26 April 2019 (released)
25 April 2019
Dolores O'Riordan was one of the defining vocalists of the 1990s. As the vocalist of the politically driven The Cranberries, she brought to life numerous anthems that effected and altered public and personal perceptions. However, she did far more than that. She managed to touch hearts with the fragility of her delivery, moving to tears while simultaneously uplifting and bringing fresh hope. Her passing in 2018 sent shockwaves around the world. Now, a year later, her bandmates pay tribute to her talent and their own by releasing, In The End, the record they had been working together on at the time of her death.
Although they had reunited for 2017's Something Else, which revisited and reworked their old material alongside an insight into their current creative mindspace, In The End marks the first album of fully new material since 2012's Roses. While it was not completed at the time of O'Riordan's passing, it has been tenderly and lovingly finished and acts as a beautiful swansong for the Limerick group.
Fans will be thrilled that In The End is very much unlike many posthumous releases. While the album had not been completed, the framework for the record had been. As a result, the vocals may be the result of the demo recordings, but the fragility of their imperfections both fits the album, but also showcase how perfect O'Riordan's voice was. In a live setting it was these slight imperfections that gave her the emotional weight, and it is equally potent on In The End.
Interestingly, In The End takes the band back to their beginnings. The Cranberries may have dabbled with their formula through the years, but they always knew what their fans wanted to hear and would faultlessly deliver throughout each record. In The End has the same unpolished feel to their debut, and as a result, has the emotional pelt.
While this may veer more towards the soft pop terrain that they were perhaps known for through the years, the album will find a firm place in the hearts of their loyal fans. However, it is equally deserving of a far greater acclaim.