- 26 Apr 19
Posthumous album proves fitting tribute to Dolores O'Riordan.
It required Dolores O’Riordan’s sudden passing last year to convince the unconverted of the depth of The Cranberries’ body of work. But just when we thought it was all over, along comes this album: based on fresh demos, it makes for an unexpected gift.
Dolores was blessed with an utterly unmistakable voice, and it never disappoints, especially on outstanding tracks like ‘Catch Me If You Can’, ‘Got It’ and single ‘All Over Now’. The latter opens like it means business, propelled by solid drums, Noel Hogan’s excellent guitar work, and Dolores’ deliciously impish delivery. Lyrics about a couple at loggerheads in a London hotel can make for uneasy listening, especially given what we know now, but Dolores was never one to avoid the awkward side of truth. But lines like “She was afraid the truth would be found” and “it’s all over now” sound at the very least intriguing, if not downright eerie.
Indeed, the shadow of Dolores’ death hovers over nearly every track – and some words bear a weight of meaning they may never have been intended to carry. ‘Lost’ is a wistfully atmospheric effort, with the vocals soaring above a band in reflective mood. ‘A Place I Know’ has a semi-acoustic feel, and a haunting, sliding guitar motif popping up at regular intervals. Elsewhere, ‘Wake Me When It’s Over’ evokes ‘Zombie’; Got It’ has a sense of urgency at the inevitable passing of time; and ‘The Pressure’ – fittingly – boasts gloriously powerful vocals.
Produced by the band’s long-standing collaborator Stephen Street, In The End is 100% Cranberries, with all that the brand name promises. Not only were we not expecting it – we weren’t even entitled to think it could be this good. But it is.