Cranberries – In The End

The Cranberries - In The EndWhile it had been over half a decade since the cranberries released their last studio album, 2012’s Roses, they had been working on a new album of original songs before lead singer Dolores O’Riordan’s untimely death in January 2018. She had gotten far enough to lay down demo tracks of those songs which were ultimately used for the final recordings of the band’s final album In The End.

In The End recalls familiar territory from their earlier albums. A Place I Know and Illusion both channel the soften acoustic sound of their record, No Need To Argue; Wake Me When It’s Over and Crazy Heart are both reminiscent of their heavier tracks like Promises and Zombie, while Got It pulls back toward the pop-leaning sound of Bury The Hatchet.

It’s an album that never strays far from what they established two decades ago, and it’s refreshing even as the loss of the iconic lead singer hangs over every track. It’s that fact that brings out qualities of some of the songs. The vocals of Lost sound particularly haunting as Dolores’ range is on display while the track progresses from soft rock to a grand instrumental bridge and back down again. But it’s the final track that provides a fitting conclusion to the album and to the end of one of the great alternative rock bands of the 90s with lyrics that look back on a life lived, comparing the wants and wishes before to the achievements and haves of now. In hindsight, material things aren’t so important anymore.

In most cases after an artist passes, a posthumous collection of their songs can be expected at some point. The results are usually mixed but sometimes, there’s magic to be found and in the case of the Cranberries, they’ve recaptured much of what made them flourish as a band for over 25 years.

Four stars

Check out: Illusion, Wake Me When It’s Over, In The End

1. All Over Now
2. Lost
3. Wake Me When It’s Over
4. A Place I Know
5. Catch Me If You Can
6. Got It
7. Illusion
8. Crazy Heart
9. Summer Song
10. The Pressure
11. In The End

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