The Cranberries are pretty much the reason I love music so much, they were one of the first bands that I truly loved and felt very passionate about. They were my nineties soundtrack and for me, the musical voice of my generation. The Cranberries meant everything to me back then, I had every album, every cd single and cassette, yes I was a tad too obsessed but hey, I was 12 and discovering a true love for music for the first time.
It’s been years since I’ve listened to The Cranberries and I am slightly regretful about that. Everybody Else Is Doing It So Why Can’t We got them on the map but it was No Need To Argue that catapulted them to true stardom and was the album that meant the most to me. Dolores O’Riordan has such a recognisable and beautiful voice that at times, it is delicate and at other times, it is slightly aggressive but in a beautifully, natural way.
Listening to all these songs is a wonderful trip down memory lane, suddenly I am 12 years old again sitting in my dorm room at school and singing along to every word with my dorm mates, one of which was actually the daughter of Denny Cordell who got The Cranberries signed to Island Records and was the inspiration behind the tragedy of the song Cordell.
Releasing this record was a great idea. It is better than just another greatest hits album – it is a wonderfully crafted twist on some of the most loved songs of the 90’s. The songs are acoustic versions of their classic hits including Linger, Dreams, Zombie and Ode To My Family with songs from albums Everybody Else Is Doing It So Why Can’t We, No Need To Argue, To The Faithful Departed and Bury The Hatchet and three new songs, all featuring a string quartet from the Irish Chamber Orchestra. I also loved hearing the vocals re-recorded so that we got to hear the songs differently as over the years, Dolores’ voice has changed slightly and has grown as you would expect.
The moment the album starts – with one of their biggest hits Linger, you are drawn in – sold! The stripped back, unplugged versions of The Cranberries biggest hits not only give the songs a whole new edge and new lease of life but retain The Cranberries originality, their Irish flair and their soulful sounds, proving that their music is and always will be relevant, current and even though the vocals have got more mature (in a good way) the songs will never get old, no matter how many times they change them.
The added orchestral segments are hauntingly beautiful, providing even more sweet sounding melodies to the songs making them incredibly infectious and exciting.
The new songs, The Glory, Rupture and Why are just as heavenly and stunning as The Cranberries ever were. They all have that Cranberries classic sound that they could have easily been placed on any one of their early albums.
Something Else reminds me of just what good songwriters Dolores O’Riordan and Noel Hogan were and are and I am so thankful for their gift.
I would have loved to have had So Cold In Ireland and Daffodils Lament on the list but we can’t have it all.
There is no need to argue that this album is a must for any fan.
I will always love The Cranberries and what they do and I am so happy that they have come waltzing back in to my life.
More importantly, they brought back the couch for the album cover, yay!
Review by Hannah Compton
Something Else by The Cranberries
You can get Something Else on CD and exclusive Vinyl here;