Island, and the second being the darker, lonelier and moodier The Ghost Of Coral Island. The two juxtaposed discs give the record’s thematic concepts a sense of depth, at first misleading the listener into suspecting that the fictional Coral Island is a place of love, lust, and dreams. In part two, the transient, lonely lifestyles of the Island’s inhabitants become song, adding a sense of desolation and darkness to the record. 

Part one begins with Welcome to Coral Island, a 54 second spoken word track setting the scene of what seems to be a magical place of teenage lust, with background sounds of seagulls and waves suggesting Coral Island is akin to a quintessential British seaside town. The first side continues with great tracks such as the feel-good, catchy 'Lover Undiscovered', and memorable and brightly melodic tracks like 'Vacancy' and 'My Best Friend'. 

Part two is the weaker half of the album yet it still contains wonderful moments and almost expands the concept of Coral Island enough to create a lore, proving that the band’s ideas are extremely well conceptualised within the record. Highlights from the second half include the track 'Summertime' - which contains almost Beatles-esque vocal harmonies - the beautiful acoustic track 'Old Photographs' and the soulful penultimate track 'The Calico Girl'.

Speaking of The Beatles, Coral Island could easily be considered as The Coral’s White Album. Both records are an expansive, epic collection of tracks crammed with fresh ideas and astonishing heights of creativity. What’s most impressive is that The Coral have managed to do this within the confines of a thematic concept.

Despite adding depth and lore to the conceptualised record, the extent of spoken word interludes throughout does affect the album’s flow, making it slower paced than it probably should be. Despite this, the inclusion of the nine interludes absolutely has creative justification. 

The trip to Coral Island is certainly an enjoyable one. It’s deep, emotional, and musically fresh. After two decades of making music, The Coral have proven they’ve kept hold of their drive and creativity, and they hopefully keep that tight grip in the future. Even if Coral Island pier has a helter-skelter, we don’t want a downward spiral anytime soon.

Coral Island arrives 30 April.

More about:

Photo: Press