Personnel: Jim Corr (vocals, guitar, mandolin, ukulele, keyboards); Sharon Corr (vocals, violin); Andrea Corr (vocals, whistle); Caroline Corr (vocals, drums, bodhran, percussion); John Shanks (guitar, dulcimer, keyboards); Paul Lamalfa, Chris Young (keyboards, programming).
Recording information: Ananda Entertainment Studios, Hollywood, CA; Chestnut Studios, London; Metropolis Studios, London.
Photographer: Kevin Westenberg.
It had been a decade since the world last heard from the Corrs. In the ten years after the turn of the millennium, the sonic landscape -- which had been favorable to the sibling quartet's soothing grown-up music -- changed. Adult contemporary wasn't as clearly defined, considering Adele, Eminem, and Muse could all be heard on the same radio stations. And so with their sixth album, White Light, the Corrs stuck with the same reliable formula that served them so well in Europe for much of the early aughts. Straightforward, yearning, and honey-hooked, their comeback is a pleasing collection of pop/rock with their signature Irish folk elements woven throughout. This satisfying warmth and positivity shine on first single "Bring on the Night," with lead Corr Andrea sounding just as precious and pure as she did in the early 2000s. The band has always had a knack for spot-on harmonies, so fans will be delighted to hear sisters Sharon and Caroline in top form. Elsewhere, shimmery gems (the title track and "Unconditional") provide some pop-smart balance to the pastoral Irish folk influences that hark back to their last release, Home, from 2005. Among them, "Gerry's Reel" is an absolute stomper dedicated to their late father, and "Stay" is the exhilaratingly raving answer to the jaunty, album-closing reprise of its sister track, "With Me Stay." Produced by John Shanks (Bon Jovi, Kelly Clarkson, Backstreet Boys, Celine Dion), the album also includes its share of lovelorn balladry, like "Kiss of Life," the yearning "Strange Romance," and the treacly "Catch Me When I Fall." Fans of the band will be happy to hear them again, especially considering that this collection sounds like they picked up immediately after their last album, and is not a return to the scene after a decade. Everything here is familiar and comforting, hitting the right notes and emotional buttons that make the Corrs such heroes in their home country alongside the Cranberries and U2. ~ Neil Z. Yeung