The Cranberries

Roses

Written by: PP on 12/05/2012 17:02:54

Whenever someone starts talking about The Cranberries the discussion will almost inevitably turn into "Zombie", their mega hit from 1994 that helped place the Irish grunge band on the map and on the lips of everyone who was following the music industry in the mid 90s. The song helped catapult its album "No Need To Argue" into 7 x platinum in the US alone; chances are you won't find a single soul today, 18 years later, who hasn't heard "Zombie" at least a few times in their lives at one point or another. However, the problem with writing a track as successful as "Zombie" is that all your future output is either eclipsed or critically measured against the track with most people not giving a rat's ass how many albums you've produced since then if you haven't released another "Zombie" like track in the meantime.

That's probably one of the real reasons why the band went into hiatus in 2001, to create some distance to their mega hit so they can write and record new material in peace eventually when people have forgotten about the song. Today, 11 years later, The Cranberries are ready with their sixth studio album "Roses", and I'm afraid the band failed to recognize that people still talk about "Zombie" as the key song by the band to date. Just look at the beginning of this review, for christ's sake.

But if you're coming into "Roses" expecting more of the angry and unpredictable grunge-fueled alternative rock that the band was known for in the early 90s, you're likely to be disappointed. The Cranberries in 2012 have moved onto contemporary alternative pop/rock, with only brief traces remaining in their vocalist Dolores O'Riordan's voice from the days gone by. There are glimpses where her soft voice sounds like it almost breaks into grunge style vocals, but she decisively keeps it in pop rock à la The Cardigans, Alanis Morissette, Garbage etc instead. The chorus in "Losing In Mind" is a perfect example. That's a shame because it's not difficult to tell that the song would be just so much better with the slightly more nuanced and emotionally charged delivery instead of the safe-and-sound for the masses style that the band presents today.

That being said, it's the highlight track on the album and probably best representative of how The Cranberries sound like in 2012. Others, like "Conduct" and "Fire & Soul", admittedly go for an even softer route, but they're still good songs at what they are: simple pop/rock pieces intended for the mainstream audiences, not for the critics to dissect or the music enthusiasts to add to their favorite songs list of the year. That's not going to do them any favours at magazines like ours, because we're out to reach to the more informed music fans to tell them what's good out there, but more importantly, what's better out there. In that category The Cranberries fall regrettably short; "Roses" is a 90s themed alternative pop/rock album, but aside from its single-worthy material, there's a whole lot of filler in between.

Download: Conduct, Fire & Soul, Losing My Mind
For the fans of: Alanis Morissette, The Cardigans, Guano Apes, Garbage
Listen: Facebook

Release date 22.02.2012
Cooking Vinyl

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