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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - 'In the End'
Artist - The Cranberries

For those not in the know, The Cranberries is an Irish rock band formed in Limerick, Ireland in 1989 by lead singer Niall Quinn, guitarist Noel Hogan, bassist Mike Hogan, and drummer Fergal Lawler; although Quinn was replaced as lead singer by Dolores O'Riordan in 1990.

The band officially classify themselves as an alternative rock group, but incorporate aspects of indie pop, post-punk, Irish folk, and pop rock into their sound.

The Cranberries rose to international fame in the 1990s with their debut album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?, which became a commercial success.

The band has sold over 40 million records worldwide and achieved five top 20 albums on the Billboard 200 chart (Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?; No Need to Argue, To the Faithful Departed, Bury the Hatchet, and Stars: The Best of 1992-2002) and eight top 20 singles on the Modern Rock Tracks chart ('Linger', 'Dreams', 'Zombie', 'Ode to My Family', 'Ridiculous Thoughts', 'Salvation', 'Free to Decide', and 'Promises').

In early 2009, after a six-year hiatus, the Cranberries reunited and began a North American tour, followed by shows in Latin America and Europe. The band then recorded their sixth album Roses in May 2011 and released it in February 2012.

Something Else, an album covering earlier songs together with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, was released in April 2017.

Sadly, on January 15th 2018, lead singer Dolores O'Riordan passed away in a London hotel room having been there for a recording session.

The Cranberries then confirmed in late September 2018 that they will not be continuing as a band and that they would release their final album, the upcoming In the End and disband immediately thereafter.

As Noel Hogan stated: “The Cranberries was the four of us. We don’t want to do this without Dolores. So we’re going to leave it after this.”

1. 'All Over Now'
2. 'Lost'
3. 'Wake Me When It's Over'
4. 'A Place I Know'
5. 'Catch Me If You Can'
6. 'Got It'
7. 'Illusion'
8. 'Crazy Heart'
9. 'Summer Song'
10. 'The Pressure'
11. 'In the End'

This quite wonderful, heartfelt and poignant 8th and final album from The Cranberries, and one once again produced by Stephen Street, kicks off with The Cure-esque swirly power pop 'All Over Now' (which must have also been a contender for the album title) and backs that up with both the anguish of 'Lost' and the quite brilliantly paced 'Wake Me When It's Over' ("Trying to forget, Something that you know. It hasn't killed you yet, But you cannot let it go".)

Another poignant reminder of just how good, how crisp, how devoted to her homeland Dolores' voice truly was is up next in 'A Place I Know,' and that's followed by the wondrously fluid Celtic melodies of the cry for help within 'Catch Me If You Can' and then song about coping, 'Got It.'

The signature vocals on both 'Illusion' and 'Crazy Heart' are so true to the core Cranberries tracks that they could easily have been recorded and sung back in the mid-'90s, with the forewarning of the fickleness of life on 'Summer Song' one of my own personal favorites here.

That all said, I think that the most poignant of tracks here on this quite magnificent has to be, without a shadow of a doubt, 'The Pressure.' In lyrics that I could swear rove between "When I'm feeling the pressure you make me feel so much better" and "When I'm feeling depression you make me feel so much better", it's as if Dolores is laying down her own personal mantra within the lyrics.

The album then comes to a close with more of sensitivity through poetry, her wonderful and unique voice entering our souls within the title track, 'In the End.'

“After Dolores’ devastating and unexpected passing in January 2018, we took some time out and put all plans on hold,” bandmates Noel and Mike Hogan and Fergal Lawler have said. "As time passed, we began to think about how we might best honor our close friend and bandmate."

"This was a very painful process. We remembered how Dolores had been so energized by the prospect of making this record and getting back out on the road to play the songs live, and realized that the most meaningful thing to do was to finish the album we had started with her.”

Fittingly, Dolores' mother, Eileen has since said that, and I quote, "I can't think of a more fitting way to commemorate the first anniversary of Dolores' passing and to celebrate her life than to announce to the world the release of her final album with the band."

Amen, Eileen. Amen.

Rest in Peace, Dolores.

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