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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

all roses and dolores

I really missed The Cranberries. And listening to the bands reunion album, Roses, I realized just how much.

The Cranberries were my band in my late high school years. While I was looking for something else other than Hip Hop to relate to music wise, I found The Cranberries. No Need to Argue had just dropped and it was the latest big band in the school halls. Everyone was humming tracks like Twenty One, Can't Be with You and Zombie. One day, a friend handed me a cassette. He told me that it was Cranberries first album. I thought No Need was their first project. I was so behind. I ran home and slammed it in the tape deck. Pressed Play. My friend told me to check out Linger. "The seventh track", he noted while running onto the school bus. I fast forwarded the tape. The song started. Instantly hooked. It was all Cranberries after that day. The music soon led me to other bands. And made me more open to other rock music. They were indeed the gateway drug for me.

When I heard the news in 2003 that they broke up, I was upset. But I knew I still had Linger. The song to keep me comforted when I missed Dolores O'Rordan's soothing voice. Deep inside, however, I was angry at her for getting married and breaking up my favorite drug of the 90s.

Fast forward almost a decade later. The band reunites. Record an album in Toronto with Stephen Street known for such great work with The Smiths, and Blur.  I was stoked. I heard some singles from the album in late 2011 and thought that the Cranberries were sounding as good as ever.

I had the chance to hear the whole album this morning.

While coding a website I'm working on and finishing the last touches on my weekly podcast, Dolores once again was in my left ear. Making everything OK. And it was OK. Till Half way through the album, I realized something. There wasn't any angst. That Zombie-esque rock that I was kinda looking forward to. The songs were nice. All like pretty roses lined up on a summer day by your white picket fence. Add to that sweet melodies and clean instrumentals, and that was the reunion album. Even though a wee upset, I couldn't hate on the record. It was good. Melodic. Musical comfort food for 2012. Especially if you pay attention to the somber lyrics and detailed arrangement. More than just a nostalgic drop that most get when their favorite band from backintheday team back up for a fast money grabbing scheme and Swing at the Big Dance. The Cranberries will stick around for a bit more, I hope. I can see another solid album in their future. They've still got it....

..And the 16 year old in me is happy about that.

Rating: 8/10
Songs of Choice: Roses, Raining in my Heart, Fire & Soul, Tomorrow