Coronet Blue | Welcome To The Arms Of Forever

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Pop: Power Pop Rock: Classic Rock Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Welcome To The Arms Of Forever

by Coronet Blue

Classic rock/power pop featuring Simon Kirke (Free, Bad Company), Ian Maclagan (Faces), Mitch Easter (Let's Active, REM) and Don Dixon.
Genre: Pop: Power Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Waiting For My Baby
3:59 $0.99
2. Looks Like Love
4:06 $0.99
3. Welcome To The Arms Of Forever
4:36 $0.99
4. The Point
4:31 $0.99
5. Sorrow Street
3:45 $0.99
6. You Don't Sleep At Night
3:55 $0.99
7. Interlude #2
0:54 $0.99
8. Promises
4:20 $0.99
9. No Kiss Goodnight
4:07 $0.99
10. Ain't it Strange
4:10 $0.99
11. Make No Mistake
4:49 $0.99
12. Listen Once
3:58 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Unless you're in The Blue Nile or Stereo MC's, the idea of spending eight years between albums probably sounds tantamount to commercial suicide - or at the very least exceptionally trying for your fanbase. But then CORONET BLUE frontman (and ex-Lonely Hearts frontman) John Rooney has never been one to rush things.

Besides, it's not quite as simple as it appears on the surface, for Coronet Blue are no ordinary band struggling to stay on the 'album-tour-album' treadmill. Just cast a casual eye over their personnel: on guitar we have Mitch Easter (yes, as in Let's Active and production of classic early REM albums); on bass we have Don Dixon, also as in classic early REM albums and Matthew Sweet. And it gets better, because on keyboards we have none other than Ian McLagan (uh-huh, yeah, as in The Faces, Small or otherwise) and on the drums...oh, just some geezer called Simon Kirke as in Bad Company and Free. WHOOOAHH!!! Please now take five while your reviewer rolls around, biting the carpet and attempts to steal John Rooney's address book. I mean, as backing groups go, this is NOT TOO FUCKING SHABBY, is it?

Ahem...yes, so perhaps fairer comparisons (stylistically and otherwise) might be either Golden Smog or Laughing Outlaw's other occasional 'supergroup', The Orange Humble Band: at best semi-permanent outfits forced to juggle recordings with their other lives and more regular commitments, which is why - plus the physical obstacle that Rooney himself is based in Sydney, Australia - that it's taken some time to assemble the excellent songs populating 'Welcome To The Arms Of Forever'.

But it's surely been worth the wait. After all, Coronet Blue's eponymous debut was actually Laughing Outlaw's very first release way back in 1999 and while your reviewer has never had the pleasure, it's hard to believe it could be stronger than this fine sophomore release. The adjective springing to mind most readily is often 'lush' as virtually all Rooney's gritty pop nuggets come wrapped in a gorgeous shell of strings arranged by Dixon. As you might expect from such talented protagonists, the performances are consummate throughout and from a techie point of view, boy, you'd kill for Simon Kirke's sharp drum sound.

Crucially, Rooney himself is by no means over-awed by his famous musical charges. He's in possession of a voice that's honest, yearning and powerful, yet always relatively easy on the ear and - when allied with a band with the innate ability to either push or leave space when required - he really can't lose.

Opening tune 'Waiting For My Baby' gives you a fair idea of what to expect. Floating in on Kirke and Dixon's rock steady backbeat and some great, Dick Dale-style baritone guitar from Easter it soon slips into a nagging, edgy chorus that's just the right side of anthemic and within seconds feels like it's been with you for years. It's the first of a generous batch of such successes too, including the strident likes of 'The Point', the superior harmonies of 'No Kiss Goodnight' or 'Make No Mistake', which is guitar-heavy and the one place where Coronet Blue slip into a raunchier, Stones-style groove, although it retains Rooney's patented slowburning chorus to ram the point home.

And, while finely-wrought power pop with strings attached is the record's overall modus operandi, it doesn't prevent them from taking chances and stretching out a little either. With this in mind, make straight for the terrific title track: a creeping, neo-ballad with icy, rising strings that's almost as close to Portishead in feel as any of the more obvious power pop touchstones, or else check out the dreamy, blues-y 'Ain't It Strange' where Rooney appears to be addressing suicide ("ain't it strange why you left me, I'll never know why/ I shouldn't be jealous, but I could be suspicious") or 'You Don't Sleep At Night' which has a great, chromatic chorus and a memorable, Beatloid "na na nah" hook to buoy it up.

Arguably even better, meanwhile, is the betrayal-fuelled closing tune 'Listen Once', where the band initially set up a niggly, Attractions-esque backdrop for Rooney before the strings seep in and take it to another place altogether. It's harder edged than most of what surrounds it, but it's none the worse for that and leaves an intriguing aftertaste. It also leaves you wanting more and wondering whether this band of renown can make space and get it together to make another sooner rather than later.

Which, of course, is a moot point, because after the bulk of sessions in North Carolina, this album was completed with mixes flying between the US and Australia, so how difficult it will be for Coronet Blue to reconvene remains to be seen. Still, that's a future concern: for now, let's enjoy what we've got with the sublime 'Welcome To The Arms Of Forever' - an exercise in laying back with someone you love if ever there was." 9/10



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