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Dolores O'Riordan - No Baggage

Dolores O'Riordan, No Baggage

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

CRANBERRIES singer Dolores O’Riordan describes her second solo album No Baggage as one of her most personal yet.

“I probably haven’t worn my heart on my sleeve like this since the second Cranberries album [1994’s No Need to Argue],” she explains.

“It’s at times very confessional and dealing with my true emotions. Everyone, through their experiences or their background, has had terrible moments where they think they can’t handle it. With this record I’m trying to show that, no matter how bad things may seem, it’s not really that bad in the big picture.”

The ensuing album is an enjoyable collection of songs that are marked by O’Riordan’s distinct vocals, and a nice mix of up-tempo, fiery rockers and heartfelt, melodic ballads.

If anything, the album even seems to get better and more assured the longer it goes on, delivering a much stronger second half.

Album opener, Switch Off The Moment, for instance, is a little wishy-washy, with easy melodies and a fairly bland verse structure, while Skeleton rocks out but lacks the pull of some of the album’s better material.

Indeed, the album really finds its feet with former single The Journey, which sets a bongo-back beat against some distinct guitar riffs and an empowering chorus (“this is your life, this is your moment”) complete with chant-along “na na na”‘s.

Stupid, by contrast, is a charming, intimate piano-led ballad that feels at times self-critical and yet somehow hopeful. It’s a nice change of pace coming after The Journey.

Apple of My Eye, meanwhile, blends some distinct guitar riffs into a slow-burning crowd-pleaser that delivers another of the album’s strong choruses, while the Indian-styled instrumentation on Throw Your Arms Around Me provides an interesting alternative musical backdrop that fully showcases the album’s broad scope. It’s another of the highlights.

The Beatles-esque Fly Through is another good listen, while the tenderness and humility that was apparent on Stupid returns on another sombre, piano-soaked offering, Lunatic, which beguiles until a slightly awkward ending.

Final song Tranquilizer ensures, however, that the album ends on a high with another slow-burner that makes good use of O’Riordan’s striking vocals.

All in all, then, there’s plenty to admire on this album, which comes recommended.

Download picks: The Journey, Stupid, Throw Your Arms Around Me, Fly Through, Apple of My Eye

Track listing:

  1. Switch Off The Moment
  2. Skeleton
  3. It’s You
  4. The Journey
  5. Stupid
  6. Be Careful
  7. Apple of My Eye
  8. Throw Your Arms Around Me
  9. Fly Through
  10. Lunatic
  11. Tranquilizer