So, here we have The Cranberries, a band I remember off-handedly from the 90's, though not for the positive or negative. This is actually their sixth studio album, and the first they've released in ten years. It was originally planned for release in 2004, but they split-up instead to pursue solo endeavors. Deep breath folks, 10 years is bound to make for a lot to say.
There is actually a second album (bonus CD with the re-release I think) that is a live recording from Madrid in 2010, and a quick look over the tracks doesn't reveal any repeats. It could be worth it if you were a long time fan. I almost included it here, but I had a tough time making it through the first one.
Follow along on Spotify's stream if you'd like. Oh, and fair warning, I just watched my alma mater loose (Belmont) in the NCAA tournament, soooo... sorry if you expect happiness throughout this listen.
It you weren't aware, The Cranberries are from Ireland, so starting off with this really nice Irish drumming and rhythm is actually a very lovely homage. We've started, by the way. The first song is "Conduct," and you'll be immediately reminded of the voice that leads the group. It's a cute song over all, kind of a funny one. She's talking about conducting, like a band or an electric current. "We're really strong when we're together" I think is the line that gave it away. It's also, in my head, a cool little nod to the reunion of the band.
I remember the appeal of this band with "Tomorrow." They've got these happy riffs throughout the music, but that voice has such an odd downing sound, yet you still enjoy the weirdness. I'm liking picking apart what these are about, since I have some weird understanding of 90's music. This one's kind of on seizing the day, but being to proud to do so. Plus, the music was totally made for "Pete & Pete."
Do do dos! We must really be taking it back. "Raining In My Heart" alone is a pretty great title. I'm only being a little sarcastic here. There's actually something really magical about this whole album sort of taking us back a couple of steps. I remember wishing I was an early-20-something back in the 90s so that I had an excuse to be this angst-y about things, since I knew my problems weren't really that bad. It's all about missing someone and wishing you could do anything to get to them.
A little too much whiny-punk in "Schizophrenic Playboy." There's just the sound from the guitar like it's such tough steel strings it's refusing, stubbornly, to give anything real. The attempt at harmonies is kind of cool, and at least gives a cool effect to the lyrics. It's a very "what's she upset about now?" feeling song. I can imagine this in a really twisted ballet I worked on last year though...
"Waiting in Walthamstow" is not only hard to type, but hard to listen to. The whispers are like an awkward hangover noise amongst the apartment. Do you want the people to hear your words of sorrow or what? Eh, sorry, but you were warned I might get a little bitter throughout this experience. At least her waiting paid off - sounds like maybe it has a happy ending. Maybe.
Huh, interesting string start to "Show Me." It's actually the first time since that very little beginning part that I remember that she's Irish. Actually... maybe this was the single? Not really sure and not willing to look it up, but it sounds oddly familiar. A different voice would compliment this really well, because the song itself is actually not bad.
There is something completely and utterly off about the next one, "Astral Projections," and I mean that strictly from an aural standpoint. This is just really unnerving to the ears as it goes. The voice doesn't hit the right notes, and the music is spacey in a really awful way. I don't normally rip things apart, but if I were being harsher, this would be the right spot. I love the concept of the song in theory, but it is not well executed in the least bit. And now it's getting louder as if you yell at me for that comment. Stop attacking me song!
"So Good" makes me appreciate the beginning of the album so much more. It's just that her passion has died off as the tracks have gone on. They become more and more dull in sound and submissive to the man who's making her sing. I get that there are love songs, and may I'm a member of the bitter singles club, but this is just rough. I could do with actual singing, even with this odd voice. There's a reason we enjoyed the earlier stuff - we could hear and relate through the oddities.
The final song on here is the title track, which I've always liked as a placement move, "Roses." It's... a freaking weak ending with weird additional effects in the background as it goes on. This was the time to end strong, and instead, we die off. No, literally, the song lyrics are "everything feels cold in the winter" and talks about life being roses.... that whither and die. He's done with her, and, quite frankly, now, so am I.
Well, okay then. We're done. It wasn't total torture - I didn't skip any tracks. But I am really beyond over this and am a little more understanding of my friends' anti-late-90's band sentiments that I didn't appreciate with other bands in question (Matchbox Twenty follows me on Twitter, and that's cool. Damn it.). I'm over this. Bring on something better.