- 22 Oct 21
On October 22, 2001, The Cranberries released their fifth studio album, Wake Up and Smell the Coffee. To mark the LP's 20th anniversary, we're revisiting our original 2001 review.
The transformation of Dolores O’Riordan from shy, tranquil Limerick girl to loud, brash, snarling international rock star is, as well as being one of music’s more curious transitions, also a mirror of her band’s fortunes – moving from the deft acoustics of their debut to the heavy handed, rather boorish rock of recent times. On their fifth album, however, a state of equilibrium seems to have been reached by both parties, resulting in easily their best work for some seven years.
The change is evident from the off. Instead of the expected foot to the floor rocker, ‘Never Grow Old’ is a sweet, sprightly number built around a “this is my perfect day” refrain – a theme that recurs throughout. The lyrics are O’Riordan’s most upbeat, optimistic and eloquent for some time, clearly informed by her experiences of motherhood and marriage.
The musicians too, have rediscovered their lightness of touch and have produced their most beautiful record since No Need To Argue. It’s a full five songs in before they really cut loose on ‘This Is The Day’, instead preferring a more subtle, thoughtful approach that gives Wake Up And Smell The Coffee huge depth and a pleasing light and shade. Next to the almost lullaby-esque ‘Pretty Eyes’ then, comes the spirited ‘I Really Hope’ and the simple, almost Motown pop of ‘Every Morning’.
The one snarl at the outside world, ‘Do You Know’, is still a relatively sunny affair, a ‘Linger’-style acoustic strummer that finds Dolores in a defiant mood – “I will be strong, will carry on and I’ll always hold on to my smile”. They spoil it somewhat by adding three ‘special’ extra tracks, including two hopelessly tuneless live tracks and a surprisingly effective cover of ‘In The Ghetto’ but let us not be distracted from the matter in hand, namely that the Cranberries have rediscovered much of what made us love them in the first place.
Stream Wake Up and Smell the Coffee below:
Hot Press Books is delighted to announce the publication of WHY CAN’T WE? – The Story Of The Cranberries and the Band’s Iconic Front-woman Dolores O’Riordan (As Told Through The Pages Of Hot Press). This unique and beautiful book is fully supported by The Cranberries and by the estate of Dolores O’Riordan.
Why Can’t We? documents the birth and extraordinary rise of a band that made a city – indeed the entire county of Limerick, in the southern part of Ireland – proud, and – through such instantly recognisable hits as ‘Linger’, ‘Dreams’, ‘Zombie’ and ‘Ode To My Family’ – helped to soundtrack the lives and loves of millions of people all over the world. Curated by Stuart Clark, and including brand new contributions from Michael Stipe of REM, Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran, Olé Koretsky of D.A.R.K., acclaimed author Kevin Barry, and many more
Why Can’t We? will be published by Hot Press Books in two formats: the Deluxe Platinum Limited Edition, signed by band members Noel Hogan, Mike Hogan and Fergal Lawler, and on behalf of Dolores O’Riordan, by her mother Eileen; and the Special Gold Edition. Exclusively available from hotpress.com, to secure a copy of Why Can’t We? fans and book lovers should order now.