Mythical band of the 90's, but above all, a band carried by an angel's voice. That of "a saint trapped in a glass harp" according to Melody Maker magazine, that of the hyper-charismatic leader of the Cranberries, Dolores O'Riordan.
On the other side, the four Irish are living a success story like only those who have exported themselves on the other side of the Atlantic know. Millions of albums sold, dizzying Billboard rankings, packed houses and at the end of the road, a triumphant return to Europe. On the flip side, an exceptionally gifted singer fighting her demons. Lyrics that only come out well when she experiences "a little misery in life". Conservative and sometimes controversial positions.
But no matter what, the Cranberries' audience will never give up. Carried by a crystalline voice, the lyrics are raw, emotional, on the razor's edge. And perhaps that's why they speak and take a whole generation to heart. A generation of young people and young women who identify with the singer. Her boyish style, her energy, her way of expressing herself straightforwardly and balancing in all her interviews between an almost poetic positivism and burning personal confessions.
And if the Cranberries stayed for a long time in the United States, their native land, the one beaten by the Irish winds, tints their songs with a bewitching folk and yodelling that the singer learned from her father. Some would say that the band was first and foremost a hit machine. A well-oiled machine, calibrated for MTV's heyday. Yet the band always claimed to write only the songs they wanted to listen to. Because in the end, fashions pass, but they stayed. In 2018, they were preparing a new album when the disappearance of the emblematic singer made headlines around the world. A sign that The Cranberries and their mythical Zombie were still on everyone's mind.
Dolores O'Riordan was only 18 years old when she met the three members of the Cranberries in search of a new singer. During the audition, the Irish are struck by the young woman's voice. They asked her to write lyrics to one of their compositions and a week later, the song Linger came to life. In 1993, when the band signed their first album with Island Records, it would become one of the band's first hits.
Their second album propelled them to the ranks of international rock stars almost overnight. On the excellent No Need to Argue is the worldwide hit Zombie, written in reaction to the 1993 attacks in Ireland, which is still in the throes of civil war. Political and committed, this title puts them in the footsteps of another Irish band and their famous Sunday Bloody Sunday that we can't help but think about. In France, he will get a diamond disc.
No other album can match No Need to Argue, the band's third album having even been cited in Q Magazine's 50 Worst Albums of All Time. In 2003, after many rumours about the band's cohesion, the band officially announced a break. It was only six years later that the Irish came together again, returning to the riffs and sounds of their early days. For the singer, one thing is clear, "after the third album, the Cranberries were a mess" and she doesn't want to do it again.
Although the Cranberries no longer enjoy the monumental success of their first albums, they continue to tour Europe and across the Atlantic with two new albums: Roses (2012) and Something Else (2017). But while the singer seems to have overcome her psychological problems and the band is finally finding some relief, the one that journalists call the mater dolorosa is found dead in her hotel room. Despite the pain, the album currently being recorded, In the End, is due for release in 2019, but the Cranberries will not go any further without their muse.
I've been a fan of this band since I was a teenager and what a joy it is to see them on stage again! Even if an hour and a half concert is a bit short for my taste, the band still has the energy of its beginnings. And what about Dolores' voice. On No Need to Argue in acoustic, it was simply magical.
As teenagers, we all listened to some of the Cranberries' songs over and over again. Whether it was Zombie or Ode to My Family, Dolores O'Riordan and her band knew how to touch our heartstrings, transcend us and take us into their world between darkness and hope.
Bathed in saturated guitars, his Gaelic Madonna vocals, alternating crystalline notes, yodelling and raucous roars, embodied the pain and indignation caused by the victims of the Northern Irish conflict in 1994 in a song, Zombie, which became a worldwide hit, transforming his band, The Cranberries, into one of the most popular pop-rock bands of the 1990s.