Butterfly House

Studio Album by released in 2010
Butterfly House's tracklist:
More Than a Lover
Roving Jewel
Walking in the Winter
Sandhills
Butterfly House
Green Is the Colour
Falling All Around You
Two Faces
She's Comin' Around
1000 Years
Coney Island
North Parade

Butterfly House review

Time of changes for The Coral

Quite an interesting situation we have around the Liverpool band The Coral. These lads started out impressively after releasing an amazing eponymous debut album which was later followed by a streak of CDs issued annually. And everything was roses. Since the very beginning, the audience liked the way the musicians who were doing basically pop-oriented material, managed to bring in something of psychedelic and Brit-pop. Technically simple pieces by The Coral sounded intelligent and mysterious; and the ensemble seemed to carry on like that on and on. At some moment, actually, this confidence in the band’s success turned into predictability. Listeners knew that next year they will have another set of fresh songs from the good outfit, and they also knew what these songs would be like. The story developed this way until the year of 2007 when The Coral dropped Roots & Echoes. Slight stylistic amendments and lower sales caused by them disappointed the band’s founder Bill Ryder-Jones who shortly afterwards quit. In 2008, the musicians, despite the expectations, did not present anything new. Nor did they release an album in 2009. Studio effort number five , titled Butterfly House, came out only in 2010, and this fact was already something off the ordinary.

Grief prevails over joy

Not only did Ryder-Jones’s departure push The Coral to release full-lengths more rarely, but it also caused changes in the ensemble’s music. Together with the established producer John Lekie, the participants of the band made a decision to move further towards more rock-based sound and pay more attention to guitar. A three-year break freed enough time for the men to write a great many songs with eighteen out of them to go to the final version of Butterfly House. The CD is opened by emotional tracks More Than A Lover, and Roving Jewel. These are examples of light and relaxing pop-rock with careless mood. Completely different feelings are conveyed by the single 1000 Years, whose psychedelic spirit carries you to the times far away from today. Yet the most powerful tracks on the whole record are those taking a more melancholic tune, the title Butterfly House, and the acoustic Falling Around You, beginning and ending with a supreme piano line. Those tending to be rather sad than fun happened to be more attractive here. Finally, one may doubt the suitability of North Parade. Unexpectedly accented guitars without a catchy tune make listening to this song quite a questionable pleasure.

The Coral music turns more serious and variegated

Recording eighteen tracks for just one album is a risky idea. Fortunately, The Coral keep on delivering interesting melodies clad in nice arrangements, which guarantees you a good time while listening to this many songs. Most of the Butterfly House compositions bear a sensation of peaceful psychedelic character, a trademark of the band’s earlier works. In the meantime, The Coral recorded a number of mid-tempo pieces that give you a chill of autumnal grief instead of warmth of summer cheering. The labor over the sound was immense, and this can be seen from several points of view. Of course, the crystal clean sounding provides each separate instrument with an ability to render exactly the emotions projected by the musicians. On the other hand, The Coral lost their relative sloppiness that marked the ensemble’s previous efforts and made them somewhat more peculiar. The songs from Butterfly House are more emotional because of the intensive sound, again thank to wider use of guitar. The Coral grew older and wiser; so, their music got more serious. Is this a new direction for the musicians to follow? Hopefully, they will keep on working on the diversity of their material.

Alex Bartholomew (29.07.2010)
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