The Cranberries: Dolores O'Riordan Burton (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Noel Hogan (acoustic & electric guitars); Mike Hogan (bass); Fergal Lawler (drums, percussion). Producers: The Cranberries, Benedict Fenner. Though Ireland's Cranberries began by churning out sparkling, breathy rock-pop, they soon ventured into a darker, heavier brand of rock that reflected the sociopolitical strife of their homeland. On BURY THE HATCHET the band achieves the perfect marriage between luxurious pop stylings and a darker, more unsettling vision. Dolores O'Riordan's strong, clear voice rides smoothly over simple, engaging melodies fleshed out by a chiming blend of acoustic and electric guitars for much of the album. But on songs like "Promises," the guitars get heavier, and the mood turns darker, showing a deeper side of the Cranberries' work. No matter the darkness expressed in the lyrics though, the invigorating, upbeat strum and crack of the guitars and drums keeps things moving at a good clip. And that occasional catch in O'Riordan's voice is just arresting enough to draw you in, without ever seeming like an affectation or a distraction.


Rolling Stone (5/13/99, pp.93-94) - 3 Stars (out of 5) - "...shimmering pop numbers...and earnest acoustics...These youthful old pros have never sounded more winning or unified."

Mojo (5/99, p.112) - "...Ms. O'Riordan and her merry men have now turned their rapier-keen wits to the existential realities or ordinary, everyday life..."

Guitar Magazine (7/99, p.97) - "...their best album to drop-off in quality between the record's strongest tracks and the rest of the album....the band's most complete work yet."

CMJ (4/26/99, pp.28-9) - "...sweet shimmering ballads and tart, distorted jangle-pop....the Cranberries pack strings into their lush, Smith-inspired rock to really hit their mark."




BURY THE HATCHET: The Cranberries' fourth album is steeped in the two sonic flavors that have always defined the Irish band's successful career: sweet, shimmering ballads and tart, distorted jangle-pop. Singer and co-songwriter Dolores O'Riordan stratifies her vocals in breathy layers on tender tracks such as "You And Me," while she shoots her voice out in brittle bursts on the punchier numbers, such as the siren-call lead single "Promises." Exemplified on "Copycat," a cynical swipe at a bland music industry, O'Riordan often laces the upbeat songs with attempts at lyrical provocation and/or thoughtfulness, but overall, her softer touch is what lyrically and musically best suits this record. On "Delilah," the most focused entry on Bury The Hatchet, the Cranberries pack strings into their lush, Smiths-inspired rock to really hit their mark.
- Steve Ciabattoni: CMJ New Music Report Issue: 615 - Apr 26, 1999




The Cranberries stumbled with their move toward heavier, politically fueled modern rock on "To the Faithful Departed", losing fans enamored with their earlier sound. Like many groups that see their stardom fading, the band decided to return after a short hiatus with a mildly updated, immaculately constructed distillation of everything that earned them an audience in the first place. It's immediately apparent that Bury the Hatchet has retreated from the ludicrous posturing that marred "To the Faithful". There are no blasts of distorted guitar as a matter of fact, there are no songs that even qualify as "rockers" and there is little preaching, even on Dolores O' Riordan's most earnest songs. Every note and gesture is pitched at the adult alternative mainstream, which is a good thing. Though they ran away from the dreamy jangle of their first hits, the Cranberries never sounded more convincing than on mid-tempo, folky pop tunes with polished productions. Sonically, that's precisely what Bury the Hatchet delivers, complete with little flourishes a Bacharanian horn chart there, cinematic strings there to illustrate that the band did indeed know what was hip in the late '90s. All this planning some might call it calculation shouldn't come as a surprise, since Bury the Hatchet is essentially a make-or-break album, but what is a surprise is that the end result is the most consistent record of their career. It's not necessarily their best it lacks the immediate singles of their first two records but all the songs work together to form a whole; not even embarrassments like the skittering "Copycat" interrupt the flow of the record. True, the album never challenges listeners, but it delivers on their expectations and after "To the Faithful Departed", that comes as a relief. Stephen Thomas Erlewine 

(3 out of 5 stars)



Bury the Hatchet - The Cranberries

The Cranberries, like their fellow Irishmen, U2 have always been a politically fuelled band, touching on sensitive social issues as their third album To the Faithful Departed revealed. However, the band seems to have moved on, and seems keen to put the past behind them, as the title of their latest album suggests. The result is an album that is satisfying throughout. Filled with rock harmonies that roll between the soft, the acoustic and the furious, Bury the Hatchet is one of the most complete albums released in 1999.
The theme of the album seems to be of old memories and new beginnings. Each song seems to represent a story, an incident or personal experience. From the powerful 'Fee Fi Fo', a song about child abuse, the hard rocking single 'Loud and Clear', the jangly Beatlesesque 'Just My Imagination', the delicate 'Dying in the Sun', the exquisite 'You and Me' and the ironic 'Desperate Andy', the album never loses it's flow and is immaculately compiled, furiously alternating between different styles.
The songs have been written by lead vocalist Dolores O'Riordan and guitarist Noel Hogan, a partnership that has written the majority of the Cranberries songs over the past decade. And through this blend of rhythm guitar, percussion, dreamy touches of psychedelia and flawless vocals by O'Riordan, the band sounds focussed and convincing, not a group that is likely to self-destruct anytime soon.
Of course the most distinctive element of the Cranberries' sound has always been their vocalist Dolores O'Riordan, easily the best female rock vocalist since Janis Joplin. Her voice is unmistakable, laced with an incredibly enticing Celtic accent, which really shines through in her singing, and her indescribable vocal elasticity is evident in this album. From hard, intense rocking in 'Promises', gently optimistic in 'Just My Imagination', humourous in 'Desperate Andy', defensive in 'Sorry Son', fragile in 'Shattered', pleading in 'Saving Grace' and downright comical in 'Copycat', she slides through a wide range of emotions with her exquisite voice, and somehow elevates the songs and lyrics to an anthemic level.
It is easy to classify the Cranberries with similar 'looking' bands like The Cardigans and No Doubt, but the Cranberries have continually resisted the commercial urge to delve into saccharine pop confections and have stuck to the kind of music they make best. Bury the Hatchet may lack the dreaminess of Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We or the hard rock and distorted guitars of To The Faithful Departed, but it seems to have settled somewhere in between quite comfortably.

Saurabh Lall, 17, studies science at Jai Hind College.



Artist: The Cranberries

Album: Bury the Hatchet

Genre: Alternative rock

Chart Action: A Top-20 debut

Reviewed By: Bob Waliszewski

Pro-Social Content: A couple facing a split are urged to recall their "eternal vows"("Promises"). "Just My Imagination" credits a divine personality with creating the gift of love. On "You and Me, "lead singer Dolores O'Riordan pays tribute to her young son. She credits a person with being her "Saving Grace" and rejects a man who has habitually lied to her ("Shattered"). The singer is determined not to follow the crowd on "Copycat"("So much for the radio/Everybody sounds the same/Everybody wears the same clothes now and everybody plays the game"). The love song "What's on My Mind" expresses undying devotion.

With frustration and concern, "Fee Fi Fo" boldly condemns the sexual abuse of children ("How could you get satisfaction from the body of a child?/You're vile, sick").

Objectionable Content: Bitter over being spurned by a lover, a vengeful woman longs to see him miserable ("Loud and Clear"). They may be intended as sarcastic, but the flip suggestions "go out and get high . . . go out and get laid" on "Desperate Andy" could lead teens to act irresponsibly. On "Delilah, "O'Riordan threatens to "rearrange" someone's face.

Summary/Advisory: Creatively, Bury the Hatchet doesn't break any new ground. That's fine with us since the band's quest for consistency has led to a lyrical steadiness that, with very few exceptions, reflects an upbeat view of life. Even so, the carelessness of "Desperate Andy" spoils a worthy effort.


The Cranberries
"Bury the Hatchet" | Island

By Donna Freydkin | Released after a three-year recording hiatus, the Cranberries' fourth record is a perfect continuation of the languid, textured jangle pop the Irish foursome first introduced six years ago. The songs are not particularly innovative -- they still have that same grungified dreaminess -- but the album maintains a consistency and stamina absent on the group's bland third album, "To the Faithful Departed" (1996), an ill-thought attempt to make the delicate Cranberries sound like a forceful rock band.

The Cranberries seem reenergized; in interviews the band members -- singer Dolores O'Riordan, guitarist Noel Hogan, bassist Mike Hogan and drummer Fergal Lawler -- attribute the album's vigor to time off from recording and tours. Somehow the gorgeous and deftly constructed pop melodies of "Bury the Hatchet" are both fragile ("Dying in the Sun") and furious ("Fee Fi Fo"). Still, O'Riordan's keening voice is the focal point of any Cranberries song. On the torrential "Animal Instinct" and dainty "Just My Imagination" she creates moments of inspired vocal beauty when she overlays her lilting, wistful voice against the stripped-down guitar backdrops.

Having sold some 28 million albums since their 1993 debut, the Cranberries understand the combination of naive lyrics and familiar melodies that add up to commercial hits. They're still at their best when they stick to the forcefully moody, rich pop songs like "Linger" and "Dreams" that gave them a huge U.S. audience. Producer Benedict Fenner (Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson) helps the band get away from harsh guitars and back to the sounds that made them likable in the first place. And that might be the most important message implied by "Hatchet's" soundscapes and O'Riordan's swirling words about emotional turmoil and ruined relationships: "Departed" was a only short detour.



Rolling Stone

For all their success since 1993's "Linger," the Cranberries never convincingly rocked. The Limerick, Ireland, quartet's fourth album gives in to their solid melodic instincts once and for all. Amid the simple, shimmering pop numbers ("Animal Instinct," "You and Me," "Saving Grace") and earnest acoustics ("Shattered"), the Cranberries goof on rhythm and singer Dolores O'Riordan tempers her harsh Celtic nasalities. "Desperate Andy" bounces and dips tirelessly; "Loud and Clear" features silly lyrics ("People are stranger/People in danger") and a vaguely ska beat; "Just My Imagination" could pass for "Our House" drained of Madness' wacky stridency. The band's arena-size arrangements pump up these modest tunes - "Copycat" races like "Salvation" did, without that single's self-righteousness, and "Delilah" pounds away mercilessly. On "Promises," O'Riordan sounds characteristically shrill and perky while guitar chords whang and the drums audition for Survivor. These youthful old pros have never sounded more winning or unified. (RS 812) ARION BERGER  (*** out of 5)



The Cranberries are back with a new album, new look and harder sound. Their fourth release, Bury The Hatchet is a mixture of hard rock, ethereal new-wave sounding pop and ballads with touches of their Irish musical roots thrown in. The musical mix and diversity help to break up the purity of Delores O'Riordan's voice. The distinctiveness of O'Riordan's voice is The Cranberries' most outstanding trait, but its crystal quality can cause the ear to lose interest after a few phrases. In a way, this forces The Cranberries to make music that surrounds and compliments her voice. It's a challenge they've surmounted on this CD.

The record starts off with furious-paced tracks like "Animal Instinct" and "Promises", eventually leading into the whimsical ballad, "Saving Grace" then winding down to the spiritual "Fee Fi Fo". Many of the tracks' intros consist of eclectic synthesized effects or they're acoustic which trip into racing melodies, rolling rhythms and infectious riffs. The record ends with the gentle "Dying In The Sun", a song with simple instrumentation and Delores singing in a higher range than usual.

Bury The Hatchet is described as The Cranberries' "most fully realized album to date". I have to agree.

1999 Viacom International Inc. All Rights Reserved.
On the heels of their smash debut, the brilliantly titled Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?, and the even more popular follow-up, No Need to Argue, the Cranberries fell victim to the same bad instincts as a thousand ascendant pop stars before them--they started taking themselves way too seriously. The dreary, self-important To the Faithful Departed was the result, and fans that had thrilled to the gossamer melodies of "Linger" and "Dreams" or the powerful crunch of "Zombie" abandoned the group in droves. They might want to reconsider. Bury the Hatchet is a welcome return to form that focuses on sweeping melodies and soaring vocals while leaving the grand pronouncements to those more suited to making them--Zack de la Rocha, say, or, at the very least, Bono. Bury the Hatchet is brimming with gorgeous tunes such as "Animal Instinct," "Saving Grace," "You and Me," and the delicate "Shattered." "Promises" and "Delilah," meanwhile, are feisty rockers, showing off Dolores O'Riordan's keening voice and confirming the band's ability to play to the back rows. --Daniel Durchholz


Barnes & Noble
BURY THE HATCHET marks the Cranberries' return to excellent form and the hopeful spirit of their 1993 debut, EVERYBODY ELSE IS DOING IT, SO WHY CAN'T WE? The strident feel of BURY's first single, "Promises," one of the few (and slight) missteps on an otherwise intelligent and warmly produced album, is misleading, given the band's renewed commitment to melody and cleaner arrangements. On songs like "Fee Fi Fo" (about child molestation), anger's sharp edges are honed rather than dulled by acoustic guitars and O'Riordan's toned-down vocals. But on this fourth album, love rules: O'Riordan sings "You and Me" and the sweet but not cloying "Saving Grace" with her baby boy firmly in mind; the nostalgic "Just My Imagination" recalls a relationship in the first blushes of discovery; and "Copycat" hints at the sense of humor buried somewhere in the band's still-earnest lyrics. With BURY THE HATCHET, the Cranberries have created something that is increasingly hard to find these days: a good pop album. Marie Elsie St. Lιger




Cranberries strike with Hatchet


The Cranberries
(Island/Universal 524 611 2)

  Not much has changed, at least soundwise, since Irish supergroup The Cranberries released their first album of Celtic-soaked, shimmering pop in 1993.

 And given each of their three previous albums have sold millions, "if ain't broke, don't fix it" seems to be the golden rule here.

 Working with co-producer Benedict Fenner (Brian Eno, James, Laurie Anderson), feisty and fragile-sounding lead singer Dolores O'Riordan is her usual outspoken self on the band's fourth album, in stores Tuesday.

 Co-written with guitarist Noel Hogan after the foursome almost called it quits a few years back, due to the pressures of non-stop touring and fame, the album is equal parts Irish bluster and delicately expressed emotion.

 On Loud And Clear, the tabloid press editors seem to be the object of O'Riordan's wrath as she yells: "I remember there was nothing I could ever do, never could impress you, even if I tried ... Hope you get a puncture everywhere you drive, Hope the sun beats down on you and skin yourself alive."

 Oh, dear.

 Then there's the gorgeous guitar-driven first single, Promises, in which O'Riordan suggests: "Maybe we should burn the house down, Have ourselves another fight."

 As for all those similar-sounding pop bands currently out there, they get theirs in the hard-driving Copycat: "So much for the radio, everybody sounds the same, Everybody wears the same clothes now and everybody plays the game."

 O'Riordan, a recent new mom herself, also takes on child abusers in the song, Fee Fi Fo: "How could you touch something so innocent and pure, obscure, How could you get satisfaction from the body of a child, you're vile -- sick."

 O'Riordan was actually several months pregnant when she wrote the lyrics for Bury The Hatchet, the demos for which were recorded in Toronto. Her son, Taylor, with Toronto-born husband Don Burton, was also born here.

 Songs like You And Me and Saving Grace, specifically, refer to the child, but it's the startlingly different, album-ending, strings-and-piano accompanied Dying In The Sun that hints at the biggest change in O'Riordan's psyche: "Will you hold on to me, I am feeling frail, Will you hold on to me, We will never fail. I wanted to be so perfect you see, I wanted to be so perfect."

 While not perfect, for die-hard Cranberries fans, it doesn't get much better than Bury The Hatchet. (4/5)

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