The Cranberries have returned with their first album in more than a decade with ‘Roses’, and I thought I’d take this opportunity to do my first album review for quite a while. I quite liked The Cranberries the first time round and was happy I got the chance to see them live just after they reformed at the Royal Albert Hall with my older Brother for whom The Cranberries are his favourite band, this coupled together with the fact that We’re both going to see them again in Hammersmith in June mean I have a vested interest in ‘Roses’.
As you would expect from a Cranberries album the biggest focal point of the new album is Dolores’ uniquely Gaelic voice and quite rightly so. Opening track ‘Conduct’ is a compelling and slow building almost melancholic song, that deals with the topic of making an argument for maintaining a relationship, it’s a good song and a decent start to the album. ‘Tomorrow’ comes next and is the lead single from ‘Roses’ and to be honest understandably so, it is a vibrant song with some nice up-tempo crisp guitar picking, good drum beats and finds Dolores in her full effortless flow. ‘Schizophrenic Playboy’ is more of a strident rocker that is bound to be a crowd pleaser when played loudly live, it also contains some nice violin during the bridge and chorus. ‘Show Me’ is the song on the album that reminds me most of the old Cranberries, it is without doubt the most powerful song on the album both in terms of Dolores’ singing and the guitar, violin & percussion that goes beneath it.
It has to be said however that this album for me is all about ups and downs, the four pre mentioned songs along with ‘Raining In My Heart’ and ‘Losing My Mind’ are decent songs that I really like the other half of the album however is more downbeat and almost bordering on dreary in places and I find it hard to take to ‘Waiting in Walthamstow’, ‘Astral Projection’ and the title track ‘Roses’ are the worst offenders for me.
I can’t help thinking when I listen to the album that it just seems to lack that real powerful song in the form of ‘Zombie’, ‘Salvation’ or ‘Hollywood’ that previous albums always had that really showcased the power of Dolores’ voice. All of that being said however it is still good to see The Cranberries back and this is a pretty solid album that shows a good level of maturity and that their touch for writing good melodies hasn’t been lost. Overall I think that the album is probably a couple of songs away from being a great album and just lets itself down a little, when it’s good it’s great, when it’s not it just leaves you slightly disappointed.
3. “Fire & Soul”
4. “Raining In My Heart”
5. “Losing My Mind”
6. “Schizophrenic Playboy”
7. “Waiting In Walthamstow”
8. “Show Me”
9. “Astral Projections”
10. “So Good”
Recommended Tracks: –
‘Conduct’, ‘Tomorrow’, ‘Schizophrenic Playboy’, ‘Show Me’