Entertainment Weekly (2/13/04, p.71) - "The Coral's shaggy, shambling brand of Britpop takes a more refined turn on their second album..." - Rating: B
Q (01/01/04, p.80) - Ranked #21 in Q's "The 50 Best Albums of 2003" - "[Features] everything from furious psychedelia to tender balladry..."
Mojo (Publisher) (01/01/04, p.57) - Ranked #32 in Mojo's "The Best of 2003"
Mojo (Publisher) (8/03, p.95) - 3 out of 5 stars - "[T]he Coral's nodding-dog skiffle-combo riffs collide with everything from dark Doors psych to arcadian English folk. It's ramshackle, it's raw, it's impassioned and, inescapably perhaps, it's suffused with the ghosts of Merseyside past..."
In their native Britain, the Coral quickly followed up their second album, MAGIC AND MEDICINE, with an entirely separate release called NIGHTFREAK AND THE SONS OF BECKER. Written and recorded in the space of 10 days in the studio with producer Ian Broudie, the 11-track BECKER is the Coral at their most overtly psychedelic; it's a loose, good-humored foray into shaggy, trippy freakbeat that was not really intended as the true follow-up to MAGIC AND MEDICINE. Indeed, MAGIC AND MEDICINE itself (which had not been released in the United States upon its original 2003 issue) was repackaged as a specially priced two-disc set for its U.S. release, with the second disc containing NIGHTFREAK AND THE SONS OF BECKER alongside the more mainstream Britpop of the first disc.