The Invisible Invasion

Studio Album by released in 2005
The Invisible Invasion's tracklist:
She Sings the Mourning
Cripple's Crown
So Long Ago
The Operator
A Warning to the Curious
In the Morning
Something Inside of Me
Come Home
Far From the Crowd
Leaving Today
Arabian Sand
Late Afternoon

The Invisible Invasion review

When The Coral burst fully formed from James Skelly’s head in 2001, it was difficult not to be charmed. Their self-titled debut was patchy, certainly, but it had an abundance of ideas, a defiantly British eccentricity and a handful of irresistible tunes. There was a lot to thank The Coral for - almost single-handedly they saved Liverpool's music scene from being totally swamped by stocky guys ploddingly dreaming of getting to fetch supper for Noel Gallagher one day, and reconnected the city with its lost tradition of befuddled experimentation. Best of all was the band’s absurd youth – it seemed inevitable that they would progress, iron out those patches a little and take a step towards making something truly wonderful. Three years on from the release of their debut, The Coral continue to astound and baffle both avid listeners and detractors alike with their fourth album The Invisible Invasion, which sees the band attempting to expand their range.

Demented, fractious, febrile psychedelia? Jaunty, impish, unaffected pop? The joy of listening to a new The Coral record is you never quite know what you're going to get. The Invisible Invasion finds the band attempting to fuse both sides of their personality: So Long Ago romps along, guitar riffs billowing like kites in summer breezes, before being pushed aside by the unnerving miasma that is The Operator, all stabbing chords and skittering synths. A Warning To The Curious drifts up from Hades, viscous guitar notes dripping into the track's inky surface; that, though, is followed by the impossibly sunny In The Morning, whose infectious riff is one of the best things The Coral have ever written. Not everything on the album is so compelling, but any time you feel your attention drifting it gets snagged again by an impenetrably peculiar lyric or one of those weird, squiggly sounds only The Coral can produce.

The Invisible Invasion is still clearly a Coral album, but the chirpy psychedelia signature has been calmed down considerably and no longer dominates the speakers. Freed of the need to sound how people expect them to, the seven piece get the chance to show that they can turn in proper, craft-standard pop when they need to. One of the album's brightest moments, Arabian Sands, is inspired by a Salvador Dali painting, but the artist's influence is more crucial for the whole of The Invisible Invasion. Dali's position in art history is forever hobbled by the weight of his eccentric personality. The Coral have taken this as a warning, and changed their ways just in time to save themselves from the same fate. When you've got songs as good as Late Afternoon and So Long Ago, you don't need videos with men dressed as bears riding bicycles. The Invisible Invasion is far from a masterpiece, but it encouragingly signals a definite progression in The Coral’s thematic and arrangement skills and quietly asserts their rightful position somewhere near the top of current British bands. Which can only make that vaguely combative title especially appropriate.

(07.07.2005)
Rate review4.45
Total votes - 22


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