The Corrs
By Frank Scheck

NEW YORK -- Having already conquered Europe, Irish music group the Corrs seem ready to repeat that success in America, as evidenced by chart hits like "Breathless" and by the crowd that greeted them for their sold-out show at Radio City Music Hall in New York, which appropriately took place on the eve of St. Patrick's Day.  It isn't hard to see why the band is poised for U.S. breakout status: Their music, a canny blend of melodic pop and Celtic elements, sounds like Fleetwood Mac by way of "Riverdance," and the combination works surprisingly well. And it doesn't hurt that the Corrs, composed of three gorgeous sisters and their brother, is seriously babe-alicious.

The tunes on the current release, "In Blue," are the group's most tuneful yet, with the recordings given a fine pop sheen by such producers as Robert John "Mutt" Lange and Mitchell Froom. The songs were delivered with a strong degree of fidelity in concert, with the core quartet augmented by a pair of musicians. For the record, the lineup consists of lead singer Andrea Corr, who also plays tin whistle; Caroline on drums; Sharon on violin; and Jim on guitars and keyboards.

With huge video screens providing close-ups of the girls' frequent come-hither poses, the show was a crowd-pleasing affair that showcased the group's strengths, even if it also revealed a certain repetitiveness in their music. It says something that the number that received the most enthusiastic response was not an original but rather a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams," though the crowd was also revved up by the pure pop hooks in such songs as "Breathless," "Give Me a Reason" and "Somebody for Someone." Every once in a while, the audience was exhorted to stand for a rousing instrumental, enlivened by Sharon's exuberant fiddling. Late in the show, a quiet acoustic version of the pretty ballad "All the Love in the World" provided some welcome relief from the tumult.

Further exposure to the music of the Emerald Isle was provided by the opening act, singer
Brian Kennedy, fresh from a nine-month run in the Broadway production of "Riverdance."  He delivered a strong acoustic set of original numbers that well showcased his gorgeous, ethereal tenor voice.