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The Album and Artist ~'Best Wishes'~
The main band consist of Andrea Corr - lead vocals, tin whistle, Sharon Corr - violin, vocals, Caroline Corr - drums, piano, bodhrán, vocals, Jim Corr - guitar, piano, keyboards, vocals.
The Best Of The Corrs ~ 2001 UK is an eighteen track CD album 'featuring previously unreleased recordings remixes and unplugged material'. My son purchased this album for me as an MP3 download from Amazon. With over one hour and ten minutes playing time, this album is very reasonably priced in any format!
~My Listening Experience ~ 'Best Regards'!~
The first 3:27 track "Would You Be Happier?" is a single that was released in 2001 taken from this album. The intro lets you know that you're going to be in for a catchy tune. There are strong instrumentals that flow throughout the song giving it a great rhythmic flow that had me toe tapping along with the beat. Ironically, the lyrics seem to contravene the happy fun loving tune, with its somber lyrical content of, 'wanna disappear inside a dream..But never wanna wake..Then you stumble on tomorrow, And trip over today'. If at times I get caught up with the more pessimistic lyrics as opposed to the up-beat instrumentals, it can affect my mood. But, with Andrea's reassuring dulcet vocals and beautifully supportive intonations from her siblings ends the song on a high note, of repeating the optimistic chorus of 'Don't worry darling, I think you are going to be just fine'!
The next very popular song, 'So Young' is one of my all-time favourites, with its cheerful and heartening melody, and at 4:12 it affords enough time to truly enjoy. So Young" was written by Sharon Corr and apparently refers to her parents, Gerry and Jean Corr, who in her eyes were 'forever young'! In typical youthful expressions of feeling like immortals with time to accomplish anything and everything Andrea enthusiastically booms out the lyrics, 'We are chasin the moon just runnin' wild and free, We are following through every dream and every need, And it really doesn't matter if we don't eat, And it really doesn't matter that we never sleep, No, it really doesn't matter, really doesn't matter at all'. And i agree that it 'really doesn't matter at all' that even at my age, I can wholeheartedly sing along as if I were eighteen again, with new choices to be made and thinking I had the time to accomplish them all! The backings of Andrea's siblings add to the youthful fun flow of the rhythm.
The third track is of the folk rock genre and was written by Andrea. Now, I really love the faint subtle changes in the instrumentals which give a feel it is played in the format of double time, doubling the rhythmic pattern inside its original structure of notes. This is more noticeable just after the beginning and at the ending of the track, where the final of the chorus line 'I would runaway with you' and 'Cause I am falling in love (falling in love) with you' meet. The violin instrumentals support the lyrical content so that I feel totally captured in the fluidity of the soft sentimental lyrical content. The melody simply makes me feel nostalgic and envelopes me in warm memories of special times!
Fourth in line is the 3:27 track 'Breathless', this pop rock song begins with the brief but strong drum beat from Caroline. The drums play a major part throughout the melody in keeping the tune at a good flowing beat. The way Andrea sings 'So go on, go on, come on, leave me breathless' with a fun twang of vocals leaves me feeling full of frivolity and singing along, despite my out of tune expressions! This is a song that has some cheeky lyrics that lend to its merry and up-beat melody. This is yet another track that shows the talent of Andrea's siblings supporting vocals, totally in tune and strong without over-whelming the lead vocals.
'Radio' is a lengthy 4:42 pop song written by Sharon. A brief but powerful drum combined with guitar intro leads into a rather sad melodic tune and lyrics, with 'It's late at night, and I'm feeling down, There are couples standing on the street Sharing summer kisses and city sounds' affords a sad feel. The infusion of the violin around such lyrics 'the morning light...making me think you are there', a slight change in tempo surrounds 'But you're just in my head, Swimming forever in my head' the violin plays with a flowing sad and sentimental disconsolate tone that adds to the nostalgic longing feel. For me, consistent violin inclusions give this melody with its sad lyrics a feel of sentimentality which then changes to an up tempo beat for the chorus. As this is an MTV unplugged version, the ending acoustics are drowned out with the loud whistles and applauding of the audience in the sound room.
'What can I do' is a 4:14 track in the genre of pop and country rock among others. This is one of three versions made, and the more successful, probably due to its popular sound with strong rock guitar instrumentals. The wonderful fluidity of musical range of the singer is felt in the lyrics 'What can I do to make you love me, What can I do to make you care, What can I say to make you feel this, What can I do to get you there'. The chorus has a most beautiful orchestral back-up to the families acoustical arrangement. I am In a quandary over this version as I'm not sure I am completely convinced the singular guitar instrumentals that conjures up in my mind as being played in a large isolated factory to the vibrant melodic orchestral melody are favourably linked. It seems in sharp contradiction and simply doesn't gel for me. But, the melody as a whole with heart felt lyrics still give this version a fairly flowing if more mellower version.
At 4:07 'The right time' is a pop song that has a strong violin intro with the combination of the Corrs singing out in unison 'This is the right time'. The drum instrumentals combined with the violin acoustics give this melodic tune a bright and breezy pounding rhythm to the very last 'This is the right time, once in a lifetime'. I enjoy listening to this song as it furnishes me with a cheerful melody that affects my mood positively if I'm feeling a little low.
The next track, another favourite of mine, in the genre of Celtic rock, 'I never loved you anyway' furnishes strong acoustics, particular of drums in dispersed with melodic violin acoustics. Starting off at a gentle pace but as it progresses the tempo builds and culminates to a powerful ending. The lyrics could be termed as self-denial in 'never loved you anyway', but the humorous content of 'Valentino, I don't think so
You watching MTV, While I lie dreaming in an empty bed, And come to think of it' speaking the 'I was misled' singing with strong indentation 'My flat, my food, my everything' affords a fun acerbic reality to a relationship that shows up reasons for a break-up that co-insides with the assumed infidelity with lyrics such as 'And when you go I will remember, To send a thank you note to that girl'.The song strengthens and moves spritely to the ending 'I'm so happy you're moving away, Yeah, I'm delighted you're moving away, yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah'. This song has me smiling with its sardonic lyrics and powerful rythmic beat.
'Irresistable' is a 3:40 track isn't a particular favourite of mine, though it is a lovely melody. I feel the drum beat throughout the song is a little too over whelmingly strong and tends to drown out the lead vocals; this diminishes the pleasure of the tune for me. Having said that, the drum adds a lovely combination to the other instrumentals part way through in the brief acoustical arrangement without vocals. The combined sibling vocals are wonderfully in tune but for me, seem a times to be shouted than sung, In fairness I should include that, with lyrical content such as 'So can't you see I'm tortured, Oh, can't you hear my pain' the bellowing vocals are in keeping with the pleading lyrical content! Though, as I said, the harmonies are excellent, just not in keeping with the Corrs more gentler approach, even in their rock pop songs!
'Forgiven not forgotten' is a 4:15 track that has an interesting genre of alternative rock. Beginning with the combination of violin and guitar acoustics the gentle instrumentals lead delicately into the lead vocals with touching and haunting lyrics as 'All alone, staring on, Watching her life go by, When her days are grey, And her nights are black, Different shades of mundane, And the one-eyed furry toy that lies upon the bed, Has often heard her cry, And heard her whisper out a name long forgiven'. Although I'm not a fan of this song, it still presents interesting and thought provoking lyrics that have me meditating on the content. I feel the chorus is a little too repetitive but the meatier parts of the song with its 'A bleeding heart torn apart, Left on an icy grave, In their room where they once lay, Face to face, Nothing could get in their way, But now the memories of the man are haunting her days, And the craving never fades, She's still dreaming of the man long forgiven, But not forgotten' make up for this. The song ends abruptly but still feels in keeping with the melody. A live performance is concluded with applause of admiration.
Another MTV unplugged version awaits us with 'Lough Erin Shore', a 4:27 track opens with an almost sad flowing acoustical arrangement that evolves into the supporting beat of drums that builds up the strength and momentum of the instrumentals. This truly is a most beautiful piece of music that displays the talented piano playing of Jim and followed up by the strength of Caroline's drumming techniques. This is a momentous instrumental arrangement that underscore the wide variety of talents of this family of artist.
'Only when I sleep' remains a firm favourite of mine with its 3:50 minutes full of pop and Celtic rock. The song's focal point is that of being in love with a person's of one's dreams as opposed to In reality. I love the catchy melody and the brilliant lead vocals. Andrea's vocals softly but poignantly drawl out such lyrics as 'And when I wake from slumber, Your shadow's disappeared, Your breath is just a sea mist, Surrounding my body, I'm working through the daytime, But when it's time to rest, I'm lying in my bed, Listening to my breath, Falling from the edge'. The support vocals of '(Up to the sky) (Where angles fly) (I'll never die) (Hawaiian high)' lend a distant mystical feel to this song. The instrumentals are in keeping with the charismatic and magnetic tones of the vocals and lyrical content.
The 4:08 track 'Love to love you' is a pop song that starts with immediate vocals that harmonizes with the lead vocals of Andrea. The melody has a neat gentle flowing fluidity about it. The lyrical content of such sentences as 'You recognized my barrier to love, I know there's nothing worse than unrequited love (unrequited love) , So I prayed to God that I could give the love you gave to me , But something's lying in my way, preventing it to be' furnish the song with a sad feel that is in keeping with the delicate but powerful vocals. The song seems controversial to me in that the instrumentals are fairly up-beat despite the more subdued and sad vocals, but it seems to work as I am left feeling subtly entertained by the song. It's not a song that I feel is one I could easily sing along too but charming nevertheless!
The fourteenth track of, 'All The Love In The World' is a Pop Remix that last 3:51. For me this is a pop ballad that encompasses a real romantic sense with great lyrics that underscore a warm emotional feel. Lyrics such as 'Don't wanna wake up alone anymore Still believin' you'll walk through my door All I need is to know it's for sure Then I'll give all the love in the world', the guitar supports the warm pleading vocals with exotic twangs of melodic instrumentals. I love this song for its beautiful warmth and tenderness. A fully harmonic sound that wells up varied emotions within me.
Next in line is a song that has been copied many times, a song I adore. In the alternative rock genre, 'Everybody hurts' is particularly poignant for me, though I have no desire to elaborate! The Corrs furnish this song with even more justice than other fine versions. Andrea sings the lyrics with such emotion and empathy that one cannot help become involved and carried along, particularly with such lyrics as 'When your day is long..And the night is your's alone, When you think you've had enough Of this life, Hang on...Cause everybody cries And everybody hurts, Sometimes...When your day is night hold on, Hold on (hold on), If you feel like letting go, (Hold on), If you're sure you've had too much Of this life, Hang on' a sombre and Sobering song that will touch many hearts., hopefully in a more optimistic way than one would imagine.
At a full 5:49 this MTV unplugged version still seems to finish too soon for me! The next song, 'Give me a reason' is much shorter in length at 3: 29. Greeted with applause the softer vocals of Andrea lead soon accompanied by the thudding of powerful drum beats that continue throughout. The lyrical content furnishes a story of a woman let down 'It's not romantic here in blue..You left me lonely and confused, Question, questioning you, So soon goodbye you stole my heart, I'm believing you, Was it a lie right from the start' but pleading for 'a reason' to perhaps forgive, offering the candid personal vulnerability 'Well now my body's weak - so just give me a reason, And my make-up's off - so just give me a reason, And my defense's down - so just give me a reason'. The song ends rather too quickly for me as it has a gentle flowing yet powerful rhythm in which makes me feel it is over far too soon to appreciate fully.
'Dreams' is in the soft rock genre and at 4:02 we are afforded a sweeping melodic version of almost cinematic overtures of 'Titanic' until it soon changes tempo to a strong beat as the lyrics proceed, 'You say you want your freedom , Well who I am to keep you down , It's only right that you should , Play the way you feel it'. I can't help but feel enveloped and captured buy the song as the instrumentals lead up to the lyrics such as 'Like a heartbeat, drives you mad' the combined vocals of the siblings are simply beautifully co-ordinated. The chorus compliments the harmonies until the final 'Thunder only happens when it's raining , Players only love you when they're playing' tones down the instrumentals to a couple of acoustical arrangements that have me toe tapping and nodding my head in rhythm to this tuneful melody.
The final song. 'Make you mine' isn't a favourite of mine, though certainly not offensive or out of harmony with the rest of the album. The song is catchy with lovely lyrical content such as ''Til you come back home to me, And I can make you mine, When the night turns over, I'll lie with you, When the morning wakes you, I'm there by you, When the daylight takes you, I'll miss you 'Til you come back home to me'. There are some, for me too diverse, changes in the instrumentals that present the song with too many inconsistencies. Though, the lyrical content is neat and the instrumentals as professional contributed as ever.
~Would I Recommend ~ 'All The Best'!~
Yes, I would certainly recommend this album for Corrs' fans and those that enjoy the genres of music described in this review. I would suggest however that, ones look to 'Dreams the ultimate corrs collection that may furnish fans with a more comprehensive compilation of hits etc. before investing in this album also! But for me, this album contains songs that I am an avid fan of at a reasonable price. As a gift from my son, I am well pleased with many of the arrangements, particularly the MTV unplugged versions. The album furnishes a fair variety of genres along with a neat combination of songs from ballads to pop melodies that compliment many moods.
My son purchased this as an mp3 download from Amazon for £4.49, but it is available in other formats also.