The Fool And The Scorpion
published: 18 /
Accomplished collection of rock and jazz-tinged piano ballads. on third solo album from Corrs multi-instrumentalist Sharon Corr
Sharon Corr rarely took centre stage in the band she formed around 1990 with sisters Andrea and Caroline and brother Jim. It was always lead singer Andrea, in her gothic splendour, who was the focal point as The Corrs sold 45 million albums and filled international arenas wit their Irish folk and pop. Yet Sharon, now 51, who provided powerful backing vocals plus played piano and violin, was always the band's instrumental powerhouse. She was undoubtedly the most accomplished of them all across a range of musical skills.
Her virtuosity is evident in Sharon Corr's new release, 'The Fool & The Scorpion', which is her third individual album in eleven years. It is easily her most impressive. Sharon determinedly avoids falling back on the folk-style legacy of The Corrs and, instead, she has worked with producer Larry Klein to make an album of swirling rock and jazz-tinged piano ballads. She plays her trademark violin throughout – but in a low-key way. The album's ten songs were penned largely on piano and the result is a distinct change of gear.
There is also a rawness that's in striking contrast to the carefree lilt of the big Corrs hits like 'Breathless' or 'Runaway”' Sharon's marriage to Belfast lawyer Gavin Bonnar broke down in 2019 and the album does reveal some anger, as in the title track...... “You'll get your just deserts, served cold on the grave of my tenderness”, Sharon sings. Apparently, this song was written on a bumpy flight from Madrid, wher' Sharon is currently living, to Switzerland – and that turbulence clearly added to the sense of turmoil in the lyrics. The surging rock number “Freefall' with the line, “I'm so messed up...” and the lovely piano ballad 'Lend Me Your Shoulder' also reflect Sharon's recent trauma. But by the time we reach the waltz-time pop-flavoured 'A Thousand Lives' things seem brighter, more philosophical and the overall focus of this album is very much on moving forwards.
Working with Larry Klein - famous for his work with Joni Mitchell - was a very smart move. Klein assembled a team of top session musicians at The Village, the Los Angeles studio where the likes of The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac cut fabled LPs. The influence of the classic 1970s Laurel Canyon is palpable.
Sharon prides herself on “singing it like I mean it”. She adopts a tearful whisper (reminiscent of Norah Jones) on 'Lend Me Your Shoulder' and on 'Only You', which was co-written with sister Andrea, she is sweet and nicely understated. With songs drawn from what Sharon has described as “the biggest storm of my life”, Larry Klein has commented that 'The Fool & The Scorpion' is her solo “coming of age” album.
Sharon Corr is also back performing on stage again, having completed a residency at a top Madrid jazz club. Tours are apparently being planned - including several UK and Irish shows.
The Fool & The Scorpion
Lend Me Your Shoulder
A Thousand Lives
Under A Daylight Moon
Running On Rooftops
The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter
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