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Bury the Hatchet
pgd / island
our score: 2.5 out of 5.0
"Good Pop" Band |
has a long, rich history of spawning cantankerously idiosyncratic
rock stars. Gavin Friday. Sinéad O'Connor. Shane MacGowan (England-borne,
but bears his Irish ancestry like a stout-soused shamrock badge).
Hell, even U2, at their propulsively slinky best, have an Edge
then, there are the Cranberries.
three lads and a lass from Limerick have been manufacturing dependable,
solidly melodic pop since 1993's multi-platinum Everybody Else
is Doing It, So Why Can't We. Of course, dependability has
its detriments - the most damning of which is its tendency to
repress the sort of spontaneous surprises and unmannered accidents
that can elevate ephemeral fluff to lasting, classic status.
title of their fourth album, Bury the Hatchet, may or may
not reflect the Cranberries' determination to cast 1996's For
the Faithful Departed's spectacularly shallow stabs at social
consciousness into the abyss of the forever unrecoverable. Abandoning
its ill-suited illusions of grandeur, the band gets back to doing
what it has always done best: crafting three-and-a-half minute
hook-driven ditties with all the lyrical significance of a child's
knackered nursery rhyme ("Ra la la la la"/"Eh-ee-eh-ee-oh"/"Ma-na-na-na-na",
radio-friendly singles "Animal Instinct" and "Just My Imagination"
are not quite up to the stuff of "Linger" and "Dreams" - the former
running desperately short of petrol with its endlessly repetitive
outro; the latter just a smidge too suggestive of 10,000 Maniacs
covering Sixpence None the Richer covering New Order. Which is
to say: a palatable pastiche, but pastiche all the same.
album's two token attempts to crank up the ampage ("Promises,"
"Delilah"), singer Dolores O'Riordan comes off more "de-clawed
kitten" than "ticked-off tigress" - more pretty purr than raucous
roar. And while there is little doubt the woman possesses a very
pleasant set of pipes, must those pipes be multi-tracked in the
same unimaginative ways on every bloody number?
final analysis, Bury the Hatchet, like the bulk of the
Cranberries' canon, is simply too timid and smoothly produced
to make any kind of lasting impact. No friction: no heat. Not
near enough tartness to temper the sweet.
that rotter MacGowan when you need him?
liked Bury the Hatchet...
2. Lound And Clear
4. You and Me
5. Just My Imagination
7. Desperate Andy
8. Saving Grace
10. What's On My Mind
12. Fee Fi Fo
13. Dying In The Sun