Pop Rock, 1999
The Cranberries comes close but not quite in recapturing the magic of their second album No Need to Argue. Bury the Hatchet is beautiful and atmospheric, but then again, any album will sound good after their tired last effort.
I always love lead singer Dolores O’Riordon Burton’s voice. She can take three simple notes and make them soar like eagles. This is evident in lovely songs like You and Me, Animal Instinct, Saving Grace, and What’s On My Mind. This album shines best when Ms O’Riordon Burton croons gently the same key notes again and again in an almost hypnotic fashion that brings me into some sort of surreal world where everything is easy, graceful, and relaxed.
While there are a few songs that is all blustery, like Promises and Loud and Clear, the anger that permeates every inch of the last album To the Faithful Departed is evidently missing here. It is as if everyone has mellowed down. Not a bad thing, really, come to think of it.
The album’s weak point, however, is the lyrics. Words in songs like Fee Fi Fo (about child sexual abuse) are really embarrassing despite their noble sentiments (the key word she cries again and again is innocent, not exactly my favorite word), and in Delilah where she warns a hubby-snatcher away, she sounds like an incoherent, hysterical fishwife.
Despite the weak wordings, this album is a rather welcome return of The Cranberries I know and love. They’re almost back in top form – not quite, but almost there.