Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Cranberries

  • Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? [Island, 1993] A-
  • No Need to Argue [Island, 1994] **
  • To the Faithful Departed [Island, 1996] C+
  • Bury the Hatchet [Island, 1999] **

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? [Island, 1993]
Dream-pop as techno-folk-rock. Lissome Limerick lass Dolores O'Riordan injects spiritual lilt, Smiths/Furs producer Stephen Street applies commercial grease, and like a good dance comp with one set of tonsils, it never quits. Every song diddles your beauty spot by hook or by slick, and with O'Riordan swooping, moaning, and emoting, the worst you feel is a bit of a softy. Believe in the dream. A-

No Need to Argue [Island, 1994]
soulful things to say, tuneful ways to say them, way too long getting there ("Ode to My Family," "Zombie") **

To the Faithful Departed [Island, 1996]
In which the deserving pop stars discover noise and politics simultaneously, and nuts to any part-of-the-problem who preferred them when they knew their dreamy place, right? Wrong. Tragically but also irritatingly, Dolores O'Riordan indulges all the vices people too stupid for Woody Guthrie or Linton Kwesi Johnson say politics bring out in music: she's strident, moralistic, simple-minded, full of herself. Not only is she shocked to discover that wars are caused by, I would never have guessed, "political pride" and "territorial greed," but she thinks she's a better person for telling Tchaikovsky the news. Better than you. Better than me. Better than Tchaikovsky. And much, much better than Alanis Morissette. C+

Bury the Hatchet [Island, 1999]
lucky for her music she's been unlucky in love ("You and Me," "Loud and Clear") **