The Corrs album Forgiven…Not Forgotten was one of those albums that I never would have discovered had it not been for the double influence of my wife and Madonna. Obviously, Heidi was the more direct influence. She had picked the CD up from the Iowa City Public Library and got me to listen to it, saying that I would really like it. This was 1997-98 and Titanic mania was at its zenith and anything that had that Irish feel to it appealed to us. Madonna’s influence was a little less direct. Fresh off seeing Evita in the theater four times, I always wondered about the voice that plays Juan Peron’s mistress – her voice was so clear and distinctive. Turns out it was Andrea Corr, the lead singer from the Corrs. I’ll always wonder what it would have been like to have her sing “Another Suitcase In Another Hall” instead of having the song rudely taken from her by Madonna.
Anyway, when I first listened to this album, I recognized “Runaway” right away. A single in 1995, it got some traction on the adult contemporary chart so that’s probably why I recognized it. It marries a solid pop hook to traditional Irish sounds so flawlessly. And the great thing is that it was pretty representative of the whole album – there’s only a couple duds on Forgiven…Not Forgotten. I really love the way The Corrs mixed in instrumentals with vocal selections, making a very satisfying listen from so many angles.
As it stands, The Corrs have yet to equal the quality of music found on their debut. I bought the follow-up Talk on Corners completely on faith and was pretty disappointed. Aside from a handful of good songs, it was a mere shadow of Forgiven…Not Forgotten. After this album, I definitely picked and chose my Corrs songs. “Breathless” was pretty awesome, as was 2004’s “Summer Sunshine.” I remember an Entertainment Weekly review criticizing their 2000 album In Blue as having jettisoned all their Irish influence, referring to them as “Wilson O’Phillips.” Although this morning, after having listened to the bulk of Forgiven…Not Forgotten, I want to go back and try Talk on Corners again.
“Runaway” is one of those songs that will always remind me of the early days of our marriage, being broke as hell in grad school but knowing that we would make it if we just stuck together. A decade and a half later, I think we’ve done pretty well. I’m never gonna stop falling in love with you.