NO NEED TO ARGUE THE CRANBERRIES No Need to Argue (Island) The Irish foursome's sophomore effort is a modest departure from its double-platinum debut. The new set thrives on the same Celtic flourishes and pretty, rambling arrangements. But Noel Hogan's guitar barks louder and frontwoman Dolores O'Riordan often abandons ethereal waifdom for a tougher now-hear-this attitude-especially on "Zombie," a high-wattage rant about Northern Ireland. B -Jeremy Helligar (Posted: 03/25/98)
NO NEED TO ARGUE: Although
the first cranberries record took everyone by surprise in terms of its
commercial success, No Need To Argue
has much more momentum behind it, and therefore will be subjected to more
intense scrutiny. Those who were beguiled and delighted by Everyone Else... will
not be disappointed. The band has not changed its formula for pop success: lead
singer Dolores O’Riordan’s vocals shape and define the band, their supple
charm leading the simple melodies. The harmonies are molded after classic folk
songs, albeit placed within a modern rock (in its literal meaning) context, the
sweetness of the vocals contrasting with the ever-building swirl of guitars and
rhythm section. This is best demonstrated on the first single, “Zombie,”
which starts off with a heavy, fuzzy guitar but backs off, allowing O’Riordan
to shine. The songs closest to the band’s breakthrough hit “Linger” are
those which achieve the highest sense of poignancy, as on “Disappointment”
and “Ode To My Family.”
- Megan McLaughlin: CMJ New Music Report Issue: 398 – Oct 10, 1994
Spin (11/94, pp.94-95) - Recommended - "...unlike its sub-genre contemporaries, the group could take its atmospherics and make songs out of them..."
Musician (11/94, p.86) - "...it's a fine operatic trapeze act, full of pluck and some genuine Sinead O'Connor-school acumen..."
Q Magazine (11/94, p.106) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...The Cranberries write traditional but timeless songs...Cranberry charms emerge slowly but reliably. They are a fine group and this is a fine record..."
Melody Maker (10/8/94, p.36) - Recommended - "...what is of significance is that the Cranberries have managed to negotiate this fateful journey through fame with their golden sparkle, their precious alien integrity, beautifully intact..."
Entertainment Weekly (10/7/94, p.76) - "...thrives on some Celtic flourishes and pretty, rambling arrangements...a high-wattage rant about Northern Ireland..." - Rating: B
Cranberries: Dolores O'Riordan (vocals, electric & acoustic guitars,
keyboards); Noel Hogan (electric & acoustic guitars); Mike Hogan (bass);
Fergal Lawler (drums, percussion). Recorded at The Magic Shop, New York;
Townhouse Studios, London, England; The Manor Studios, Oxford, England. Building
off the success of their debut EVERYBODY ELSE IS DOING IT, SO WHY CAN'T WE?, the
Cranberries' second album NO NEED TO ARGUE offers more of the Cranberries' brand
of lavish pop. Chock full of the haunting atmospheric vocals that propelled the
Irish quartet into international stardom, NO NEED TO ARGUE continues the
Cranberries' tradition of moving orchestral pop. Dolores O'Riordan's delicate
acoustic arrangements, ethereal lyrics and unique phrasing find the Cranberries'
sound akin to contemporary shoe gazers like The Cranes or Fronted!. It's
O'Riordan's dedication to portraying life in war-torn Ireland, though, that sets
her apart from her contemporaries. In the gripping "Ode To My Family,"
O'Riordan repeatedly asks, "does anyone care?" and the effect is
devastating. "Ode To My Family" becomes a snapshot of children playing
in the Belfast rubble, and NO NEED TO ARGUE is the audio accompaniment.
ALL MUSIC GUIDE
AMG EXPERT REVIEW: With their surprise success behind them, the Cranberries went ahead and essentially created a
sequel to Everybody Else is Doing It, Why Can't
with only tiny variations, with mixed results. The fact that the album is
essentially a redo of previously established stylistic ground isn't apparent in
just the production, handled again by Stephen Street, or the overall sound, or even that one
particularly fine song is called "Dreaming My Dreams." Everybody wasn't a laugh riot, to be sure, but No Need To Argue starts to see O'Riordan take a more commanding and unfortunately
much more self-conscious role that ended up not standing the band in good stead
later. Lead single "Zombie" is the worst offender in this regard —
the heavy rock trudge isn't immediately suited for the band's strengths (notably,
O'Riordan wrote this without Noel Hogan) — while the subject matter — the
continuing Northern Ireland tensions — ends up sounding trivialized. Opening
cut "Ode to My Family" is actually one of the band's best, with a
lovely string arrangement created by O'Riordan, but her overdubbed vocals start showing
her distinct vocal tics becoming a bit more gimmicky at the expense of the
performance. Where No Need succeeds best is when the Cranberries stick at what they know, resulting in a
number of charmers like "Twenty One," the unlearn pipes-touched "Daffodil's
Lament," which has an epic sweep that doesn't overbear like "Zombie,"
and the evocative "Disappointment." — Ned
It was a tough act to beat when Irish group The Cranberries released the follow-up to their debut disc Everybody Else Is Doing It So Why Can't We, an interesting and intimate album highlighted by the memorable hit "Linger." Critics chided that Everybody was timid in nature both musically and lyrically, but No Need to Argue quickly changed all that. The 1994-released effort was decidedly more confrontational, instantly evident by the lyrics, inspired by the Irish conflict, in their hit "Zombie." In her trademark sharp alto, frontwoman Dolores O'Riordan sings, "In your head they are fighting/With their tanks and their bombs/and their bombs and their guns." Since anger is more difficult to embrace than love, many fans were initially disappointed with the tougher stuff, but those who stayed discovered a much more emotionally layered effort. --Denise Sheppard
a soldier goes off to war, somebody gets left behind, and that's the person the
cranberries' Dolores O'Riordan sings for. The characters she inhabits in these
thirteen songs are almost all passive victims: the people who are lost,
abandoned, emotionally destroyed because they realize too late that they've put
themselves second. ("My father liked me/Does anyone care?" she sings
in the opening "Ode To My Family.") Ireland, of course, is the
national equivalent of those people, and the fact that O'Riordan plays up her
Irish accent (or, rather, doesn't disguise it) gives these songs an additional
poignancy and political resonance. "I wanted to be the mother of your child,
and now it's just farewell," she sings on "I Can't Be With You";
it's a maudlin line on its own, but the contorted vowels ("choi-ild")
and cracking tones she gives it make it heartbreaking. Irish themes and ideas
run through most of the album (titles include "The Icicle Melts" and
"Yeats' Grave"), but the lyrics only get specific about the "Troubles"
that have been going on for nearly 80 years on the album's centerpiece, the
electrifying "Zombie," built on a rattling, funereal four-chord riff. No
Need To Argue sticks closely to the sound and style of last year's slow-burning
hit debut, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? (sometimes too closely -in
places, O'Riordan's yodeling vocal signature is almost a tic), but that's a
lovely sound and style, and a second helping is welcome.
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