Home Read Classic Album Review: The Coral | Magic And Medicine

Classic Album Review: The Coral | Magic And Medicine

The teenage Scouse gits unfortunately fall victim to the dreaded sophomore slump.


This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Damn. If there was one band I was counting on to avoid the sophomore slump, it was these geezers.

The Coral’s self-titled CD was one of last year’s standout debuts — pitch-perfect nuggets of ’60s Sunset Strip garage-pop and acid-rock, lovingly reproduced by a gaggle of teenage Scouse gits. But alas, all good trips must end — and in The Coral’s case, the downer comes in the form of the disappointing followup Magic And Medicine. This 11-track disc is sadly lacking in both titular elements — along with the Turtles melodies, Love grooves and Beefheartian absurdity that marked their debut. Too many of these cuts are sluggish, low-wattage acoustic numbers, and even the few that aren’t (like the snappy Talkin’ Gypsy Market Blues) start off admirably enough, but never really seem to summon up the gumption go anywhere. The Coral’s verisimilitude remains remarkable — with all the paisley jangle and go-go thump and underproduction and trippy-hippie lyrics, you’d swear these cuts came off one of your dad’s old ’60s albums. Too bad most of them sound like they came off the end of Side 2. Bummer, man.


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