“On Coral Island you can fall in love. All the piers and promenades on the boardwalks and bridleways of innocent dreams”. Those are the words that warmly invite us into Coral Island the latest album from one of my favourite bands of all time The Coral. Those words are spoken by the Skelly brothers’ 85-year-old granddad whose narration throughout the album gives us so many warming, thoughtful, romantic and heartfelt moments that ensures Coral Island is a place we will all fall deeply in love. Creativity is a word that goes hand in hand with The Coral. For twenty years now the band have always challenged themselves and pushed musical boundaries whilst at the same time treating the world to some great pop music. Coral Island shows that the band have far from run out of ideas. The theme of this album is a seaside resort with the first half of the album written being about the excitement and endless Summer days, whilst the second half takes us into the quiet, ghostly whilst also being romantic days of Autumn and Winter. For me as I am sure it will for many of you the old-fashioned seaside resort captured in this album will instantly take you back to childhood memories. I loved going into the arcades with pockets full of 2ps and 10ps to pump into those big 2p and 10p coin machines full of hope and excitement at getting my timings write so a load more coins would drop out. Like with all albums you really must listen to this from start to finish, do not skip any song. Allow yourself to get lost in a sea of dreams and memories. If ever you find yourself having to read or listen to someone, say that the album is dead then just point them in the direction of Coral Island and there really can be no better evidence to argue that the album format is very much alive and kicking. I have already stated that The Coral are one of my favourite bands of all time. One of the things that make them such a great band is how this is a band where there is not one dominant force. The Coral are very much a collective effort, every member of this band has a voice and an input into the creation of these songs and how these genius thoughts and ideas are put out in an art form for us ridiculously lucky human beings to get lost in repeatedly. Coral Island has come out at a very apt time, although we are at the stage now where hope is on the horizon we have lived and are still living through a time with restrictions on our lives and limited travel. Coral Island gives us a portal to a different world and allows us to escape from the troubles that surround our day to day lives. It allows us to travel, it takes us away from any worries that we may have. For me this album provides a portal to both the past and the future. Throughout this review I have purposely not highlighted favourite songs or written about the songs in order. Including the already mentioned genius narrative from granddad this is a twenty-four-song double album and no-one wants to hear my thoughts on twenty four songs. And picking out highlights really will take away the importance this album holds as a record to enjoy from start to finish. Although I do feel the need to pick out one of many favourite lyrics “Old photographs negatives of nowhere towns / Old photographs stories told without a single sound”. I have always loved looking at photos and how they capture moments in time, and there are so many stories, history and lives captured in these photographs that don’t talk. The only thing left to say is a big, honest, genuine heartfelt thanks to The Coral for sharing with us the wonderful thoughts that occupy their minds. With Coral Island not only have we been given an album that we can love and cherish, but this is also an album to hand down to future generations.