Irish grunge band, The Cranberries, has provided the world with incredibly impactful and beautiful music since 1989. In their final album, rightfully named “In the End,” the band provides a final goodbye to their legacy, and to Dolores O’Riordan, their lead singer, who passed away in January 2018. The singer drowned in her bathtub after passing out from alcoholic intoxication nine years after the band’s reunion.
The album was released on April 26, and it is a compilation of eleven songs that, although O’Riordan’s death was sudden, tell a deep and meaningful farewell to the well-loved band. For long time fans of The Cranberries, “In the End” provides no disappointments.
The instrumentals stand out in the songs and complement O’Riordan’s vocal impeccably.
O’Riordan’s vocals, as they are for all of The Cranberries’ albums, are the glue holding each song together. Her lilting voice fills each song with such raw emotion; it is incomparable. Her iconic voice dances the line between melancholy and elation and no matter which emotion O’Riordan is portraying, it is honest and graceful. Every song on the album will make you feel something, whether or not you are an avid listener or not.
The song, “Lost,” is a hauntingly elegant song that highlights O’Riordan’s lyrical and vocal prowess. As she belts about being “lost with you” and “lost without you,” you feel shivers down your spine. Her emotion is translated so well through song that it’s tangible.
Most of the songs are a bit darker in theme, but the three that make that exception are “Summer Song,” “The Pressure” and “Crazy Heart.” Both songs take on the major key which, in the band’s style, is both tragic and uplifting. “Summer Song” is the perfect song for road trips in the summer. It’s a love song with beautiful harmonies and an intoxicating rhythm.
“In the End” is the final song on the album, and it’s particularly heart-wrenching. It’s slow and moving. The acoustic guitar keeps the song grounded as O’Riordan’s voice drifts further and further into space. She sings of finalities and changes. It listens like a lullaby, lulling the listener to the band’s close.
The Cranberries’ “In the End” is a bittersweet goodbye to one of the last remaining grunge bands from the 1990s. It’s a goodbye a truly unique band and a goodbye to an irreplaceable singer. Dolores O’Riordan will be missed, but her essence is captured in “In the End.”