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THE CRANBERRIES Some­thing Else ★★★ BMG

As one of Ire­land’s most suc­cess­ful bands, The Cranberries’ legacy is as­sured. The band, who have re­leased no new ma­te­rial since 2011’s Roses, aren’t vy­ing for a con­tem­po­rary au­di­ence, but their lat­est al­bum is em­i­nently lis­ten­able. They de­camped to the Univer­sity of Lim­er­ick last year to record old tracks ar­ranged for the Ir­ish Cham­ber Orches­tra, and most of th­ese songs ben­e­fit from the ad­di­tional or­ches­tra­tion, par­tic­u­larly the pacy Dreams and the swoon­some Linger, al­though the jagged edges that made

Zom­bie a fiery clas­sic are blunted. Of their three new tracks, the win­some The Glory and the melan­cholic Why? are most af­fect­ing, O’Rior­dan’s voice as pow­er­ful and pure at 45 as it was at 18. Mostly, though, this is a re­minder that The Cranberries wrote some great songs in their time. LAUREN MUR­PHY

FEIST Plea­sure ★★★ Poly­dor

She be­came known for her quirky in­cur­sions into in­die and pop with songs such as the Ap­ple ad-fea­tur­ing 1234, but for her fourth al­bum Les­lie Feist is tak­ing things down sev­eral notches. As with her pre­vi­ous al­bum, 2011’s

Met­als, the Cana­dian mu­si­cian con­tin­ues her thread of sparse, slow-burn­ing songs cen­tred mostly on her voice and gui­tar, the lat­ter used in cre­ative ways on the bluesy I’m Not Run­ning Away, the brash swag­ger of Any Party and the at­mo­spheric ti­tle track. There’s an un­doubted PJ Har­vey-like vibe to the be­witch­ing hiss of Lost, Feist’s voice tinted with re­verb, while Jarvis Cocker turns up on the groovy, more im­me­di­ate Cen­tury for a spo­ken­word pas­sage. The lack of dy­namism makes things a lit­tle un­der­whelm­ing at times, but you get the feel­ing that Feist’s lowkey, un­der­stated ap­proach is all part of her plan. lis­ LAUREN MUR­PHY

SYLVAN ESSO What Now ★★★ Loma Vista

Sylvan Esso’s 2014’s self-ti­tled debut sur­veyed the ter­rain of anx­i­ety, which bled into their in­ter­est­ing sonic ref­er­ences. This anx­i­ety is partly why they work; they bring to bear com­ple­men­tary mu­si­cal pasts that fuse folk sen­si­bil­i­ties with elec­tronic sound­scapes. What Now makes the most of this dy­namic, with gor­geous beats from San­born wrap­ping around Meath’s flaw­less vo­cal with a strong but play­ful grip. The idea of con­sumerism is a theme through­out, some­times ex­pressed in a more minimalist way on Sound, or on the driv­ing

Ra­dio, but there are mo­ments where they riff on old touch­stones, as on the bril­liant

Kick Jump Twist. Love song Die Young is about the de­rail­ing of their ro­man­tic vi­sion of dy­ing young when con­tented in a re­la­tion­ship, and this jux­ta­po­si­tion dis­tils their lively, cre­ative vi­sion. syl­ SIOBHÁN KANE

COR­MAC Ó CAOIMH Shiny Sil­very Things ★★★★ Self-Re­leased

For the usual rea­sons, there are too many good song­writ­ers out there that hardly ever make an im­pact out­side record­ing stu­dios and fam­ily gath­er­ings. With Shiny

Sil­very Things, Cork song­writer Cor­mac Ó Caoimh is on his fourth al­bum, yet you’d be hard pressed to know any­one that has ever heard of him. This sorry state of af­fairs may or may not con­tinue, but if it’s the lat­ter then at least Ó Caoimh can drift away safe in the knowl­edge that his mu­sic never lacked smarts. There are echoes of ter­rific song­writ­ers here – the likes of Lloyd Cole, Paul Si­mon, Eels’ Mark E Everett, and Pre­fab Sprout’s Paddy McAloon fil­ter through – but Ó Caoimh’s per­son­alised world­view makes the ma­te­rial his own. On the ba­sis of this al­bum alone (never mind the other three), let’s make sure we’re not ask­ing “what­ever hap­pened to . . . “ques­tions in a few years time. cor­ TONY CLAY­TON-LEA

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