The Cranberries : Wake Up And Smell The Coffee

She could be a fool for you. And look! She is!

She could be a fool for you. And look! She is!

It's hardly dramatic, but The Cranberrieshave spent the two years since their last album having kids, putting down roots and being contented. Still, for a band whose interviews and lyrics made foot-in-mouth expert Crispian Mills seem like a master of spin, leading the simple life is probably for the best.

Domestic bliss hasn't entirely stopped Dolores O'Riordan tackling the odd weighty subject, though. So 'Time Is Ticking Out' does for environmentalism what 'Zombie' did for Northern Ireland, while every other song features couplets ("Birds in the sky/They look so high") straight from the John Power school of rhyming.

Musically, Stephen Street returns to produce, and almost recreates some of 'Linger''s jangly charm with 'Analyse' and 'Do You Know'. But there's not much even he can do for somnambulant nursery rhyme 'Pretty Eyes', inanely chirpy '60s pop 'Every Morning' or the overwhelming, strangulated-vowel-strewn majority of songs that are either pointless Celt-rock bluster or winsome quirkiness.

The Cranberries have now been going for ten years. Expect the celebrations to be slightly less enthusiastic than those afforded to Oasis.

Jim Alexander

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