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The Coronas – Closer To You (Review)

The Coronas, Closer To You

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

IRELAND’S The Coronas have the distinction of now being the current biggest selling independent group in their home country, while their platinum selling 2009 album Tony Was An Ex-Con won the prestigious Meteor Award for album of the year, beating the likes of U2, The Script and Snow Patrol.

Their latest, Closer To You, aims to repeat the trick and is a solid pop-rocker that boasts production values from studio legend Tony Hoffer (Air, Beck, The Kooks, Belle and Sebastian).

It’s shot through catchy, melodic guitar based tracks one of which, the former single Addicted To Progress, remained in the top 5 Irish Airplay charts for over 13 weeks.

Things get off to a rip-roaring start with the slide guitar laden What You Think You Know, complete with foot-stomping beats, and a bluesy set of vocals that give rise to a “whoo whoah” laden chorus. It’s a strong start.

The sound becomes a little more light-weight and radio friendly on the soaring Mark My Words, a song that has a similarly catchy approach to that former single, Addicted To Progress, with its siren-like guitars and easygoing hooks.

But I think The Coronas are better when adding a little more edge to their material, or slowing down the tempo and coming over all moody… a la Goo Goo Dolls at their best, or Snow Patrol maybe.

Title track Closer To You, for instance, is a slow-burner that has another insistent hook and a powerhouse chorus but a nice sense of restraint and a good, evolving tempo.

Dreaming Again has a nice sense of romanticism about it lyrically but is under-played nicely instrumentally… it also wears its Irish roots on its sleeve without necessarily slapping them in your face. And it’s companion track, Dreaming Again Part 2 (Wait For You), has one of the most effortlessly ear-pleasing melodies on the LP, plus a chorus that’s insanely catchy. It could be another huge single in waiting.

I also liked the stripped back, acoustic My God, which again sounds resolutely Irish yet somehow intimate and heartfelt (and shot through with insecurity), while Different Ending starts off as a moving piano-led ballad before building into something more powerful and similarly heartfelt.

Album closer Make It Happen then ends the album on a solid note by returning to the edginess of the opening track, albeit with a more brooding style until the vocals kick in and catch you off-guard with the way the record changes pace. It then repeats the build-up and delivery to pleasing effect.

It remains to be seen whether The Coronas can enjoy as much success in the British chart as they have with the Irish one but Closer To You comes equipped with enough to give it a very good shot and should win them over a lot of new fans.

Download picks: What You Think You Know, Closer To You, Dreaming Again Part 2 (Wait For You), My God, Make It Happen

Track listing:

  1. What You Think You Know
  2. Mark My Words
  3. Closer To You
  4. Dreaming Again
  5. Blind Will Lead The Blind
  6. Addicted To Progress
  7. My God
  8. Dreaming Again Part 2 (Waiting For You)
  9. Write To Me
  10. Different Ending
  11. Make It Happen