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Anna Nolan: Andrea, you haven't even released your album yet and I'm bored to bloody tears

The sum of the parts is greater than the whole. And, by God, never a truer sentence said when it comes to the crazy/ bland/pretty parts that make up The Corrs.

This family from Dundalk took the world by storm with their mix of slushy harmonies, weak, wispy vocals and instruments being held in all manners of sexiness in their music videos. Take it from me, I play the violin and my neck and head look like a butternut squash when I am playing.

But broken down into individuals, they are nothing to write home about.

Andrea is releasing an album of cover versions and I can't think of anything worse. In my experience, when an artist decides they want to sing other people's songs they are either broke, over the hill, bored or talentless.

Lifelines will feature her interpretation of songs by The Velvet Underground, Donna Summer, Harry Nilsson, Nick Drake, Ron Sexsmith and The Blue Nile.

Brilliant acts, all of these -- and therein lies the rub. If I want to listen to a soaring Donna Summer song or an edgy Velvet Underground, that's exactly what I'll do.

But the prospect of Andrea Corr applying her style, such as I know it, to the work of any of these great names, irritates me in the extreme.

Andrea's comments about the forthcoming album don't instill much hope.

"This was the nicest working experience I have ever had," she says.

'Nicest?' My nicest working experience was putting stamps on hundreds of envelopes when I was 17 years of age for a local company. It was easy, sometimes mind-numbingly boring, but I got paid well and I was out of there every day at 4.30pm.

Nice. Sure.

Look, The Corrs have had huge success both at home and internationally in their day. But since 2006 they have each followed their personal pursuits. Jim has become an expert in pointless conspiracy theories -- sort of like a less entertaining, Irish version of Charlie Sheen, bringing an involuntary guffaw to the lips of all who listen to him on subjects such as 9/11 and airport X-ray machines and his One World Government theory.

Lame

Sharon Corr, the fiddler in the band, released a rather mediocre album last year. Her appearance on the Late Late show did nothing to improve my opinion of her as a solo artist as her vocals on the show sounded lame to say the least.

Caroline, the drummer, has been living a quiet life with her husband and three children.

The Corrs made their name and their money from a type of Irish music, the name of which makes me want to gag, 'Celtic Folk Rock'. Just saying those words together makes my toes curl and my eyes water.

Hearing Celtic Folk Rock brings me come out in hives and makes me want to pull my eyebrows off. It was music of the Nineties, no doubt created in the back of a pub somewhere by some bitter Irish musician that never made it to the top.

Foray

To break out of being middle of the road takes talent, hard work and buckets of guts.

Andrea has been trying very hard working on stage as an actress. But this little cover album brings her back to the easy, boring, beige strata of musicianship, that comes about when one is fed up.

Not good enough, really.

The Corrs were at their best when they were all together and peddling their pap to moist-eyed American tourists from the shelf of some shamrock- stickered choon station at Dublin Airport. As individual artists, they've failed to make the grade in my book.

An album of cover versions of songs we already know and love in their original form will not endear Andrea to me any more than her fleeting foray onto stage in the neck-high Puritan garb of Jane Eyre.

Leave the karaoke to the X Factor kids, Andrea.

Louis, how dare you blast my old mate Blathnaid?

SO Louis Walsh thinks the judges on the All Ireland Talent Show lack experience in the music business. "I don't know how any of them got jobs," he says.

Oh, c'mon, Louis. We all know judges in talent shows are not necessarily experts in music. Piers Morgan, anyone? The man has become a star not because of his knowledge of music or performance but because of his smarmy wit on the British and American Got Talent shows.

Interesting judges can keep a show going better than the acts.

You're own best bits were when you were shrieking like a muppet at Simon Cowell, not dispensing useful advice to X Factor acts.

So good on you Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh, me ol' pal. Your act won the show and you played a blinder.

Reaction to racism row doesn't need a detective...

How brave or stupid was it of the TV producer to say there was no place for ethnic actors in Midsomer Murders?

Well, he has been suspended. In a Radio Times interview, he said: "We don't have ethnic minorities. It wouldn't be the English village with them. It just wouldn't work.

"We're the last bastion of Englishness and I want to keep it that way."

Midsomer Murders for the past 14 years has been portraying an English, middle-class, white village.

There are no homosexuals, no coloured people. As a gay woman, I would not really be interested in seeing a gay character, as a gay person would be bored out of their brain in that village. And how many black people would like to see a black person there for the sake of it?

None, I imagine.