The Coral – Sea Of Mirrors: Album Review

The Coral return with another beautifully lush album full of all the hallmarks of their signature sound.

Released: 8th September 2023
Label: Run On Records with Modern Sky
Format: CD / LP (Various Pressings) / Cassette / Digital

The Coral are one of the finest British musical institutions of the past few decades. Formed in 1996, their longevity can be accredited to their constant high standards of music, their ability to entertain and their hazy and dreamy story telling.

Sea Of Mirrors is arguably one of the finest entries in their canon. It is tight, concise, well produced and full of dreamy songs that evoke so much.

Throughout the album, the use of strings is absolutely top class. The punches and sweeping nature of the strings adds an otherworldly level to the music. Oceans Apart, Dream River, Wild Bird and the title track are all enhanced by the extra flourishes. Dream River is an absolute stand out from an album choc full of them. It genuinely evokes imagery of floating down a river without a care in the world. It is gorgeous.

Scattered throughout the record are shorter interludes at the beginning, middle and end. These little pieces help build the world that The Coral started imagining on their Coral Island record of 2021.

There are country tinged acoustic ditties like Faraway Worlds where Ian Skelly showcases his unique vocal style. Child Of The Moon has more than a whiff of fellow Liverpudlians, The Beatles. To be fair, there are flecks of their musical forefathers in everything they do, but that is not a bad thing.

More upbeat tracks come in the form of North Wind, Cycles Of The Season and That’s Where She Belongs. The latter is backed by delicious vocal harmonies.

The aforementioned Oceans Apart closes the album in grand fashion and completes what feels like a complete album in many senses of the word.

With The Coral and their cinematic vision, it feels like Sea Of Mirrors and their recent recordings deserve some sort of special performance with an orchestra, such is the grandeur. It would be a treat to see them playing concert halls with a full hand of musical aces to play with.

You can purchase Sea Of Madness here.

The Coral: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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1 reply »

  1. Just Listened to the Album Dom, I agree that the ‘original’ not digital strings are sublime. I can tell the difference. Great album. I enjoyed reading your piece here.

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