Andrea Corr - Ten Feet High
Review by Jack Foley
WHILE other members of The Corrs decided to take time out to raise families, youngest sister Andrea decided to pursue a solo career.
The results are incredibly promising. Debut album Ten Feet High provides a terrific showcase for her beautiful vocals as well as a flight of fancy for the singer that embraces a number of different styles.
Having been introduced to producer Nellee Hooper by mutual friend Bono, Andrea leapt at the opportunity to work with someone she had previously admired for her work with the likes of Bjork and Massive Attack.
And some of those influences are clear on Ten Feet High, which embraces an upbeat pop sensibility that’s totally different from The Corrs.
Lead single Shame On You (To Keep My Love From Me) is a prime example – a deceptively pretty song that’s built around some fluttery melodies, but which actually gives rise to a much heavier message.
As Andrea states: “It’s about conscription and war, a protest song through the prism of love, and how these men and women who go off to war are leaving behind partners they will never marry and children they will never see.”
With that in mind, the chorus possesses an extra gravitas and it’s emphatically delivered by Andrea.
Elsewhere, album opener Hello Boys is an electronic, scuzzy footstomper that takes its cues from Goldfrapp and Bjork more than the Irish roots of The Corrs. It’s very much a statement of intent from Andrea that announces her arrival in supremely confident fashion.
It’s followed by the equally bouncy Anybody There, a lovelorn offering that does include some trademark vocals – but which also drops some harder hitting lyrics.
There are moments, of course, when the album comes over a little more sentimental such as the impossibly sweet I Do, about a fairytale wedding – but even then, the glockenspiel melody and kooky vocal style owes more than a passing resemblance to the likes of Psapp.
Title track Ten Feet High, is one of only a handful of tracks that fail to register as strongly – its onerous use of string-backed melody a little generic and bland.
But whenever the album threatens to become lazy, it does something to win you back. The supremely slick Champagne Through A Straw, for instance, is another immensely catchy number that’s delivered with relish by Andrea as she comments on the vagaries of a celebrity lifestyle. Its chorus embraces an almost tipsy, calypso sensibility.
The stripped back, acoustic strummed This Is What It’s All About is an achingly romantic interlude from the poppy beats that again showcases Andrea’s lovely vocals, while her electro-heavy cover of Squeeze’s Take Me I’m Yours is another example of a successful reinterpretation.
By the time the album reaches its bittersweet final track Ideal World, a whimsical lament about the hopeless pursuit of a perfect life that makes several clever observations, Andrea should have you converted.
Ten Feet High is an album that marks her out as a very good solo artist in her own right and it’s one of the best pop releases of the year so far. There is very definitely life beyond The Corrs for her.
Download picks: Hello Boys, Champagne From A Straw, This Is What It’s All About, Take Me I’m Yours, Ideal World