Lim­er­ick’s finest linger on

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Eguide Music - JAR­RAD BE­VAN THE CRAN­BER­RIES are per­form­ing at the Der­went En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre on March 28.

LET’S take the Tardis back to the ’ 90s this week with the new al­bum by Ir­ish hit- mak­ers The Cran­ber­ries.

More than a decade since their last out­ing comes Roses. And it sounds ex­actly like one would ex­pect.

The band has barely up­dated its sound – ex­cept for Fire & Soul, which walks them to­wards the mod­ern genre of folk­tron­ica blend­ing old- fash­ioned melodies with elec­tronic drums and some swirling back­ground noises.

There’s less alt- rock these days, more gui­tar- pop bal­ladry. The thing is that even if the shouty Zom­bie was their big­gest hit, they were al­ways re­ally good at writ­ing softer mu­sic too.

Roses starts with a strong one- two punch, ar­guably the al­bum’s best ma­te­rial.

Con­duct has a sim­i­lar tone to Linger, with Dolores O’rior­dan’s stun­ning vo­cal style sound­ing as pas­sion­ate as ever.

She muses on a busted re­la­tion­ship – is it too late to fix, is it time to move on – she def­i­nitely thinks so.

Up next is the light and crisp pop mu­sic of To­mor­row. It sounds like it was writ­ten with ra­dio in mind. It’s re­strained but never bor­ing, with gui­tar and vo­cal melodies that melt into each other.

Lyri­cal themes of love, sex and death are well worn. But O’rior­dan’s unique, haunt­ing, ethe­real voice gives them just enough oomph on bal­lads such as Rain­ing in My Heart or Los­ing My Mind.

At the mid­dle of the al­bum comes Schiz­o­phrenic Play­boy, the only song that re­ally ups the pace and rocks out. It’s ready and wait­ing to slay fans at gigs, even if they do their rock­ing with acous­tic gui­tars and vi­o­lins these days in­stead of fuzzed- out elec­tric gui­tar power chords.

An­other no­table tune is the waltz Wait­ing in Waltham­stow, a touch­ing love song with a per­fect blend of strings and whis­pered singing.

What else? Show Me is up­beat and ra­dio- ready pop, while As­tral Pro­jec­tion squeezes ev­ery pos­si­ble drop out of the good old soft- loud, verse- cho­rus- verse song for­mat.

Some credit for the suc­cess of this al­bum should go to its pro­ducer. The band re­united with Stephen Street, who worked the stu­dio knobs on their best­selling ’ 93 and ’ 94 al­bums.

There’s more in com­mon with Roses and those out­ings than the new record and their last al­bum from 2001, which sold one mil­lion copies but also flew un­der the radar and fell well short of their stan­dards.

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