Sharon follows sister Andrea into the solo arena with mixed results.
Tom Hocknell 2010
The Corrs called a hiatus in 2006 following several years of success that being easy on the eye did nothing to hinder. Importantly, they were also easy on the ear, and the further they drifted from folk beginnings towards smooth radio hits the more successful they became. Since their break, lead singer Andrea Corr has experienced a stuttering solo career; now, her sister Sharon throws her fiddle into the ring. Despite the album sharing artwork with fabric conditioner packaging, she clearly cares. But why should anyone else?
Dream of You opens with Our Wedding Day, an instrumental. It seems to be based upon the same traditional song as Simple Minds’ Belfast Child, traditional Irish folk number She Moved Through the Fair. It is achingly similar, albeit without Jim Kerr’s wind-buffeted sincerity. Her pleasant, but inessential take on The Korgis’ much-covered hit Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime follows, but then things stumble.
On Buenos Aires the singer sounds chuffed to have recently learnt the Argentinean city’s correct pronunciation. It is entirely forgettable, as is So Long Ago, another mid-tempo ballad which demonstrates that Sharon’s voice is better suited to the backing vocals she provided in The Corrs. It whines so incessantly that the listener actually yearns for more fiddle. Butterflies feels rushed and underwritten, and things don’t improve with her cover version of Bronski Beat’s Smalltown Boy, which confirms why great electro-pop should be left as that, not transformed into a song where gentle piano and real strings underpin lyrics seeking escape sung by someone who has already arrived.
The title-track is much better, with violin and stronger vocals mingling with genuine heart; as is Real World, which reflects upon the loss of youth’s idealism. Throughout the album every guitar break is replaced by violin, with an exception arriving at the album’s close. Love Me Better’s slide guitar provides genuine relief and swoops like latter-day Fleetwood Mac.
Overall, Dream of You demonstrates that a pretty face doesn’t necessarily get you a long way and, for many, opinion on it will rest upon your appreciation of songs best suited for soundtracking adverts for Discover Ireland. But, much like Andrea’s 2007 album Ten Feet High, it will appeal easily to fans of The Corrs.
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