Magic & Medicine Image
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

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  • Summary: One of the more attention-grabbing British bands to emerge in the last few years--their fun, genre-jumping debut album landed them a Mercury Music Prize nomination--The Coral returns with a more coherent, '60s-influenced sophomore LP.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. This time around, a more restrained approach means a less exhausting listening experience. [#5, p.99]
  2. All of the elements that make the band great--the Shadowsy guitar solos, James Skelly's Eric Burdon-meets-Jimmy Corkhill croon, the breadth of imagination--are well lubricated, but the songwriting has rocketed. [Aug 2003, p.106]
  3. Though it's fair to question their sense of tradition, they succeed where other blues-aping artists, like Gomez and Arnold, have failed, because they're not wholly indebted to the customs of the blues. They've merely co-opted its grisly spirit and transformed it into something unique.
  4. The expansive palette of the debut has been shorn of its tumult and restlessness.
  5. 70
    This isn't a great departure from The Coral but mainman James Skelly's increasingly witty words and ear for a killer jig put this in a loveable place of its own. [Aug 2003, p.95]
  6. Magic & Medicine is hardly a record that will catapult The Coral to the next level; but at the same time, it's also far from being an embarrassment.
  7. Pretty though much of Magic and Medicine is, it's an ultimately frustrating piece of work.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. NseE
    Mar 28, 2004
    10
    ?Magic & Medicine? comprises melodic tunes, and begins with the Beatles-ish ?In the forest?, a short, delightful strumming number, followed ?Magic & Medicine? comprises melodic tunes, and begins with the Beatles-ish ?In the forest?, a short, delightful strumming number, followed by the catchy ?Don?t think you?re the first?. ?Bill McCai? is a bouncy sing-along tune with a sharp twist to the tale. ?Eskimo lament? is a tender ballad with great vocal harmonizing and a superb horn break. Other standouts are ?Secret kiss? and ?Confessions of A.D.D.D? with a great instrumental finale. ?All of our love? would not sound out of place on a Radiohead cd. The bonus cd 'Nightfreak and the Sons of Becker' sounds like it was recorded by an entirely different group. The sound is darker, more experimental, Radiohead-ish (?Song of the corn?, ?Sorrow or the song?, ?Keep me company?) and Super Furry Animal-ish (?Precious eyes?). The standout on this disc is the superb, upbeat ?Grey Harpoon? with its X-Files/Twilight Zone-like sound effects. A splendid slice of Brit pop. Expand
  2. NedF
    Aug 1, 2003
    9
    Such a contrast from their first one, but in a good way, with James Skelly's wonderful voice echoing through things like "All Of Our Such a contrast from their first one, but in a good way, with James Skelly's wonderful voice echoing through things like "All Of Our Love". Truly marvellous. Expand
  3. NorthFreedomFighter
    Apr 6, 2005
    9
    Beautifully crafted and innovative, a definite must have for anyone with any interest in Brit Rock and psychedelica.
  4. RobertA
    Apr 3, 2004
    8
    This album is lively but a little less fun then their debut.

See all 6 User Reviews