With an hour to spare, relaxing music is always the right fix. ‘Something Else’ introduces a soothing side of the Irish rock band, The Cranberries, and is their seventh studio album. It’s filled with new, acoustic versions of their classic hits and serves less as fresh, groundbreaking material, and more as a Greatest Hits album, that does not at first cease to please. The first song triggers the memories of love song addicts and hopeless romantics alike. The acoustic version of the hauntingly beautiful, ‘Linger’ starts it off gracefully. The Irish Chamber Orchestra accompanies the entire album.
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With a classical and borderline Folk sound, it feels like a journey down memory lane and Cranberries’ history. By the time ‘Zombie’ comes to play, there is a pleasantly surprising lack of guitar distortions and gruff vocals. This absence leaves singer Dolores O’Riordan sounding vulnerable and fragile in contrast to her rockier image. For any Cranberries purist, the missing electric guitars and heavy drumming can leave a faint sense of disappointment when compared to the original.
Die-hard Cranberries fans will be glad to see the band still releasing new songs and there are three fresh ones on ‘Something Else’. Still, the album in its entirety is not especially transformational. ‘The Glory,’ ‘Rupture,’ and ‘Why’ offer personal and emotional insight into the feelings of O’Riordan after the passing of her father. The new tracks come in companionship with the classic renditions, but not for a comparison. ‘Why’ in particular shows intense emotion and chill-inducing words when O’Riordan pleads, “Tell me can you hear me I’m calling/ Tell me you can hear me don’t cry/ Tell me that you’re not feeling lonely/ Somewhere in between where and why.”
There are naked emotions placed before listeners with the classical and vocal combination, but the tracks can seem to blend with similarity. There are only a few surprises from tracks like ‘Zombie,’ ‘Linger,’ and ‘Ode to My Family’ along with ‘Why.’ If not groundbreaking material, ‘Something Else’ stands as a declaration from The Cranberries that they have more to offer, if even in small doses.
‘Something Else’ is out now via BMG Rights Management.