It was the video to "Zombie" that first
made me notice The Cranberries. At first I didn't care for the song,
but as it grew on me, I began to be pulled into the emotion and story
behind the song. Finally I paid attention in detail, and I was hooked.
While The Cranberries first album was full of love and angst, this album
is darker and about violence.
The first song, "Ode to My Family",
is very much in the style of the songs from "Everybody Else Is Doing It,
So Why Can't We?" As full of angst as the former album, but this time
about her feelings about her family. The sentiment is positive, but the
tone of the song feels grunge.
"I Can't Be with You" has a
faster pace, and harkens back to the angst-filled love and relationship
songs of their previous CD. The tone of the song is ironic, because it
sounds as though it wants to be happy, but is a song of separation and
The next song has simple lyrics, and I am
unsure of the subject matter. "21" may be about turning 21 and being on
your own, and being able to do what you want to do. The song is mellow
with Dolores' beautiful voice.
The outstanding song "Zombie"
follows. Containing grunge elements, this song has a heavy beat that
crescendos with the chorus, punctuating the anger regarding the
"Troubles" in Ireland. The mental images and the video are graphic and
sobering, visual art successfully marrying musical art. A beautifully
performed song that is political and sad and angry and despairing all at
once. Stop the violence she sings.
The next song is another
angst-filled song. "Empty" could apply to a lot of situations, but given
The Cranberries penchant for relationship songs, my guess is that it is
about someone who either didn't notice someone who wanted to be
noticed, or didn't get the relationship they wanted, leaving the singer
"Everything I Said" is another relationship song. Slow and
sad, touching. Trying to reach out to someone who just isn't paying
I sometimes find it emotionally difficult to listen
to "The Icicle Melts", because the subject is about the death of a
child, and the sadness of the mother. It is difficult for a man or a
woman who has not carried a child for nine months to understand the
special bond that exists between the child and its mother. It is sad
when any child dies, but for the mother it will always be worse. This
song is very serious, and incredibly sad. You must be in the right kind
of mood for this one.
"Disappointment" is about ending a
relationship for a serious error on his part. While these songs seem
like one sad song after another, they are so beautiful and mellow that
sometimes they just really fit my mood. "Ridiculous Thoughts" is another
song along the same lines. "Dreaming My Dreams" could have been happy,
but the song is about a glass half empty instead of half full, very
slow, very mellow, and very full of bass.
"Yeat's Grave" has a
little quicker beat. I must admit that the subject matter of this one is
beyond me. I suspect that it relates to Irish history or folklore, of
which I have only marginal knowledge. It is very pretty though.
As you might have suspected, "Daffodil Lament" is another relationship
song, about her thoughts of breaking up and not being able to stay with
him. Dolores gets to exercise the full range of her voice on this,
punctuating the song sharply in several places.
The last song,
"No Need to Argue", is a kind of coda. The reason there's no need to
argue is because the relationship is over. The song starts with an organ
sound, very very slow. This song would seem to tie all the relationship
songs on this CD together to form a vague concept. If you assume that
songs like "Zombie" and "Yeat's Grave" form a background to the
relationship, then perhaps this is a concept album, the story of the
trials and tribulations of a relationship that ends with the last song.
Musically, lyrically and vocally beautiful, this CD is a bit more
polished than "Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?" If you like
mellow music, especially like Enya or Lorena McKinnitt, you might find
this CD to your taste. Just be prepared for the angst.