hidden track "Cape Town" which follows "Chocolate Brown."
The Cranberries: Dolores O'Riordan (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Nigel Hogan (acoustic
& electric guitars); Mike Hogan (bass); Fergal Lawler (drums, percussion).
Recorded at Windmill Lane, Dublin, Ireland. The Cranberries may have changed
labels for the first time in a decade, but they've chosen to go back down a
familiar path on their fifth album WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE. Reuniting with
Stephen Street (who produced the band's first two albums), this Irish quartet
returns to the distinctive alt-pop sound of early records like EVERYBODY ELSE IS
DOING IT, SO WHY CAN'T WE and NO NEED TO ARGUE. Frontwoman Dolores O'Riordan
still possesses the same crystalline phrasing that makes her sound like Sinead
O'Connor's little sister, particularly on the delicate lullaby "Chocolate
Brown" and the atmospheric "Pretty Eyes." Guitarist Noel Hogan is
also in fine form as he slashes and burns his way through "This Is The Day,"
gilds the dream-pop "Every Morning" with shimmering slide guitar, and
significantly ups the jangle quotient on the Smiths-like "Do You Know."
The birth of second children for both O'Riordan and Hogan also finds some of the
songwriting touching on social issues like global warming and nuclear threats (the
soaring "Time Is Ticking Out") as well as more personal ones like the
steady corruption of a soul (a melancholy "Dying Inside"). A welcome
return from one of Ireland's musical treasures.
UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE: As unlikely as it still seems, The Cranberries
remain one of the world's biggest bands. Since their delightful 1992 debut,
Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We, they've sold an astonishing
33 million records. By rights, they should be dating supermodels and ODing
on toilet seats, but they remain happy instead to lie low in Ireland and
raise families. This fifth album only re-emphasises their contentedness in
life. With the exception of Analyse and Do You Know, which are spiky and
hateful of critics, this finds them in typically winsome mood (take a left
after Clannad and hang a right at The Corrs). Each song is pleasantly
melodious, Celtic and fey, with Dolores O'Riordan in full lullaby mode.
The result is charming, if slight. (*** out of 5)
Reviewed by Nick
The Cranberries captured the early nineties with three platinum albums in as many years and a grinding touring schedule that led to a crash and burn in 1996, as the band took time out for domestic pursuits until their excellent comeback with 1999's Bury The Hatchet. Since then a more measured pace has helped them maintain health and sanity while reestablishing them as frontrunners in the international pop pack.
Wake Up And Smell The Coffee
maintains the Cranberries' high standard. While it doesn't carve out any
particularly new ground, it represents a maturation of their established style,
with strong tunes and committed performances.
As always, the most
distinctive feature of the music are the vocals of Dolores O'Riordan Burton,
whose voice can range from breathy dream pop stylings to piercing intensity.
Over the years that intensity has been a bit too piercing for some listeners,
but she is consistently at her best throughout this one, avoiding the excesses
that have bordered on histrionic in the past without yielding a bit of either
her sensitivity or power.
A decade into their career,
the Cranberries seem to have found an appropriate pace that allows them to
maintain both lives and careers. It may be a bit slow for some of their most
fervent fans, but the good news is that what they're doing is well deserving of
repeated listening until the next album comes around.
2001 - Shaun Dale
ALL MUSIC GUIDE
The second half of the '90s was difficult for the
Cranberries, not just because of changing fashions, but because the
group embraced both a social consciousness and a prog rock infatuation,
crystallized by the Storm
Thurgerson cover of "Bury the Hatchet." Thurgerson
has been retained for their fifth effort, Wake Up and Smell the Coffee, but the group has hardly pursued
the indulgent tendencies of their previous collaboration with him instead,
they've reteamed with producer Stephen
Street and come up with an album that's as reminiscent of their debut
as anything they've done since. So, even if it's wrapped in new clothing, this
is essentially a return to basics, and it's a welcome one, since it's melodic,
stately, and somber perhaps not with the post-Sundays
grace of "Linger," but with a dogged sense of decorum that keeps not
just the group's musical excesses in check, but also O'Riordan-Burton's
political polemics (although she still sneaks in cringe-inducing lines like
"Looks like we've screwed up the ozone layer/I wonder if the politicians
care"). This doesn't really result in a record that will restore the
Cranberries to the status they enjoyed in the early '90s after
all, there's nothing as undeniable as "Linger," "Dreams," or
even "Zombie" but it's a solid effort that feels like the true
follow-up to To the Faithful Departed, which is notable in its own way. Stephen
Thomas Erlewine (3 out of 5 stars)
(3 out of 5 stars)
HMV October 2001
Straying from the hazy melancholy that infused their earlier work, The Cranberries are revelling in a more hedonistic approach to life on their latest album. The Irish hitmakers have had their share of difficulties throughout their decade long career, but frontwoman Dolores O'Riordan says the aptly titled 'Wake Up And Smell The Coffee' captures the group's newfound stability. Taking its title from an invitation to seize the moment, 'Wake Up And Smell The Coffee' retains the happier attitude of 'Bury The Hatchet' mixed with a hint of the old guitar melodies circa 'Dreams'. A smidgen of the old, a dash of the new, The Cranberries' latest effort is a stunning return from fame's roller-coaster ride. Includes the single 'Analyse'.
Cranberries wake up and relax
STEVENSON -- Toronto Sun
band The Cranberries unveil their latest collection on Tuesday.
And despite the album's caffeine-oriented title, working with acclaimed producer Stephen Street (The Smiths, Morrissey, Blur), who worked on their first few records, seems to have had a calming effect on the group's often furious sound.
Just check out such delicate songs as the ballad Never Grow Old, first single Analyse, the melancholy Dying Inside and Carry On, and the lovely and low-key The Concept Of Love, Pretty Eyes, Every Morning and Chocolate Brown.
As with previous albums, this 13-song collection is marked by Dolores O'Riordan's vocals up front, with gorgeous guitar moments from Noel Hogan.
Also good are the spirited This Is The Day, the title track, I Really Hope and Do You Know.
On the minus side are the preachy lyrics of Time Is Ticking Out as O'Riordan, who gave birth to her second child during the recording sessions, sings depressingly about radiation and the depletion of the ozone layer.
The Cranberries plan to start a world tour in early 2002, with a Toronto date expected.
Wake Up and Smell the Coffee is a bit of an anomaly. Happiness, the music industry truism goes, doesn't lead to good songs--but the Cranberries' new sense of contentment, as parents and as seasoned musicians, has resulted in their best album yet. Gone is the slight tendency towards turgid rock fare, or the sense (as with 1999's Bury the Hatchet) of going through the motions. This offering is strictly focused and emotionally direct, with all 13 songs welded to Stephen (Smiths, Blur) Street's crystal clear pop production. There's a new honesty to the songwriting, too. "I, at 24, was insecure / Would do whatever it takes," sings Dolores O'Riordan in the title track, a passionate song about how motherhood changed her life. Moving from hard-edged rock ("Do You Know") to the quietly reflective ("Chocolate Brown"), the Cranberries prove they're still major contenders. --Lucy O'Brien
A FM CD Review by FM REP Michelle Chau, Toronto, Canada
As an extremely well-known Irish band,
The Cranberries have been making music for ten years .They've sold more
than 33 millions albums and have toured the world. They recently treated
their fans to their eagerly anticipated fifth album , "Wake Up And
Smell The Coffee". In the end, it seems like they have never
forgotten their origins; after all Ireland is a country that has given us
great bands and singers like U2, Sinead O'Connor, and The Corrs.
This album displays a new, positive,
mature vision of life by the band. Driven by the infectious first single,
"Analyse", the band moves onto tracks such as "Never Grow
Old". This is a haunting, expertly crafted song that reminds one of
the rolling hills of Ireland, watching the clouds drift lazily above.
Similarly, "Dying Inside" glides along effortlessly, powered by
a subdued beat and guitar chords, and Dolores O'Riordan's undulating and
endlessly gorgeous voice.
title track is arguably the hardest-edged track on the album. O'Riordan
shockingly murmurs, "I, I went to Hell," after a few moments of fierce
guitar strums and pounding of the drums. The chorus, a repetition of the title
sentiment, is inimitably catchy. Altogether, a strong choice for a radio single
and a promising live track.
Cranberries possess great writing talent. Their high quality songs are able to
transmit their ideas, important human values, and their most deepest feelings
like peace, love, friendship and happiness.
It seems The Cranberries woke up and came to the
realization that life wasn't so bad, after all. While Dolores O'Riordan's vocals
remain as distinctive as ever, the songs here are lighter in their feel and flow.
It seems The Cranberries have undergone much the same change Live has in recent
years (and records) - they're able to write songs that just feel better.
O'Riordan's lyrics seem much more about appreciating life and enjoying what's
there. The first single, "Analyse" reflects this new vibe, while
"This Is The Day," with it's refrain of Faith will save you"
spins a positive view of the angst that the Cranberries have always played with.
Wake Up and Smell the Coffee is
by far the most developed and complete Cranberries record to date.
USA TODAY: "a richly textured brew"
NEW YORK POST: "another pot of gold from the Limerick quartet"
PEOPLE MAGAZINE: "blaring guitars, a thumbing bass-line and a biting Dolores O' Riordan delivery"
was magic in the air in 1993. Alternative had seeped in from every dark,
brooding corner and penetrated the typically candy-coated walls of pop music,
giving way to a different kind of mainstream. Case in point: the Cranberries'
"Linger," an understated lament on the falls of love, was the airiest
thing on the radio at the time. Even pop's steadfast detractors couldn't gripe;
Paula Abdul had been plainly extradited. But by their third album the
Cranberries had lost much of their alchemy and by 1999's Bury the Hatchet,
they'd already been buried by America's teeny boppers.
a new decade, a new label and a refurbished sound, the Cranberries attempt to
rekindle their wisp with Wake Up & Smell the Coffee. Much of the
album is reminiscent of the band's debut--simple melodies and lyrics abound.
Short and sweet, tracks like "Dying Inside" and the disc's opener,
"Never Grow Old," recapture the pure breath of freshness that was
1993's Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?. Elsewhere, Coffee's
first single, "Analyse," more than recalls the band's hit "Dreams."
The song's drippy electronic bleeps add an additional empyreal layer to the
Cranberries' already ethereal sound, while the title track's sub-techno intro
gives way to a riff-driven mid-tempo rocker.
approaching mid-life, frontwoman Dolores O'Riordan reflects on themes of
mortality and embraces "carpe diem" on tracks like the delightfully
optimistic "Every Morning." "Time Is Ticking Out" walks
familiar socially and politically-conscious territory for the band, but the
Cranberries are a long way from the heady "Zombie"; the track's lyrics
are often elementary by comparison ("I guess that we screwed up the ozone
layer/I wonder if the politicians care"). With a few exceptions (such as
the reggae-hued, piano-driven "The Concept"), Coffee sticks to
what the Cranberries do best: constructing the radio-friendliest of pop
alternatives. Unfortunately, Dolores and Co. fall a bit short of the emotive and
atmospheric heights of 1994's No Need To Argue, arguably the band's
creative (and commercial) zenith. Sal Cinquemani
© slant magazine, 2001.
It's been two years since the Cranberries' last album, and seven years since their last really good album. After 1996's frightfully earnest and bombastic To the Faithful Departed and 1999's downright lackadaisical Bury the Hatchet, 2001's appropriately named Wake Up and Smell the Coffee marks the Irish rockers' triumphant return to form. The disc also finds the band back in the capable hands of producer and Britpop whiz Stephen Street (the Smiths, Blur, Lloyd Cole), who oversaw the Cranberries' first two hit records, 1993's Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? and 1994's No Need to Argue. On Wake Up, singer Dolores O'Riordan, who recently gave birth to her second child, sounds reborn herself, shifting seamlessly from gentle coos to emotive wails on undeniably radio-ready ditties like "Never Grow Old," the title track, and "This Is the Day." Propelled by Noel Hogan's biting guitar sound -- reminiscent of Street's old crony Johnny Marr -- "This Is the Day" is easily the band's most powerful rocker since the hypnotic "Zombie." Other standouts include the piano-driven lullaby "Chocolate Brown" and the grim toe-tapper "Time Is Ticking Out," in which O'Riordan manages to make lyrics like "What about Chernobyl?" sound pretty. Tastes may have changed since the Cranberries first became the pop/alternative flavor of choice, but Wake Up proves they haven't lost their knack for making music that matters. Bill Crandall
Wake Up And Smell The Coffee
The Cranberries / Universal
a long absence from the music scene, The Cranberries have returned with "Wake
Up And Smell The Coffee." The album starts off with the gentle sound
of "Never Grow Old." The pace picks up with the second track
"Analyze," which many
of you may have already heard. Lead singer Dolores O'Riordan gets global conscious on "Time
Is Ticking Out" with lyrics like "What about deprivation,
gluttony, the human nation. Looks like we've screwed up the ozone layer, I
wonder if the politicians care." Her message is simple "For
Me Love Is All." "This
Is The Day" is a powerful track followed by "The
Concept" which takes on a more subtle tone. Other interesting songs
include "I Really Hope"
and "Every Morning."
The sound of this album is quite similar to their previous ones with elements of
pop rock and a celtic touch. Dolores's voice is remarkable as usual and backed
up by the talents of Noel Hogan
on guitar, Mike Hogan on bass and
drummer Fergal Lawler. The group
also takes credit for writing and producing the tracks on this album. Longtime
fans will not be disappointed.
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