Music Pop/Rock EVERYBODY ELSE IS DOING IT, SO WHY CAN'T WE?
The Cranberries Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? (Island) The self-effacing album title calls attention to the glut of bands currently playing dream pop-you know, New Age's hipper cousin-and, on first listen, Ireland's Cranberries sound like Sade with guitars, a frightening enough proposition. But over time singer Dolores O'Riordan's breathy vocals and the band's subtle melodies begin to seduce. The Cranberries are Quiet Storm music for the alternative-rock generation. B -Tom Sinclair (Posted: 05/06/98)
ELSE IS DOING IT, SO WHY CAN’T WE? : Let's get the comparison that has haunted
the Cranberries out of the way: what the Sundays are to England, so the `Berries
are to Ireland, with softly stoked, gilded guitars and delicate melodies,
tenderized by a female voice of exceptional merit. But true to their Limerick
roots, the Cranberries have a pronounced folk bent, with emerald, elemental
charm; fireside warmth mingles with glacial cool, rain-swept despair with sun-specked
elation. Next to the wistful plaintiveness of Harriet Sunday, Delores O'Riordan
is the Siren On The Rock, a seductive and seduced warbler who double and triple
harmonizes with herself in a rash of self-haunting reverie, yet keeps those
feelings simmering near the surface in the same way the band clips itself into
bordered guitar-pop neatness. Ex-Smiths producer/ex-Morrissey cohort Stephen
Street shouldn't be forgotten; his pristine, gleaming production turns Everybody
Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? to the finest crystal. This debut album
arrives without much of a savior-of-pop cavalcade and no bracing hit single;
just 12 songs with the dreamiest of hooks radiating between the spine-chilling
and the spellbinding; the cantering "Wanted" and "Dreams,"
the string-sweep of "Linger," the slow-melting "Not Sorry"
and "Pretty" and the bookending chills of "I Still Do" and
"Put Me Down" are standouts on an album of persistent beauty. The
album title suggests that the group know it's onto something special too.
- Martin Aston: CMJ New Music Report Issue: 327 - Apr 09, 1993
Cranberries: Dolores O'Riordan (vocals, acoustic guitar), Noel Hogan (guitar,
background vocals), Mike Hogan (bass), Fergal Lawler (drums, percussion).
Additional personnel: Mike Mahoney (background vocals). Recorded at Windmill
Studios, Dublin, Ireland. The Cranberries, more so than almost any contemporary
group now coming out of Ireland, translate the lyric delicacy and metaphorical
melancholy of Gaelic folk music to a rock format. The Cranberries are a tight
little band with a sound all their own, though at times many of their songs do
suggest some sort of strange communion between U2 and Bjork. How so? The
gossamer strains of Noel Hogan's electric guitar recall The Edge's spacy
chording, but Hogan's rhythmic focus tends more towards eclectic folk stylings (a
la Richard Thompson) than the arena gestures of rock. Which isn't to say that
his dancing interplay with bassist Mike Hogan and drummer Fergal Lawler lacks
impact. Quite the contrary. Songs such as "Dreams" and "Waltzing
Back" illustrate the band's special chemistry and harmonic buoyancy, as
airy chording gives way to punchy riffs and gruff power chords. But it is The
Cranberries remarkable vocalist Dolores O'Riordan who defines the band's unique
sound and broad appeal. O'Riordan has an eccentric, emotive style and a stunning
vocabulary of guttural whoops and throttled cries (to particular effect on
"Pretty"). On "I Still Do" she doubletracks her breathless
voice (as she does throughout EVERYBODY ELSE...), creating a mournful melodic
ambience as the band rises to match her emotional peaks in a tale of a played
out love that will not die. This plaintive tone of O'Riordan resonates
throughout EVERYBODY ELSE IS DOING IT, SO WHY CAN'T WE? "You mystify me,
you mystify me" she intones dimly as if in a haze on "Sunday" as
the band tolls away behind her, while on "Waltzing Back" her yodeling
cries and muttered grace notes impart tremendous power to each phrase in this
ALL MUSIC GUIDE
Title aside, what the Cranberries were doing wasn't that common at the time, at
least in mainstream pop terms; grunge and G-funk had done their respective big
splashes via Nirvana and Dr. Dre when Everybody came out first in the U.K. and then in
America some months later. Lead guitarist Noel Hogan is in many ways the true center of the
band at this point, co-writing all but three songs with O'Riordan and showing an amazing economy in his
playing, and having longtime Smiths/Morrissey producer Stephen Street behind the boards meant that the right
blend of projection and delicacy still held sway. One can tell he likes Johnny Marr and his ability to do the job just right:
check out the quick strums and blasts on "Pretty" or the concluding
part of the lovely "Waltzing Back." O'Riordan herself offers up a number of romantic
ponderings and considerations lyrically (as well as playing perfectly fine
acoustic guitar), and her undisputed vocal ability suits the material perfectly.
The two best cuts were the deserved smashes: "Dreams," a brisk,
charging number combining low-key tension and full-on rock, and the melancholic,
string-swept break-up song "Linger." If Everybody is in the end a derivative pleasure —
and O'Riordan's vocal acrobatics would never again be so
relatively calm in comparison — a pleasure it remains nonetheless, the work of
a young band creating a fine little synthesis. — Ned Raggett
(4.5 out of 5 stars)
(4.5 out of 5 stars)
"Linger" REVIEW-All Music Guide
AMG EXPERT REVIEW: This is a song of regret, epic in scope and sweeping. Although many songs from the early '90s seemed to be a pastiche of previous decades, "Linger" is a definitive song from one of the decade's most promising bands. While this isn't lyrically novel, the full-on emotionality of lead singer Dolores O’Riordan makes this stand out. Singing in a strong Irish brogue she comes off both needy and detached here. It's that emotion that powers this track. Producer Stephen Street gave this a striking mix of gloss and earthiness, which is where the most believable ballads reside. O'Riordan's vocals are overdubbed on choice lyrics and the chorus. It's the chorus of "I'm just a fool for you/You've got me wrapped around your finger" that made the song, especially the way O'Riordan lingered on the word "finger." With its strong string arrangement, and chiming guitars, and the marching band-like drumming, this is a gorgeous and timeless song. Although the emotions do run deep on this track, the pain offered here is almost cathartic. — Jason Elias
Their first full-length shows a band fully formed, with faint debts to the Sundays and the Smiths, but turning out more-than-tuneful pop behind the gorgeous lilt of Dolores O'Riordan. "Dreams" and "Linger" both seem to weave magic spells that remain even after the tracks pass, and there is a glorious freshness to the performances that's impossible to resist. It remains their most satisfying outing. --Chris Nickson
Rolling Stone (5/13/99, p.52) - Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
Rolling Stone (12/23/93, p.146) - "...entrancing tunefulness [with] Dolores O'Riordan's vocal audacity...they've accomplished a sharp, self-aware debut...."
Q Magazine (1/94, p.84) - Included in Q's list of 'The 50 Best Albums Of 1993' - "...creeps up on your consciousness and stubbornly refuses to leave...."
Q Magazine (4/93, p.80) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...softly stroked guitars tenderized by a female voice of exceptional merit....deliciously spine-shivering moments....the melodies are festooned with dreamy hooks..."
Entertainment Weekly (6/4/93, p.54) - "...The Cranberries are Quiet Storm music for the alternative-rock generation..." - Rating: B
Alternative Press (7/93, p.66) - "...what really makes the Cranberries stand out is singer Dolores O'Riordan...a Stephen Street production job which makes even the Smiths seem uncompromisingly dense....A remarkable album by a remarkable band..."
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