Even the biggest of bands have their humble beginnings. The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd didn't just pop out of the ground world famous. Though not in the same stratosphere in terms of fame, alternative rock band, The Cranberries, were not different in this aspect. They were formed in 1989 as The Cranberry Saw Us by brothers, Noel and Mike Hogan, as well as drummer Fergal Lawler in Limerick, Ireland. Originally, their vocalist was man going by the name of Niall Quinn. Niall quit the band a year later, but not before recommending a friend of his girlfriend's, Dolores O'Riordan. Delores was quickly chosen to become The Cranberries' (they opted for a name change as well) new singer and the rest is history. The Cranberries soon got a record deal with Island Records and by 1992, were recording their debut album Everybody Else is Doing It, So Why Can't We.
The Cranberries have always been a fairly mellow, yet upbeat band. But Everybody Else focuses more on the mellow aspect of the band's music. Songs like the hit Linger or I Still Do showcase the relaxing, dreamy element very well. The album runs on a healthy dose of emotion, not only limited to Dolores' excellent vocal delivery, but is also shown through Noel Hogan's effective guitar lines. Noel doesn't focus on creating a bombastic bridge, chorus or guitar solo through his guitar playing, but instead uses it as a valuable addition to the songs rhythm section which backs up O'Riordan. Many of the tracks, from Dreams to Sunday to Linger to How, feature this simple, yet fun acoustic passages which do an very good job in contributing to the dreamy atmosphere of the record. Mike Hogan is another musician who stands out. His bass is quite audible and like the guitars, it maintains a simple, yet effective rhythm in which the calm songs stem from.
One thing I noticed about Everybody Else is that it feels very laidback. Aside from perhaps the song How, there aren't any tracks similar to the likes of Forever Yellow Skies, I Just Shot John Lennon, or Time is Ticking Out, where a frantic pace dominates the song. This element isn't a bad thing, but the lack of such an aspect is certainly notable as it creates a different atmosphere throughout the album. Perhaps calmer outings such as Not Sorry and I Still Do are more reflective of the band's surroundings at the time. The Cranberries were nowhere near as busy during the crafting of Everybody Else as they were during the likes of To the Faithfully Departed or even No Need to Argue, as they were still quite a small band. Whatever the reason, while perhaps not as catchy as future tracks, the songs on Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We feel more refined and perfected than post-No Need to Argue songs.
Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We is an excellent album from alt rockers, The Cranberries, and a very superb debut. Through its calm, laidback, nostalgic moods, it creates a very likeable atmosphere. It has both brisk songs like How and Wanted, but also slower, mellower offerings like Linger and Sunday. An easy album to get into, it features effective, engaging performances from band members. Whether it be through Dolores' impressive vocals, Noel's fun, jangly guitar riffs, the fitting bass guitar antics of Mike, or even the decent drumming of Fergal Lawler, the band manages to create an enjoyable collection of songs in which fans of alt rock should definitely enjoy. Everybody Else is a fine album, and an essential Cranberries' release.