Album Review: The Corrs’ “Borrowed Heaven”

Sheila Burt and Sheila Burt

Most Americans first heard of the Corrs — an Irish band comprising three sisters and a brother — with their catchy tune, “Breathless” from their 2000 album, “In Blue.”

Considering the group’s rich Celtic pop tunes from past albums, it’s a shame the Corrs’ biggest hit was a pop song co-written by producer Robert “Mutt” Lang of Shania Twain and Def Leppard fame. Four years later, the Corrs have ditched Lang for their latest release, “Borrowed Heaven.” But even with a new producer — Olle Romo, who has worked with Jason Mraz and pop-singer Poe — the result is all too similar to their last album.

In the same vein as “In Blue,” the Corrs’ latest effort showcases synthesized pop that ignores the group’s Celtic flare, which in the past has made the band sound better than the average pop group.

The album opens with “Summer Sunshine,” which, like “Breathless,” is harmless and cheesy pop music you can’t help but like. Unfortunately the rest of the songs aren’t as catchy and are extremely overproduced, including synthesized keyboards and Andrea Corr rapping.

The only songs that save this album are those that showcase the group’s unique blend of traditional Celtic music, rock and pop. Sharon Corr’s vigorous fiddle playing in “Angel” and the bittersweet “Hideaway” show that the band knows how to write smart pop tunes without adding useless production stunts that bury their distinct sound.

This band would sound best if they simply emphasized their strengths: turning down the keyboards and amping up the fiddle and tin whistle. Then listeners would know, without having to read the liner notes, that the Corrs hail from Dundalk, Ireland.