Dolores O'Riordan
Are You Listening?


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
May 15th, 2007 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist


Oh Dolores, what would we do without you? You were the most distinct member of The Cranberries. You wrote most of their material. Your lyrics were quite cheesy, but charming all the same. You were pretty much the reason why The Cranberries were (are) so much fun to listen to. It's been four years since the Irish band announced that it would be going on indefinite hiatus, and while I have been only a fan of the band for maybe 10 months now, for the seasoned Cranberries fan it's been quite a time since they released their latest album, Wake Up and Smell the Coffee, in 2001. So when it was announced that Dolores O'Riordan's debut solo album, Are You Listening, was set for a 2007 release date, to say that fans were fairly excited would be quite the understatement. And with her first record in six years, Dolores fails to disappoint, seemingly picking up were she last left off.

Yes, perhaps the most apt description of Are You Listening is a continuation of the sound explored on The Cranberries' later records. And seeing as Dolores was the main songwriter for The Cranberries, this shouldn't come to much of a surprise. Many of the tracks follow a simple verse/chorus/verse/chorus format, often containing calm, peaceful introductions which eventually lead to loud, catchy, sing-along choruses. Yes, it's business as usual O'Riordan, but somehow she manages to keep it fresh and interesting. As usual with her writing, her singing takes precedence over the other elements in her music. This, isn't exactly a bad thing however, as Dolores hasn't lost a step during her absence from the music world. Her efforts in Are You Listening's first single, Ordinary Day are some of the best in her career thus far. One element of the song writing of Are You Listening which I readily enjoy is the emotion behind each of the tracks. Each of the album's tracks takes on a different emotion, be it the heartfelt Ordinary Day, the uplifting Angel Fire, the mysterious Black Widow, or the irate Loser; and as a result are quite fun to listen to.

Looking back, it seems as though The Cranberries' best songs were the singles. Indeed, Zombie, Hollywood, Linger, and Ridiculous Thoughts are some of my favourite songs from the alternative rock band. With Dolores' debut solo record this trend does not totally escape this pattern. Ordinary Day is indeed one of the stronger tracks to be heard on the recording. The lyrics are fairly cringe-worthy, as one would expect, but Dolores' delivery is quite memorable and effective. A combination of acoustic guitars and synths picks up the brunt of the rhythm work, but the highlight here is definitely Dolores' pop sensibilities. In the Garden is another particularly strong piece. Throughout various the song bouts of heaviness are introduced through simple, yet effective power chords. Is the track as heavy as Zombie? Not really, as synths and piano ease the overall feel of the song, but it would be quite fair to say that In the Garden would be one of O'Riordan's heavier songs. Finally, the likes of Black Widow also present a different edge to Dolores' music. Perhaps the most atypical of her songs, it remains soft, calm, and quite throughout a majority of its runtime. Artistically, this would probably be one of her more creative tracks, as the music and lyrics correlate perfectly to create a dark, mysterious vibe. Quite enjoyable if you ask me.

After a four year absence, I wasn't really expecting much from Dolores O'Riordan. I wasn't confident that her debut solo album would be able to conjure up the same magic which Cranberries albums such as No Need to Argue and Everyone Else Is Doing it easily did. But this is Dolores we're talking about, and with Are You Listening, O'Riordan has definitely dispelled my doubt. A rather solid album chock full of excellent song writing, catchy alt rock songs, and softer ballad-esque tracks, overall Are You Listening is a fairly worthwhile album. I would definitely recommend it to fans of Dolores' past works, as it picks up right where she left off four years ago. Solid effort all around.

Recommended Tracks:
October
Ordinary Day
In The Garden
Angel Fire
Black Widow



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Another metal review... oh wait it's the debut from former Cranberries singer, "Delores Riordon"....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Altmer
May 15th 2007


5652 Comments


Sounds decent, and The Cranberries are good, but this is rather low on my to pick up list.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
May 15th 2007


3773 Comments


'this should'nt come to much of a surprise.'

Good review otherwise.

Digging: The Flaming Lips - With A Little Help From My Fwends

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
May 15th 2007


15743 Comments


Many solo records have bad titles. This is no exception.

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

Mikesn
Emeritus
May 15th 2007


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Many solo records have bad titles. This is no exception.
This is Dolores O'Riordan, of course it's going to have a bad title.
'this should'nt come to much of a surprise.'
Thanks.
I saw the video for the single from this the other day and was surprised both by her look and her voice. She's changed a lot since I last saw her. Great review too
She looks weird with long hair.

Digging: Grimes - Visions

JAD
May 26th 2007


200 Comments


I like those old Cranberries singles, although I've never heard one of their albums start to finish. I probably won't pick this up, but nice review all the same.

MikeShOck
May 27th 2007


102 Comments


respect for this girl, great singer

(NICE PHOTO Spat Out Plath !)


Riziger
June 30th 2007


316 Comments


good review.... i think i'll download this and see how it is. i liked the single.

rasputin
November 5th 2007


14550 Comments


I'm quite enjoying this album, I have an extremely soft spot for Dolores' voice.

jrowa001
August 2nd 2008


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks to Balls bullying, i have finally checked this out and its pretty good. i like her voice, so i decided to get the Cranberries greatest hits as well. Black Widow is a crazy good song. a couple songs are a bit too poppy for me (i.e. When We Were Young and Loser) but still they were barableThis Message Edited On 08.02.08This Message Edited On 08.02.08

fireaboveicebelow
September 28th 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Black Widow is sooooooooooooo good

I'm surprised I can stand the cliche lyrics on this album, but her voice is utterly golden

BallsToTheWall
November 5th 2008


44669 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I just realized Dolores was in in Click. I feel like an idiot for just realizing that. Album is great of course.

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

fireaboveicebelow
November 5th 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

what?! when?

BallsToTheWall
November 5th 2008


44669 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

She was the wedding singer at the near end.

fireaboveicebelow
November 5th 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I have to see that I'm watching the movie right now

Bleak123
November 5th 2008


1902 Comments


click is sucha sad movie

BallsToTheWall
November 5th 2008


44669 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sad movies are good, especially when you're dark and brutal to the max all the time. The breakdown in Black Widow is so metal.

Bleak123
November 5th 2008


1902 Comments


Fox and the Hound = saddest movie ever

seriously the one film that brings tears to my eyesThis Message Edited On 11.05.08

fireaboveicebelow
November 5th 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sad movies are good, especially when you're dark and brutal to the max all the time. The breakdown in Black Widow is so metal.
both true

rasputin
February 10th 2009


14550 Comments


Digging this album again. fap fap fap

BallsToTheWall
February 10th 2009


44669 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fap fap fapping to Human Spirit as always. A new album this year would be totally viking.



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