Bury The Hatchet

The Cranberries

Island Records, 1999

http://www.cranberries.com

REVIEW BY: JB

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/10/1999

The album title refers to the band's attitude when they came together again (after having babies, etc.) to write another album, but Cranberries fans don't need to worry too much about change of sound (or get excited about it, either). Their last album To The Faithful Departed is more of a departure than Bury The Hatchetmy_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 proves to be. Hey, it's a Cranberries album; it's got some terrific singles, it refuses to get old and Deloris O'Riordan fronts with just as much confidence and vocal originality.

What they're lacking this time around is ambition, the kind that made tracks like "Linger" and "Dreams". The lyrics, previously a Cranberries strong point, tend to lean towards repetition and rigid structuring, which takes away a lot of power from songs like "Fee Fi Fo" (nightmarish imagery, but not at the level of Aerosmith's "Janie's Got a Gun", which also deals with sexual abuse). One song, "Delilah", is actually written around a catchy rhyme scheme. It's hooky but not much else.

Music-wise, the melodies are strong and don't dissappoint such as another inimitable Cranberries ballad "Shattered", or the Celtic-influenced "Dying In The Sun". With arrangements there are interesting forays here and there, such as the synthesized trumpet in "You And Me" or the solid-rock mess of guitars in "Promises", but overall the album hardly deviates from a flat, mono-track production that compromises personality for the sake of cohesion.

And unlike previous albums the fillers are almost astonishing. "Sorry Son" is a bizarre excuse for a Cranberries song with nonsensical lyrics and an off-hand vocal by O'Riordan. "What's On My Mind" is a superficial bit of songwriting by the same hand that wrote "When You're Gone", a superior love ditty availble on To The Faithful Departed.

At the end of the day, my complaint with Bury The Hatchet is that it's not a masterpiece; I am, just personally, getting more and more impatient with my time and money these days. For more tolerant fans, Bury The Hatchet may offer some good concert material, but for those of us stuck in concert-less, economic sovereignity-less IMF Asia, the Cranberries (just this time) refuses to cut it.

Rating: C+

User Rating: C-


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© 1999 JB and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Island Records, and is used for informational purposes only.