As the sun sets on the legend that is The Cranberries, it rises on the other side- where the band now starts their new journey as a monumental memory in musical history. The Cranberries are the essence of post-punk alt rock yet have always sounded intrinsically like no other band- largely due to the late respected Dolores O’Riordan’s infamous dreary-yet-hopeful melodies. As the late singer’s classic airy voice floats lightly over the post-punk instrumentation like an angelic melody, we hear the chilling realness of The Cranberries, and their way to pierce through deep layers and provoke emotion. The tracks Wake Me Up When It’s Over and Lost do this at the push of a button, and we are reminded that The Cranberries aren’t a band you listen to on the way to work- you dedicate time to absorb their music- or let it absorb you.
We lead with All Over Now which quickly gained popularity, and we are reminded of it’s truth, it really is all over now. The bridge kindly asks us “Do you remember, do you recall” followed by “It’s all over now” and is a reminder of the loss we have faced from the woman who set the stage for Irish alt rock that sends us into a politically-induced daze, but lightly lines its melodies with a sense of hope, such as The Pressure. Besides Summer Song, The End doesn’t stray far from the cranberry shrub- we are met with simple formats that don’t wander into dangerous territory and is characterized by O’Riordan’s dreamy keening and we hear nothing other than their classic album-defining instrumentals in the 90’s. It’s melancholic but almost bittersweet and cyclical in nature- only at the end do they return to the beginning. The quote “Fighting’s not the answer” in Wake Me When It’s Over while Hogan pacingly strums the bass along with O’Riordan encapsulates everything that rose the Cranberries up into stardom and kept them humbly there.
Due to its circumstances The End feels unfinished and raw, a juxtaposition to its name. Due to her late passing in the midst of recording, much of O’Riordan’s vocals aren’t pristine and as perfected as in their prime, and because of that we are nostalgically transported back to their 90’s albums. It is almost an homage to The Cranberries’ fans who get an album so classic and original that in their own way, reinforces their legacy.