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The Cranberries In the End BMG

With a vocal style once described as “the voice of a saint trapped in a glass harp”, Dolores O’Riordan tore through boundaries for women in rock music in the 90s. News of her tragic death in January 2018 left the band with an unenviable quandary: should they go on and complete the final Cranberries album, which O’Riordan had worked on extensively, or leave their legacy well alone? With the support of O’Riordan’s family, they opted for the former. In the words of drummer Fergal Lawler: “The album celebrates the work that Dolores did… it’s like a little gift she left behind.”

It would be a mistake to expect a melancholic album. At times, In the End is quite the opposite. Returning to recognisable Cranberries hallmarks, it navigates the heavier, grunge-like feel the band favoured in their early years (Wake Me When It’s Over) with the acoustic lightness of their later career (In the End) with ease. The sense of cohesion comes, of course, via O’Riordan’s soaring, unmistakable voice. Above all, In the End provides a sense of closure for a much-loved band.