Compact Disc Stock Number: Island 3145246112
First of all .let me just say, I like the Cranberries. I like almost anything Irish these days (dont even get me started on the Corrs!). With the exception of, Lord of the Dance I think most of it is good. I love Irish music. I like the Irish so much I married one (removed from Ireland a few generations ago, though). Just something about them. Cant explain. Wont try.
I was a bit hesitant when I obtained the Cranberries new CD, Bury The Hatchet. Would it be better than the last effort? I was hoping it was.
I chose the explicit cover, because.. Im just that way. There is another cover offered, without the nude man on the cover (sorry ladies nothing shows), but Im bad to the bone, so . While I enjoyed a few of the songs from their last work ( To The Faithful Departed/ Polygram: CID8048 ) , I felt the group was loosing focus. The raw emotions seemed to have disappeared. The writing was tired. Not so with Bury The Hatchet. I dont know if it was a much needed time off, (3 years since the last CD) or the birth of Dolores ORiordan first child, but
The opening song (and Single) "Animal Instinct" gets things rolling quite nicely, thank you. This song has "Top 10 hit" written all over it, which isnt a bad thing. Lets face it . They have to eat.
"Animal Instinct" is perfect summer fun, crank it loud, play-it-again, type of song.. Thick with a layered, melodious feel, this song is an instant summer-hummer. Its classic Cranberries.
The third track, "Promises" reminds me of the song "Zombie" with its crunch-styled distorted guitars and its wanting, in your face type of lyrics, This song is best played loud. (and I did). The energy the group has been lacking in the past is clearly announced in this song. The angst is back (I love using that word).
"You & Me" is one of my favorite tracks from the CD. ORiordan has never sounded better. It reminds me of "Ode to a Family" a lot. She sounds breathy, angelic, and warm. Its an up-tempo love song, to a friend or a lover. On top of the well mixed, layered lyrics, comes a lifting horn accent. Nice touch. While the lyrics may seem simplistic ("Aahh, you and me/It will always be/ You and me/ Forever be/Eternally It will always be/ You and me.") it comes off nicely. Simple lyrics, but she sings it with such sincerity, I believe her.
"Just My Imagination" is a lament to past youth. It reminds me of "The Rebel". Listening to the song, I can identify with, "There was a game we used to play/ Wed hit the town on Friday night/ And stay in bed until Sunday". Man..I miss those days, too!!
"Shattered" was a bit of a surprise. While the song is virtually all ORiordan (with a little guitar and violin) the powerful lyrics, " Im trying to control myself/ So please dont stand in my way." and "I dont like you/ Dont compromise/ Shattered by your weakness/ Shattered by your smile" kind of leave you a little stunned. I had to go back and read the lyrics, while re-playing the song. These venomous lines are sung so sweetly, it almost makes you want to be the poor SOB on the receiving end!
"Saving Grace" and "Whats On My Mind" might be the only reference to ORiordan new bundle of joy. While she doesnt go as far as Madonna (then again who does) in the new-found-respect-for-life..I-just- had-a-baby-so-I-need-to-mellow-out thing, "Saving Grace" is practically a lullaby, while "Whats On My Mind" is a little more up-tempo lullaby. Both songs speak of newfound intimacy and dare I say, a new spiritual urgency or awareness.
"Copycat" is my absolute favorite song on the CD. Being a self-professed "Individuality or Die" type of guy, I abhor copycats. Conformity scares the hell out of me. It seems the Cranberries feel the same. This near frantic pace song is sure to be a concert pleaser. I can see ORiordan strutting around the stage on this tune, now. This excellent song, about the lack of originality in music, clothing and thinking in the 90s left me wanting more (a 12" maxi mix, please!). Homogenous, formula music . Please exit stage left!
"Delilah" is a guitar-laden tune about a stalker, or a "Fatal Attraction" type of encounter. "Out out out Delilah/ Out out out stay out if my place/ Out out out Delilah/ Out out out or Ill rearrange your face".
Indeed. This song is ripe for a soundtrack.
"Fee Fi Fo" is an obviously disturbing song about child molestation, "How could you touch something/ So innocent and pure/ Obscure/ How could you get satisfaction/From the body of a child/Youre vile, sick" ORiordan sings with barely controlled rage and disbelief, ending in shrieks and silence.
The CD ends with an odd choice. Practically an Accapella, "Dying In The Sun" is a slow, piano, strings, and Bow Bass lament about regrets and the rights of passage. I believe ORiordan recorded this in just two takes, and this shines through. It is raw and full of emotion and regret. As a matter of fact, this entire album is about regret, rights of passage, or the loss (or remembrance) of youth and innocence.
"I wanted to be so perfect you see/ I wanted to be so perfect/ Like Dying In The Sun Like Dying." While this song closes the CD on a melancholy note, I think the Cranberries new CD; Bury The Hatchet is a celebration.
Bury the past and move on. Embrace the past, but move on. A good lesson, I think. The Cranberries latest effort, Bury The Hatchet, buries the past, while announcing their future. Buy it.
Sound Quality: 68