Today I have relived my youth. I have been infused with the joy of having absolutely nothing to do after midday, finding that the sun wasn’t going anywhere and being around a group of people who are similarly giddy, gleeful and other g-words. That’s because they’re young, and by young I mean significantly younger than me, so much so that their conception of nostalgia is still in formation, which is nice. Speaking of nostalgia, when I was little, like, before puberty messed everything up, my favourite thing to do was go down to the beach with my brothers (and eventual sister) and my Mum in her big-ass green Tarago. The Tarago, I should point out, was my early induction into the rock’n'roll lifestyle; it’s the same van used to ferry around rockstars like Foo Fighters and Muse when they’re trying to get from their dressing room to the stage of one of our mega-domes. I saw that when I was 17 and was like, “Sweet. Taragos are hardcore…” Anyway, on the way to the beach, mother dearest would crank up the daggiest radio station in Sydney and sing along to a variety of cringe worthy ’90s hits I have now come to love, including the always-amazing ‘All That She Wants‘. But if Ace of Base were the one-hit wonders of my youth (actually, they weren’t. I think that title was a three-way tie between Deep Blue Something, Third Eye Blind and B*Witched), then the undisputed heroes were The motherfucking Corrs.
Do not laugh. The Corrs are mega-talented. They have a girl drummer who is as skilled as she is attractive, two singers who play guitar and violin and that brother who looks a bit like The Edge from U2 but whatever. In essence, The Corrs are the reverse of my family, which has three boys and a girl, but they’ve been together since the start and after doing some research on Angelfire or AskJeeves or whatever stage the Internet was at when I was eleven, I was inspired by how they managed to write such great pop songs and not kill each other like my siblings and I seemed to be doing every day. And great pop songs they were, Celtic melodies mixed with string sections the size of a feature film, harmonies and seriously mega production that rocked the faithful Tarago like it was going out of fashion. Most people remember The Corrs for their super-ballads, like ‘Runaway’ (a close contender for today’s post, I must add) or ‘Only When I Sleep.’ But ‘Forgiven Not Forgotten’ is epic. It’s the reason that bands like Paramore, or Evanescence ever had the chance to exist. It’s why people give a shit about Best Coast singing ‘I wish you were my boyyy-friend…”. There’s so much expression, so much Irish defiance ringing out from Andrea Corr’s vocals as the elements swirl around her in opening verse. In fact, I distinctly remember sitting in the car with the keys and telling everyone else that I’d catch them up down on the sand, but I wanted to hear the rest of this song. That’s the kind of effect it had on me.
Why I really like The Corrs is that they made strings cool before it was acceptable to rent one for a hip-hop banger, they were synching drum loops when people could still remember the 80s and they had absolutely no qualms about moving between genres as songs progressed. there’s this amazing cock-rock guitar lick at the end of the second verse which comes straight off the back of a violin line, and I mean, who did that on the brink of the millennium? This is the same time Korn and Limp Bizkit were storming the charts, people. Put it into perspective. The Corrs kept it in the family, kept it clean, kept the metaphors strictly above the belt and in the imagination, and came up with great lyrics like this title. I can’t even imagine how many times I wish I could have said to someone ‘You’re forgiven, not forgotten.’ Eight kinds of awesome, that phrase is. On a side note, how good looking are the women in this band? Seriously!
So today I was at the same beach as I was as a young child, baking in the Tarago and waiting for the climactic third chorus of The Corrs. And yeah, they were eighteen or seventeen, or whatever. But I was just enjoying being back where I started, with people who probably never even knew The Corrs existed until it came up on a random karaoke screen one night when they were drunk. But hey, I can forgive them. Because I haven’t forgotten this quartet, and I haven’t listened to them for over a decade.
The Corrs – ‘Forgiven, Not Forgotten’
Get Hard Corr(s) here.