Limerick’s finest linger on
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.