From the Green Isle comes a foursome where talent and harmonies abound. The Corrs latest album, Home, is a blend of music and story, as all good Irish songs are. Here Andrea, Sharon, Caroline, and Jim combine instrumental path with traditional storytelling in what comes out to being the new way of Irish folk rock. Home is an array of images described in song and melody that forms vivid daydreams of plush green valleys and white rolling hills with friendly people to meet you at every pub.
The Irish language itself has a rhythm all its own, and here on Home the Corrs have taken that element one step further. “My Lagan Love” is the first breeze to blow off the album with its marching-drum beat and lone piano. “Like a lovesick lenanshee/She hath my heart in thrall/No life have I, no liberty/With love is lord of all”. Here the Celtic rhythms of speech, along with the drum, joins with the gentle sounds of the string instruments to form a choir that echoes the sorrows of the past, yet brings about the hopes of today.
“Black Is The Colour” is the fourth song on the disc. It has a less traditional sound in the melody, yet the words of the song keep the old rhythm. “I write him letters just a few shor’ lines/And I suffer death ten thousand times”. Here the wordsmithing brings the sorrows of the old Ireland to the realm of the new Ireland.
Haunting and sadness is at the root of this song and Andrea’s voice holds strong the whole way through. Just as it is on “Heart like a Wheel”, another song of Irish sorrow, that can only be told by Andrea’s sweet voice. As the piano plays gently with a few violins backing them up, “Heart Like a Wheel” touches anyone who’s been in love.
“Buachaill On Eirne” and “Brid Og Ni Mhaille” are two tracks sung entirely in Gaelic; don’t worry, the liner notes have the translations, but why bother. Both these songs have a beauty all their own. “Bucachaill On Eirne” is about a cocky Irish lad who would likes to charm the ladies, while “Brid Og Ni Mhaille” tells once again the sad Irish tale of love. These lyrics have no chorus, they simply tell a tale as the music sweetly rolls along.
“Old Hag” is the only instrumental on the CD, and it is rooted in the old Gaelic style with whistles, drums, violins, guitars, and what sounds like a banjo. It reminds me of the fight scene in John Wayne’s movie The Quiet Man. “Old Town” is the only non-traditional sounding song on the whole CD. It’s up-tempo beat gives it a pop sound. It’s a nice song with words in the “storytelling style” but it lacks the roots of the “old Irish” sound that is throughout the rest of the disc.
The Corrs have intertwined their pop-rock sound with ideas and images of their homeland, and that is why Home is a perfect name for this album. At home we know the hills and the valleys, the dirt roads and the busy streets, and like the Corrs our hearts yearn to be there. Home brings not only the Corrs back, but it takes us along for the ride.