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Sunday, 16 July, 2000, 07:23 GMT 08:23 UK
CD Review: The Corrs
The Corrs
In Blue (East West)
By BBC News Online's Chris Charles

If this were a movie, it would be given a triple U certificate - uneventful, uninspired and unworthy of the unfathomable sales figures it will surely attract.

Any teenager worthy of the name would perhaps plump for PG - offering sympathetic guidance to any aged parent thinking of buying it to bump up their street cred.

Quite how The Corrs managed to find themselves in the frame as one of the world's biggest bands is a mystery even the great Scooby Doo would find difficult to solve.

There must be an awful lot of folk out there who like safe, wishy-washy pop songs trotted out by a squeaky-clean production line that thinks living dangerously is building a house on the site of a drained marsh.

The Corrs
Corrs for concern: Another award
OK, perhaps it's unfair to judge this particular book by its Enid Blyton cover. Maybe they're really a team of ruthless gangsters who are using the music as a front for their more sinister activities.

Anyway, moving swiftly on.

Before the rapid dissection of In Blue - the follow-up to Talk On Corners - begins, let's hear it from the horses' mouths.

"Every band says their latest record is the best, but I really believe it," says Andrea. "It's who we are and we're really proud of it....it reflects how we've progressed and what we've learned."

Over to Jim: "I suppose there are a lot of different vibes...I think a few people are going to be surprised by that."

Excuse me? Time for a reality check.

The first rule of Corrs law is always to expect the expected.

Watered-down

With the exception of the radio-friendly Radio, all the up-tempo numbers are sugary, lost-love, found-love tales with the band subliminally announcing: "Tonight, Matthew, we're going to be watered-down Fleetwood Mac."

New single Breathless chugs along at Blondie pace before petering out into a wailing imitation of Dolores O'Riordan, while Irresistible announces: "You're irresistible - natural, physical" - looks like the Ivor Novello's on hold for another year, then.

But enough of this cruelty, when The Corrs decide to slow things down a bit, they have got a couple of decent songs up their sleeves.

One Night could have almost been written by The Carpenters and the groovy All In A Day is a lilting lullaby with the best trad Irish middle eight they've managed to date.

The instrumental conclusion that is Rebel Heart also brings a little timely light relief, but there's far too many cracks here and not nearly enough paper.

Andrea might think she's fooling everyone by wearing a New York Dolls T-shirt on the cover, but the bigger picture tells a different story.

And after all, they've managed to earn a few quid by playing it straight so far, so good luck to them.

One question, though. If all these millions of people have bought a Corrs record, how come I've never met anyone who admits to actually owning one?

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