This time, you really can blame the parents.

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In Blue

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In Blue

This time, you really can blame the parents. For all those evil Svengalis herding Dolly The Sheep teen bands into the nation’s rehearsal studios, The Corrs must be a constant thorn in their envious sides. The pop wing of the Human Genome Project, Andrea, Caroline, Sharon and Jim are proof that, even among the mutant S Club 7 strain, freakish like an ear on a mouse’s back, nature still has a hand in chart perfection. Not only does it create band member standardisation without the need for irritating auditions, it also stamps them with a useful organic credibility. Accuse The Corrs of being manufactured, and aspersions could be cast about your grasp of basic biology.

A grasp of basic marketing, however, isn’t going to hurt. More wholesome than a stout advert, aglow with Celtic chic and featuring multiple pretty sisters, The Corrs run the gamut of contemporary celebrity appeal from A to Sleaze. They’re exactly positioned between the Pret A Manger sandwich and the IKEA catalogue in the range of modern convenience, yet it’s a ubiquity that takes hard work and a harder heart.

), while the classy yodelling of ‘At Your Side’ is just happy to offer comfort without any useful return.

Of course, when they pull themselves together, they do it like [I]Terminator 2[/I]. As you’d expect from a band who work with Shania Twain‘s husband Mutt Lange on three songs, there’s a ferocious voracity here. The insistence on good taste is overwhelming, almost Patrick Bateman-like in its careful assimilation, its pathological need to win without standing out. Whether the trance flicker of ‘Give Me A Reason’, bizarre Cult-style guitars on ‘Breathless’, the pine-fresh hypoallergenic reggae of ‘Give It All Up’ or the unfortunate folk binge of ‘Rebel Heart’, they display canny musical variety while scrupulously avoiding anything approaching experimentation.

‘In Blue’ is as accomplished as a dissection, neat as suture, unobtrusive as anaesthetic. They make you respect their precise skills, even admire them. What can they do to make you love them? Absolutely nothing at all.