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The Coronas

The Coronas

The Coronas, The Long Way

The Coronas, The Long Way

Boyzone Dublin to Detroit

Boyzone Dublin to Detroit

Deus

Deus

The Velvet Underground

The Velvet Underground

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The Coronas

Your essential guide to this week's new music and games...

The Coronas

The Long Way

3 STARS

Album number 4 from these Dubliners finds frontman Danny O'Reilly badly in need of the chats, a hug, and maybe a cup of tae, bless him. There is no disguising the fact that The Long Way is a break-up album. Questions like "would it mean I love you less?" in a song called If I Gave Myself To Someone Else, kind of rubberstamp that fact. The album's protagonist finds themself disorientated after re-entering the world of singlehood, and setting off on a teary-eyed drive they're steering the car firmly into the middle of the road.

At The Same Time has that familiar piano/kick drum thump popularised by Coldplay, while The Long Way is safe balladeering with a lighters-in-the-air chorus. It's the kind of thing that has made wealthy men of Gary Lightbody and Iain Archer. All The Others has been all over the radio, and with good cause - it's upbeat, slick and handclapping. Likewise, Get Loose is savvy, strident guitar pop.

This break-up though, poor divil, it's been a messy one. Statements like "if you have something constructive to say about my present or my future then you know where I am" permeate the record. There are even hints at the ill-advised rebound on How This Goes, a track replete with big "woah-oh"s in its chorus.

It's a record that will once again shift in its thousands here at home, but will be white noise abroad. O'Reilly recently made a fine contribution to the excellent album from Daithí, and one would have hoped that different avenue may have led back here to some degree. Maybe next time.

 

AT A GLANCE

Boyzone

Dublin To Detroit

Video of the Day

1 STAR

Beyond ensuring Christmas in the Keating, Graham, Duffy and Lynch households is slightly more comfortable, there is absolutely no point to this album. The cheap production on You Can't Hurry Love has you pining for the return of Phil Collins, and mistakenly singing S Club 7's Reach. While their down-tempo This Old Heart Of Mine highlights how removed Ro' Keating is from Ro' Isley. It's genuinely frightening to think anyone on earth would pay to hear Keating bleat through Tears of a Clown. If you need to hear Motown tunes (and you do) buy a proper compilation, not this. Never this.

Deus

Selected Songs 1994-2014

4 STARS

During the 90s, dEUS released a string of brilliant albums, and post early 00's hiatus, released some okay ones. Selected Songs cherry picks the best tunes from their 20-year career and is a reminder of just how good they can be, The gorgeous Hotellounge remains a pure joy to listen to.

Instant Street still makes the hairs on your neck stand on end 15 years after its release, and Suds & Soda fires you around the room in manic spasm.

Even more recent tracks like The Architect and 7 Days 7 Weeks stand up well against their well turned-out brothers. If you haven't already, then here is where you should.

 

LISTEN AGAIN

The Velvet Underground

The Velvet Underground

Re-released this week with a Niagra-like torrent of extras is the Velvets' third album. Following John Cale's departure, and given the power of their frontman, it has been derided as a Lou Reed solo album in all-but-name. But to add such tags is to deny the quality of the songs on the record. For a band so defined by their outsider nature, it always surprises how genuinely pretty and lace-delicate tracks like Candy Says and Pale Blue Eyes are. And without the charming, Mo Tucker-fronted After Hours there would be no Kimya Dawson or Moldy Peaches.

The experimental thrust remains on the disorientating whirlygig of The Murder Mystery. But the album's heartbeat comes in the redemptive trio of songs that straddle its sides. Jesus is a call to help Reed find his "proper place", heading down the tunnel to I'm Beginning To See The Light, before the powerful baptism of I'm Set Free. It's an album that showed they were still dexterous without Cale, with Reed adding a new-found vulnerability to his songwriting.

 

GAMING

HALO: THE MASTER CHIEF COLLECTION

Xbox One: €64.99, XtraVision

An all-in-one compilation of the Halo 1, 2, 3 and 4, with every bit of extra content, The Master Chief Collection is like a lovingly remastered special edition of your favourite album: better and yet the same. The first two games are both recreated with better graphics and available in their original form, allowing you to switch between the old and new on the fly as you play.

The over-arching menu system is brilliantly put together, letting you slice and dice your experience, dipping in and out of chapters, ploughing through the whole saga, or cycling through your favourite multiplayer maps.

5 STARS

SUNSET OVERDRIVE

Xbox One: €64.99, XtraVision

Few games of Sunset Overdrive's ambition and scale are able to get away with being counter-cultural and genuinely, laugh-out-loud funny, but it absolutely nails it. A third-person open-world game with fast-paced zip-lining and rail-grinding, it's a multi-genre mashup that succeeds more than it fails. Though the scale of the city, speed of locomotion and frenetic combat can sometimes be overwhelming and disorientating, especially when trying to pursue specific objectives.

5 STARS


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