The Corrs "Borrowed Heaven" In-Stores June 8th

The Corrs hit single "Summer Sunshine"

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Four years since their last studio album, The Corrs are back with “BORROWED HEAVEN.” A musically diverse and lyrically sophisticated collection, it's an album that reflects both their growth as musicians and songwriters and a new-found maturity bred by the extraordinary ride that has made them one of the most successful acts in the world over the last decade.

When Andrea, Sharon, Caroline, and Jim came off the road at the end of 2001, they had spent six years touring and recording almost without a break. Finally, the world’s hardest-working band was able to devote some time to the simple pleasures the rest of us take for granted – home life, relationships, spouses and, in Caroline’s case, motherhood. “We needed to get our lives back and realize there are more important things than what’s going to be in the tabloids tomorrow,” says Andrea. 

The opportunity to take stock and recharge their batteries has paid real dividends. Some 18 months in the writing and recording, ”BORROWED HEAVEN” was recorded in Dublin and Los Angeles, and produced by Olle Romo, a close accomplice of Mutt Lange, who part-produced 2000’s “IN BLUE.”

“BORROWED HEAVEN” finds the Corrs exploring new avenues, both musically and lyrically, but retains the feel for melody and the accessible charm that lay at the heart of their original success. “We just went for it and didn’t give up until every detail was right,” Andrea says. That attention to detail extends to the title, a key to the album's theme: “It's the time that we have. The place where we are. Right here and right now – that's heaven. All that is light and dark, all that is beautiful and ugly, all pleasure and all pain are transient. We have to live for today.”

The Corrs may have sold 30 million records around the globe, but “BORROWED HEAVEN” is the sound of a band pushing and striving to top past achievements. All four members contributed to the songwriting, an approach that has been remarkably successful. “Everybody threw in their ideas, and I think that’s what makes the album sound so different,” says Sharon.

The opening track, “Summer Sunshine” – the first single from “BORROWED HEAVEN” – was written by Andrea. ”It’s funny how you always know when you have a single,” Sharon says. “When we heard that song we all knew instantly.” It's an utterly infectious summer single and instantly recognizable as a Corrs hit… but there is another side to the track, as Andrea makes clear: “It sounds happy and summery, but is also quite a sad song. It's the story of a secret love that you can never quite get over – a forbidden love that lives on in your head.”

“Angel” was written by Andrea and Caroline about their late mother Jean, to whom – along with their father Gerry – the album is dedicated. “It’s an appreciation of everything she gave us and inspired us to be,” Andrea says. The atmospheric “Hideaway” was written for a friend of Sharon’s who was having a hard time, while she describes “Long Night” as “a break-up song about the heartache of still being in love but being alone.” The moving “Goodbye” is Sharon’s tribute to her mother, “never thinking one day she’d be gone.”

The Golden Globe-nominated “Time Enough For Tears,” the one song not written by the band, was composed by U2’s Bono, ex-Virgin Prune Gavin Friday, and Maurice Seezer for the acclaimed Jim Sheridan film In America. “They were in Dublin, and I was with them when they started writing the song," Andrea recalls. "Then I had to go to L.A., so they were calling me and singing it down the phone and texting me the lyrics,” she recalls. The result is not only a stunning song but among the finest vocals Andrea has ever recorded. Astonishingly, it was done in one take.

“Humdrum” is an arrangement by Jim, with melody and lyrics by Andrea. “It was meant to be a nice song originally,” she laughs. “Then it got progressively nastier, about having all these dreams and how they can end up becoming humdrum.”

“Even If” is considerably more cheerful, about “the elation of being in love,” while the album’s title track is particularly close to Andrea's heart. “Everybody’s waiting for the next life, but my belief is we all have the possibility of heaven within us,” she says. The track also features South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo, with whom the Corrs sang at Nelson Mandela’s 46664 AIDS charity concert in Cape Town last year at his request. The band is a particular favorite of President Mandela's, performing for him no less than four times in the last year. 

“Confidence For Quiet” was the first song Andrea came up with for the record. “You always have an anxiety about starting a new album, and it’s me looking for excuses and saying ‘I’m going to give this up. I’ve done my time,’” she says. Ironically, it set her off on a rich vein that saw her writing or co-writing seven of the album’s dozen songs. 

“Baby Be Brave” is one of the album’s most intriguing compositions, with a lyric by Andrea loosely inspired by two seemingly unconnected themes: a newspaper article about Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall and musician Ryan Adams. From these unlikely subjects comes a beautiful song about having faith in one's own abilities: “I believe that what you have to do in life is to do the very thing that most terrifies you. It's about being brave enough to attempt to live up to your potential.”

The album concludes with “Silver Strand,” written by Caroline and Sharon years ago while recording the first album in Malibu. “We wanted a traditional element on this record, and we remembered the tune. It’s important for us to have a real Irish flavor on our albums. Part of us would be missing without it,” says Sharon.

For despite all their international success, the Corrs' roots remain firmly planted in Ireland. Born and raised as a close-knit family in Dundalk, they all played instruments from an early age. In 1990, they appeared in Alan Parker’s film The Commitments when Caroline and Andrea were still in school. Before long they were gigging regularly around Dublin. Their break came in 1995 when, on their first trip to America, they door-stepped top producer David Foster at a Michael Jackson session and asked for an audition. Foster was sufficiently impressed to agree to produce their first album, “FORGIVEN NOT FORGOTTEN.” Released in 1996, it was the biggest-selling debut by an Irish group in their native country, going on to be certified multi-platinum in Ireland, Canada, Australia, Spain, New Zealand, Denmark, and the UK, and gold almost everywhere else.

Their second album, “TALK ON CORNERS,” appeared in 1997, by which time the Corrs were in huge demand, appearing at a Christmas concert in the Vatican, selling out London’s Albert Hall on St. Patrick’s Day, singing with Pavarotti, opening for the Rolling Stones, and performing at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. “TALK ON CORNERS” became the biggest selling British album of 1998, and at one point their first two albums achieved the Beatles-like feat of simultaneously occupying the top two places on the UK chart. “TALK ON CORNERS” eventually went platinum or multi-platinum in 22 territories and gold in numerous others. 

“IN BLUE” was released in 2000. It swiftly repeated the multi-platinum success of its predecessors, hitting #1 in 18 countries. It earned the Corrs their first RIAA platinum album in the U.S. and spawned the hit single, “Breathless.” On December 10, 2000, the Corrs played for U.S. President Bill Clinton as part of the annual “Christmas In Washington” concert. Prior to their performance of the John Lennon classic, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” the quartet took the opportunity to thank the President for his efforts in helping ease the troubles between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Just two days later, the President visited their hometown of Dundalk, where, in his remarks to the local citizens, he noted: “Let me say that for Hillary, Chelsea, and me, it’s great to be in the hometown of the Corrs. Now, we had the privilege of being with them and hearing them sing in Washington just Sunday night. They did you proud. I understand their success has been great for your community, except that in this tight labor market, you haven’t been able to replace them down at McManus’s Pub.” Continuing their non-partisan role as musical ambassadors, in March 2002, the Corrs performed for President George W. Bush at the annual Speaker’s Irish Luncheon in Washington, honoring the Prime Minister of Ireland. 

Among their many other activities following the release of “IN BLUE,” the group sold out a three-night headlining stand at London’s famed Wembley Arena, performed for an all-star MTV concert special marking World AIDS Day 2000, and played Buckingham Palace in June 2002 as part of a free concert celebrating The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Weekend. 

March 2002 saw the release of “VH1 PRESENTS THE CORRS LIVE IN DUBLIN,” the companion album to the VH1 concert special that coincided with the annual celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. Taped in January ’02 at Ardmore Studios and produced by Mitchell Froom, the performance featured the Corrs accompanied by a full orchestra. Both the album and the television special were highlighted by a pair of duets between Andrea Corr and special guest Bono: the Ryan Adams-penned “When The Stars Go Blue,” and “Summer Wine,” made famous by Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra. Also making a guest appearance on two songs was Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood. 

Now, with “BORROWED HEAVEN,” the Corrs have made their most accomplished album to date. “I think it’s the best we’ve ever done. There’s an incredible range of styles and moods and I think it really flows,” Andrea says. 

“I said the same last time, but I really do think this is our best,” Sharon agrees. “At least until the next one.”

April 2004

 


 
 
 
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