Cranberries – Roses

Cranberries - Roses

Album cover for Roses by the Cranberries

I’m always torn when a favourite from the 90s announces the release of a new album, especially when more than ten years have passed since their last record came out. Not because I know they likely won’t deliver but because I feel like they’re setting themselves up for failure. Aside from diehard fans, it’s unlikely that any 90s act making an attempt at a comeback will achieve any sort of major success other than some mild attention from those feeling nostalgic for their music and even then, most people would likely opt for the hits that made said act famous. The Cranberries are a shining example of this.

Known as being one of the decade’s most recognizable bands, despite never being able to escape the shadow of being U2‘s fellow countryfolk, the Cranberries still held their own thanks to lead singer Dolores O’Riordan’s distinctive chilling, sometimes haunting vocals. Big hits such as Dreams, Linger and Zombie make them memorable even today, nearly two decades after they first broke through. And surely, even they know that as the deluxe edition of their new record Roses, their first album since 2001, contains not a few bonus tracks, or a “the making of” DVD but a complete setlist of a concert from 2010. So even if the new material doesn’t strike your fancy, reliving the days of yonder might be enticing enough.

Roses opens to the familiar and comforting sounds of Dolores mildly chanting in Conduct, a song that could be the little brother of Ode To My Family, albeit slightly faster. Much of the album sounds like it was cut from the same cloth as No Need To Argue, although never going as heavy as Zombie but always keeping the rhythm that was mostly void from their later records. There are songs on here that might be capable of being placed next to some of their more beloved songs. Losing My Mind is a dreamy power pop ballad that has a chorus that could stand strong next to Free To Decide or Ridiculous Thoughts without a second thought. Schizophrenic Playboys is perhaps the oddest song on here, maybe the one that would be the most polarizing, about the mindless beauty queens whose top priorities are their looks. For a more classic-sounding rockier song, Show Me might be the closest remedy for that.

Or you could opt for disc two, which has songs from all five of their previous albums from Linger all the way to Analyse, though Dreams is oddly absent. Roses is a decent record that satisfies the curious yet nostalgia that one might feel for a band from the golden 90s. Although without any actual promotion from the label, they’ll likely remain a staple of the past. Three stars

Tracklisting
1. Conduct
2. Tomorrow
3. Fire & Soul
4. Raining In My Heart
5. Losing My Mind
6. Schizophrenic Playboys
7. Waiting In Walthamstow
8. Show Me
9. Astral Projections
10. So Good
11. Roses

Disc 2: Live In Madrid 12/03/2010 (Deluxe version only)
1. Analyse
2. Animal Instinct
3. How
4. Linger
5. Dreaming My Dreams
6. When You’re Gone
7. Wanted
8. Salvation
9. Desperate Andy
10. I Can’t Be With You
11. Ode To My Family
12. Free To Decide
13. Ridiculous Thoughts
14. Zombie
15. Shattered
16. Promises

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