Monday, April 02, 2007

Ordinary Day

Song: Ordinary Day
Artist Delores O’Riordan
Album: Are You Listening?

Remember the Cranberries? Back in the early 90’s I really dug their Smiths-ish jangle-pop that was punctuated by lead singer Dolores O’Riordan’s powerful, distinctive voice. Sure “Linger” got played out a bit, and I couldn’t listen to “Dreams” with my cat in the room because Dolores’ high notes on the chorus made him crazy, like howling running around crazy. But both their debut “Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?” from 1993 and the more rocking follow up “No Need to Argue” (1994) were solid albums that remain an important piece in the history of 90’s alt-rock.

1996’s “To The Faithfully Departed” was the beginning of the end. It’s a strange record filled with some good tracks (“Salvation,” “Free to Decide”) and then some truly awful (“I Just Shot John Lennon”) Actually, I remember around the release of this album there was a review that stated that “Lennon” was “the worst song written about anything ever.” Ouch. Since the album did so poorly, I consider single (but far from hit) “When You’re Gone” to be a kind of hidden treasure. And odd mid-tempo doo-wop track, it’s a song that really showcases how powerful O’Riordan’s voice is, and it’s just a sweet pretty song. (And I usually hate those.)

Despite rumors that started as early as before the release of their sophomore album that the group was breaking up so Dolores could start a solo career, the band stayed together for another two albums that did not do well commercially. So after a four-year break, it is with much surprise that there is an ACTUAL Dolores O’Riordan solo album coming in May. I’ve been listening to it for a couple days and immediately I greeted Delores’ immediately recognizable voice like an old friend. I may have even smiled to myself.

“Are You Listening?” in a way probably just sounds like another Cranberries record due to that voice. Opener, and first single, “Ordinary Day” could have easily been on “No Need to Argue,” yet I feel like there is something missing. The album is pleasant, but with nothing new to make it truly noteworthy. But regardless, rest assured that if you were a Cranberries fan you will welcome this album with open arms. It’s a rock record, but there are a few subtle electronic elements that fit right in. Dolores is probably a rock chick at heart, though I think it would have been interesting if she went a little further with the dance elements, and do something truly different than that which she did with her band.


As mentioned, the a-touch odd, but wecastmusic favorite, When You’re Gone:

1 comment:

BrianF said...

The Cranberries should have had a bigger career. They seem to have been discarded almost immediately. I agree that "When You're Gone" is a hidden gem. It should have been a hit, despite the atrocious lyric "Everything's stinking/stinking without you" which... er... stinks.