The Cranberries
To the Faithful Departed



by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
August 21st, 2006 | 13 replies

Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Ah yes, The Cranberries, how could I forget such a band? Back in the day when my parents used to buy CDs they picked up the band's second full length release, No Need to Argue, and played it quite often. One song that really stuck out for me was the ever so popular single, Zombie, which featured singer Dolores O'Riordan wailing out a strangely memorable protest against conflicts in Northern Ireland. But as the years piled on, my parents stopped playing the album and the band slowly slipped from my mind. Fast forward about half a dozen years and I find myself listening to a good friend raving about some strange band known as – gasp – The Cranberries. So she's finally convinced me to check the band out, and as luck would hold, I found my parent's old No Need to Argue album. I was very pleased with what I heard, especially the aforementioned song, Zombie, and decided to explore the bands catalogue further. The Cranberries loving friend sent me the band's third album, To the Faithful Departed, and asked me to write a review on it. So here we are, all up to date and stuff, great.

The Cranberries music is driven by the distinct singing of vocalist Dolores O'Riordan. Similar to previous albums, Dolores uses her powerful voice to set the mood in many different ways, such as the tearful farewell in When You're Gone, to the emotional, yet soft protest song, War Child, to the strange, yet bittersweet Will You Remember?. Perhaps her best performance on the album is in the album's opener, Hollywood. The song, which bears similarity to Zombie, makes perfect use of O'Riordan's unique vocal talents. As with previous songs like Ode to My Family, O'Riordan's singing is upbeat and very memorable, giving the song that distinct Cranberries feel. For me, Dolores O'Riordan's voice was one of the elements that drew me to The Cranberries, and she certainly does not disappoint on To the Faithful Departed.

The album itself is somewhat of a mixed bag. To The Faithful Departed contains fifteen songs, and with an album of that length, there are bound to be some filler tracks. Songs such as Will You Remember?, The Rebels, and Bosnia just have no room on the album, and are quite dull. Will You Remember?, for example, is just Dolores singing over a music box (?) and does not add anything to the album. However, To the Faithful Departed has some excellent material, including the rocker Hollywood; the fast paced songs Forever Yellow Skies and I Just Shot John Lennon, which feature the rest of the band at their best; the catchy, mid-paced single Free to Decide; the softer, ballady sounding Electric Blues, a song featuring Delores at her best; the list goes on and on. As I've learned to expect from The Cranberries, To the Faithful Departed reaches out to fans of several genres, whether it be a rock fan like me, a fan who prefers mellower songs like When You're Gone and War Child, or those who just want to listen to laidback songs such as I'm Still Remembering, there is a song everyone could find appealing.

If I had to pick a weak point on To the Faithful Departed, it would be the lyrics. While Dolores O'Riordan can sing, I wouldn't exactly call her the next great lyricist. Many of the songs on this album speak out against certain issues like Heroin abuse in Salvation, or anti-war protests in songs like Bosnia and War Child. Unintentionally or not, Dolores' writing feels very preachy, something I didn't feel I was hearing on No Need to Argue. Other songs, such as The Rebels, I'm Still Remembering, and Joe feature the typical Cranberries themes such as love and reminiscence of the past. But we you don't listen to this band for impressive, introspective lyrics, so this short coming should not be a problem for many listeners.

Admittedly, To the Faithful Departed isn't the band's most sought out record, nor is it their strongest release. Though I do agree when people imply that No Need to Argue is an overall better album than this one, I still enjoy To the Faithful Departed quite a bit. Be it Dolores' singing style; fun tracks like Hollywood and I Just Shot John Lennon; or just the overall laidback feeling that the album carries with it, I can't help but smile when listening to it. Save for a few black eyes, To the Faithful Departed is a great album, and I definitely an album I would recommend it.

Recommended Tracks:
Free to Decide
Forever Yellow Skies
I Just Shot John Lennon

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user ratings (121)

Comments:Add a Comment 
August 22nd 2006


Album Rating: 3.8

Hmm, it actually looks a little short now that I can see it on the site, I might add to this.

EDIT: Fixed.This Message Edited On 08.22.06

Activista anti-MTV
August 22nd 2006


I liked Zombie. Should I check these guys out?

August 22nd 2006


Album Rating: 3.8

I liked Zombie. Should I check these guys out?

Sure. Check out the tracks I suggested, especially Hollywood and Forever Yellow Skies.

Activista anti-MTV
August 22nd 2006


[quote=mikesn]Sure. Check out the tracks I suggested, especially Hollywood and Forever Yellow Skies.[/quote]
I will, but they better bring the goods on I just shot John Lenon.

August 23rd 2006


Album Rating: 3.8

Is Alt&Indie always this bare? :confused:

August 23rd 2006


Dude, stfu. We're basking in our elitist glory.

August 23rd 2006


Album Rating: 3.8

Carry on then.

August 28th 2006


Oops missed this one. This album is alright but I'm always drawn to the first two and ignore the rest.

April 29th 2008


Finally got my hands on this, it was the last Cranberrries album I needed. I'm surprised you didn't mention Cordell in the review, that's probably the best song on this album.

July 16th 2011


Album Rating: 4.0

I cannot stop listening to "Salvation". The Cranberries could really, really fucking ROCK when they wanted to. I keep watching the music video and it's so fucking bizarre with this weird spiked clown running around, kidnapping kids. I guess it's a metaphor for heroin considering the song's subject manner.

Plus Dolores O'Riordan looks unbelievably sexy in that video. Watch that shit people.

February 16th 2012


Album Rating: 2.5

I Just Shot John Lennon is really lame.

Theres a few good songs on this, Salvation definitely being one

Contributing Reviewer
March 31st 2012


Album Rating: 3.0

For me, O'Riordan's vocals really bring this album down for me. I mean, her voice on this album is particularly very annoying, for the most part. When she doesn't wail, it makes the song nicer to listen to, but when she wails on songs such as 'Hollywood' and 'Electric Blue' it really does put me off. 'I'm still remembering' and 'Bosnia' feature her vocals excellently however. The songs themselves i thought were good at times, but for the most part, it seems the band have run out of ideas, musically. Conceptually, they are top notch here writing such meaningful lyrics that really do stand out. 'Hollywood' (which would have been better off as an instrumental) and 'Bosnia' are brilliant ways to introduce and conclude and album such as this, yet the shorter songs get monotonous very quickly.

Digging: The Black Dahlia Murder - Nightbringers

August 21st 2012


a lot of the lyrics drag this down more than anything

Digging: majesty crush - Love 15

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