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Thread: Week Twenty Six.............Butterfly House...............The Coral

  1. #1
    Fifth Beatle gryphon's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    South Netherlands

    Thumbs up Week Twenty Six.............Butterfly House...............The Coral

    In doing the album review, it has always been the intention to make it a product of the members of MD and to give the members ownership wherever possible...........

    So this week I am pleased to say that I am only the facilitator and That Mr Soul is the primary contributor:


    The album is Butterfly House................By The Coral

    Here is the cover:

    Here is the Link:

    I hope that other members will feel that they can contact me and have ago at hosting the review.

    Mr. Soul will put his review on as soon as he is able and I personally am looking forward to downloading this one and giving it a review.....................
    Nice to be able to go back to trust and friendship!!!!!!!!!

    It's a mixed up sensation this being alive
    Oh! it wears a man down into the ground
    It's the strangest elation
    I can't describe it
    Oh it leaves a man weary
    It makes a man frown.
    .............................Chris Simpson ( "Mixed Up Sensations" 1975 Martin's Cafe )

  2. #2
    Band Manager Thraak's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Stirling, Scotland

    Post The Coral- 'Butterfly House' Album Review

    Apologies for the lateness of this review, I hadn't expected Gryphon to have this page ready thus quick! Anyway here it is:

    Well, this is my second ever album review!

    I have continued to follow the same reviewing process as detailed in the first review (note taking etc) and have also decided to continue sticking to my 'track by track' format.

    Strangely, I never actually began to pursue an active interest in The Coral until I heard several tracks from their previous album 'Roots & Echoes' (2007) on Terry Wogan's old Radio 2 show on which it was actually 'album of the week' at the time of it's release. Considering their first full length album was released in 2002, I guess you could say I was a late-comer to this band; of course I had heard their hit single 'Dreaming Of You' a few times in the past but had never attributed it to a band of any great depth or surrealistic quality as is so evident to me on the 'Roots' album and ultimately it was that album which ignited a deep interest in this band. Ironic, really considering it was their lowest charting album (at the time) & it appears to have received lukewarm reviews upon release.

    Please note that this is a review of the 'deluxe edition' of the album which contains 5 extra bonus tracks.

    1)More Than A Lover

    The Coral's fifth (full length) album & follow up to 2007's 'Roots & Echoes' opens with a thunderous bang of simultaneous drums & an eerie guitar riff. James Skelly's vocals sound quite sinister during the verses but the song then takes a contrasting poppy sound on the chorus. 'More Than A Lover' appears to be about an ended relationship where there is still a connection between the two people. Some rather impressive opening lyrics seem to support this theory;

    'More than a lover, don't you know you'll always be a good friend of mine'
    'When Pain is uncovered, won't you walk with me through the burden of time'.

    Disliked this track upon first listen but after listening to it a few times it grew on me, partially because of the above lyrics which I was impressed by & also the contrasting moods between the verses & chorus. Some great lyrics & overall a good song. 3/5.

    2)Roving Jewel

    'Roving Jewel' appears to be a song about an old pub or guest house which the singer used to visit according to opening lyric; 'I used to call at the Roving Jewel'. Starting to notice quite a nostalgic feel to this album in it's subject matter; so far we've had a song about an old love & now an old pub!

    Towards the end, this song contains the repeated lyric 'The scarlet curtains hanging in the window' which attempts to continue their well known trend of evoking some sort of lucid imagery with the listener but on this occasion this was one which I wasn't exactly in awe of.

    Ultimately, I found this song to be an almost identical continuation of the opening track, 'More Than A Lover', both musically & lyrically. This was one of the reasons I didn't like it along with my original feeling that it was actually weaker than the first track, which obviously didn't help it's cause. 2/5

    3)Walking In The Winter

    'Walking In The Winter' opening with a lone drum beat & some nice delicate acoustics has a much more intimate feel in comparison to the first two tracks. I interpreted it as a vague romantic song with not much depth to it & a bit happy go lucky for me to form any concentrated interest whilst listening. Furthermore, this song contains some rather controversial & clichéd lyrics;

    'It's so hard to make a livin', when the world is so unkind'.

    However, I believe this more likely represents a lack of direction for the band rather than a display of self righteous arrogance. In conclusion, I disliked this particular track. 2/5.


    Opens with a quirky guitar riff & is perhaps one of the most poppiest songs I have heard from The Coral. In contrast to the opening riff though, guitar work is watered down & put on the back-burner throughout the rest of the song, the main emphasis being on the harmony vocals & unchanging drum sequence.

    I found 'Sandhills' to be lacking in direction & didn't progress much (if at all) throughout the entire song. I actually cannot believe at this point I am not enjoying an album from The Coral! Its is worth noting though, that the absence of lead guitarist Bill Ryder Jones could be a mitigating factor as something clearly seems to be lacking. Slight improvement on the previous track. 2/5

    5)Butterfly House

    Title track of the album which was the first song I heard from this album before it's official release. Upon hearing it again I still think it has this brilliant dreamy, surrealistic quality which the almost heavenly vocals & beautiful guitar delicacy throughout brings to it. 'Butterfly House' also brings a new found depth to the album with some strange but interesting spoken word lyrics over the chorus which, unfortunately, I can't make out (even with the help of google!).

    At this stage in the album, the most important thing about this song is that you cannot notice Bill Ryder Jones' absence at all. Either his role has somehow been effectively replaced on this occasion or the over-emphasis on the awesomely psychedelic vocals just merely eclipsed the need for any more guitar work. This, I can't say, but what I can say is that this is a beautiful, dreamy, atmospheric song; one to rival any of their previous favourites & I also enjoyed how they cranked it up a notch towards the end. 4/5.

    6)Green Is The Colour

    'Green Is The Colour' opens with a mystical eastern style guitar intro, which evokes faint memories of a piece from 'The Invisible Invasion' album. As it progresses, it turns out again to be quite a poppy song although in contrast it sounds as though it could have been dark & intimate but perhaps instead they chose to take it in a different direction. Additionally, the chosen style of drumming throughout the song distinctly remind of me of something that Cast (who have recently reformed) would have done on the 'All Change' album, albeit the music as a whole being too overly psychedelic to be indistinguishable from Cast. Sounded promising at first but lacking in depth & lost interest as song progressed. 2/5

    7)Falling All Around You

    Another intimate acoustic track in the vein of 'Walking In The Winter'. I notice Skelly's vocals on this particular track sound somewhat disinterested & uninspired. Chorus I also found to be rather weak;

    'In the morning, when the sun will rise & the day is new. I'm falling all around you' (x5/6)

    Again a song which doesn't seem to progress anywhere and, with only 7 tracks gone, this is sadly becoming a regular feature for this album. This is the point in the album where I am seriously beginning to lose interest. Ultimately, a combination of mediocre guitar work & lack of direction makes this another track from 'Butterfly House' which I also dislike. 2/5

    8)Two Faces

    'Two Faces' is a total surprise turning point in the album with the apparent sudden introduction of a piano which I previously don't recall hearing. There is a major change in tempo and a very apparent 60's pop feel to it with the repeated chorus 'Two faces of a girl I used to know' accompanied by a repetitive quirky guitar riff. Oddly, this track doesn't actually sound anything like The Coral and I wouldn't be surprised if it was a cover of an old 60's song, which as far as I'm aware it isn't!

    Overall, I found this a pleasant turn in the album and was a breath of fresh air compared to the previous two tracks which made me want to actually turn the album off! 3/5.

    9)She's Comin' Around

    Upon immediately hearing the opening riff I was almost convinced it belonged to a well known song I had heard before. However, the focus of the song quickly changes to an eerie keyboard riff which sounds like a cross between a song from the crazy 'Magic & Medicine' album and 'Roots & Echoes'; the verse and keyboard riff in contrast to the pounding chorus & harmony vocals which are strongly reminiscent of both albums, the latter in particular. Drum patterns are very similar to those found of 'Jacqueline' if not almost identical. Towards the end of the song there is a nice short up-tempo acoustic jam which brings some improvisational variation to an album which has been lacking just that. This track continues the trend of 'Two Faces' and together they bring the album back to life. 4/5

    10)1000 Years

    I first heard this song on TV the other day, which actually reminded me that I had not only forgotten to purchase the new release but also had forgotten to review it as well! I personally like this track although I find the chorus a bit overly commercial in terms of the production & also the guitar passages are pretty uninspiring; another instance where Jones' absence is clearly evident. Could easily be a minor hit for them but overall this track is a step down from the previous two to me. 3/5

    11)Coney Island

    'Coney Island' starts off their most psychedelic of the album yet with a simple guitar riff & welcome xylophone accompaniment. Skelly kind of finds his feet here, albeit a bit overdue by this point, and turns the album around with the most unique song so far. 'Coney Island' is a track that certainly wouldn't sound out of place on their eponymous 2002 début. 3/5

    12)North Parade

    'North Parade' opens with a single struck chord & and is closely followed by a very lively guitar riff. Again there is a very evident pop element to their music as they even go as far to reward the outro with a generic barrage of 'La la la, la la la' which is then immediately followed by an intense and extensive guitar solo; seemingly intended to compensate for the moment of madness. To top it off the outro of the song consists of the previous structure of the song being broken down & in place a staggering piano sequence. This is easily the most varied & in-depth song on the whole album which is pretty incredible considering it is the last song on the standard release.

    I seriously struggle to recall a previous experience (although I'm positive one exists) where I have listened to an album which has been for the most part, disappointing throughout with one or two moments of brilliance, but all of a sudden the last 3-4 tracks totally turn around the album & reverse my desire to stop listening to it! Very rare occurrence, indeed! Easily one of the best, if not the best song on the album. 4/5.

    13)Into The Sun

    'Into The Sun' is a departure from the trend of the previous track with a poppy guitar jingle opening the song which appears to be an optimistic song about moving on in life which is apparent from the main lyrics;

    “There's no sunshine, in a dark room. There's no time to sit & cry”. “Today I'm moving on, tomorrow I'll be gone like a seagull into the sun”.

    Find the lyrics rather quite weak & the refrain vocals which continuously repeat 'Into The Sun' make it seem a bit shallow. Overall a pretty weak track. 2/5

    14)Coming Through The Rye

    'Coming Through The Rye' is a much slower & psychedelic song. Strange thing about this track is that the vocals are nothing more than a distant drone and I feel the song really drags on without much variation apart from some distasteful keyboard passages. Proved to be another weak link in this album. 1/5.

    15)Dream In August

    'Dream In August' opens up with a delicate guitar passage & is very downbeat throughout. Lacking of quality lyrics is very prevalent on this album & is only reinforced by the following;

    'Jesus forgave you, in the August land'.

    Again, the background refrain vocals on this song I find are too over-emphasised & make it sound extremely cheesy at times. Also I feel that the absence of Jones' has plagued this track as there are virtually no guitar licks apart from the rhythm sequence which continues throughout the whole song. Did not enjoy this track. 1/5

    16)Another Way

    As soon as I heard the opening rhythm guitar sequence to this song, I was immediately reminded of 'Pass It On'; a fantastic song from their 'Magic & Medicine' album which I hadn't actually heard in ages. However, as the song progresses it turns out to be very vocal based & I suspect another band member may have taken up lead vocal duties on this one as James Skelly's distinctive vocals are nowhere to be heard on this song. Have mixed feelings about this song as while it deviates from The Coral's distinctive sound & focuses more on the vocals, it is actually a breath of fresh air to the previous run of 3 very poor tracks which were totally lacking in ambition. While 'Another Way' doesn't match up to songs such as 'Butterfly House' in terms of the affect it has on the listener, it fits in well alongside the stronger tracks on this album. 3/5


    'Circles' is a more upbeat song than it's predecessors & a welcome return for some nice guitar licks; including the opening riff which is very effective. Strangely, a lot of the lead work throughout evokes memories of The Gun Club's Jeffrey Lee Pierce on the 'Lucky Jim' album.

    Lyrics are rather disappointing in comparison to the lively guitar leads on this album though as I noticed throughout Skelly was repeating;'Down, down, down, down to the ground'. While the lyrics on this seem desperately uninspired, the music was not & therefore this was a pretty enjoyable track for me. 4/5

    Overall Album Rating: 3/5

    Overall, 'Butterfly House' proved to be an no more than average album with less memorable moments than forgettable ones. Being a serious fan of The Coral since hearing 2007's fantastic 'Roots & Echoes' album, I obviously had high expectations for this album which was very disappointing in comparison to it's predecessor. However, I will again refer to the absence of their lead guitarist Bill Ryder Jones, who's presence I feel was painstakingly obvious on this album with the exception of a few tracks such as album stand out 'Butterfly House' & the late bloomer 'Circles'.

    Ultimately, this album is not good for the average music listener as there were three different stages in the album where, to my own amazement, I felt like changing the record altogether! First was at the very opening of the album which didn't really come alive until the fifth track 'Butterfly House'. Second was immediately after the title track until 'She's Comin' Around' brought the album back to life. Third stage, although exclusive to the deluxe edition, came with the first 3 bonus tracks; starting with 'Into The Sun' & ending with 'Dream In August'. Within these three different stages of the album, the tracks which disappointed all had one thing in common; they lacked any real conviction in the guitar department which is so common in any of The Coral's previous works.

    However, 'Butterfly House' did have its moments with the title track still the stand out track of the album with other occasional uplifts including 'North Parade' & 'She's Comin' Around'.

    Despite all of it's flaws it is perhaps best to view 'Butterfly House' as a testament to the fact that an album can never be truly understood or fairly judged on a partial basis and when we consider we have effectively had 1 major & 2 minor 'comebacks' within this album then you can take this as a sure confirmation that The Coral are definitely not a band to be written off.
    Last edited by Thraak; 25-07-2010 at 02:31.

  3. #3
    Serial Under Achiever Tiggi's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    United Kingdom


    Top review...

    A new standard has been set.

  4. #4
    Grumpy Old Man Music Head's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Lancaster, Kentucky, United States


    yes, I feel so........................unworthy
    “A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.”
    Will Rogers

  5. #5
    Band Manager Thraak's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Stirling, Scotland


    Thanks guys! I'm surprised to be honest as I didn't really put as much effort into this as the first one; it gets kinda hard when you ain't enjoying the album you know?

  6. #6
    We Will Rock You techman's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Ashford, Kent, United Kingdom


    top marks Mr.Soul, keep em coming

  7. #7
    Newbie Jonathan's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Austin, TX


    Good review Mr. Soul.

    I didn't really get into this one to much. Was a pretty good album, but nothing absolutely spectacular. Looking forward to the Avett Brothers though.

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