In the early ‘90s you couldn’t turn on a radio without hearing Irish band The Cranberries. Hitting the music scene in ‘94 with their debut album Everybody Else is Doing it so Why Can’t We, they took their place in the indie crowd alongside Smashing Pumpkins, Bjork, PJ Harvey and Tori Amos after a few years paying their dues and getting very little media attention.
After their music was picked up by MTV, their songs quickly became the soundtrack to many an angsty teen and twenty something’s life, with their first three albums spawning hit after hit including Linger, Zombie, Dreams, Ode to my Family, I Can’t be with You, Free to Decide and Salvation. A couple of sub-par albums later, the band spilt up in 2003 and singer Delores O’Riordan released a couple of solo albums, neither of which did well commercially.
Reforming in 2009, Roses is their sixth studio album, their first in 11 years (not counting their Greatest Hits) and thankfully, there’s still life in the old girl yet. While songs from their later releases suffered from simplistic rhyming and cringeworthy lyrics, the songs on Roses stand up alongside the early stars of their career.
The album leads with its strongest tracks Conduct and first-single Tomorrow, both of which bring back The Berries’ early sound with Delores’ lilting Irish accent shining through and sweeping melodies featuring strongly. The other standouts from the album include Schizophrenic Playboy which takes a rockier route akin to Still Cant… or How from EBEIDSWCW, Losing my Mind and Astral Projections are also steady performers, growing on you with subsequent listens. Like their better albums, there are a few tracks that are neither emotional ballads nor charging rock songs but sit somewhere in the middle in radio-friendly land but none of them are bad or boring.
Many of the tracks feature string arrangements, and the quieter, slow verses with big build ups to melodic choruses that made their earlier albums so recognisable and listenable and earned them fans around the world. Let’s hope that they continue back on this path and not fall off as they did before.
Roses gives you a few different formats to choose from: a standard 11 track version, an iTunes version with two additional tracks including Dreams live and a Deluxe version with the same 13 tracks, plus a 16 track disc recorded live in Madrid from 2010 which features all of their hits with only a couple of songs from their later years.
The Cranberries are touring Australia and NZ in March, supporting Lenny Kravitz on his World Tour.
In Sydney they’re doing a side show at Enmore Theatre on March 22 which will showcase their new album but will no doubt play some of their hits.
> For Lenny Kravitz gigs, tickets are available through Ticketmaster.
> For the Enmore Theatre gig, tickets are available through Ticketek.
Watch the video for their new single Tomorrow below.