Review Summary: Dolores O'Riordan may be gone, but her voice will still "linger" on.
By listening to this posthumous final release from Irish rock band, The Cranberries, it seems like a project that was planned well ahead of time and not one that was stitched together out of haste. And with this new album comes an underlying sense of finality, with song titles like “All Over Now,” “Wake Me When It’s Over,” and of course, “In the End.” Technically, their previous studio album wasn’t exactly a full release, since it was a bare bones acoustic compilation, with the exception of three tracks worth of new material. Lead singer, Dolores O’Riordan, would pass away the following year, but in the meantime, Something Else was enough of a satisfying end to the band’s discography with its reworked, yet familiar songs. The problem is that it just could not have ended there, no matter how many “Dreams”s or “Zombie”s or “Linger”s (the trifecta of Cranberries singles) there were on the record. There needed to be more original songs, ones that strayed away from the band’s glory days and shifted them into the uncertain future. And with this album, In the End, the trademarks of the band gel together-- O’Riordan’s vocal yelps and howls, Noel Hogan’s guitar shimmer, and Lawler’s muddy drums-- rather than being cut and pasted. Remnants of Something Else remain on “A Place I Know,” due to its acoustic twang, but all of it, especially “All Over Now” and “Got It,” hearkens all the way back to their first two albums. Few records nowadays sound like they could have come straight from the 90s, and with this release, the Cranberries achieve that feat without relying too much on their old sound. At least most of the time. The post-grunge gem,“Wake Me When It’s Over,” sports a bass riff much like “Zombie,” yet it’s combined with a funky drum groove that could have come from “Drive” by Incubus. The bass line on “Crazy Heart” echoes “I Still Do” a bit as well. These similarities are most likely unintended, though, considering that these songs were only unfinished demos during Dolores’s final days. Still, for an unfinished album, it is a proper way to complete their discography. As O’Riordan declares herself on “Illusion,” “This is my conclusion for now,” and so it is for the rest of the band.
“All Over Now”
“Wake Me When It’s Over”
“A Place I Know” (BEST TRACK)