Jenn’s Dusty Shelf

Dolores O’Riordan’s voice is one of the most recognizable female voices in rock; O’Riordan may well be the reason The Cranberries earned much of their success in the mid 1990s. The band’s most commercially successful album, No Need to Argue sold over seven million albums in the United States and is popularly recognized as the couch album, as the cover art and album notes all contain the band sitting on an old plaid couch in various locations.

After releasing the enormously popular album, Everybody Else is Doing it, so Why Can’t we? featuring hits such as “Linger” and “Dreams” in 1992, The Cranberries changed their direction, as many artists do after a hit album. Focusing more on romance, war and grief, No Need to Argue is more experimental, with interesting composition of synthesizing and vocals, particularly in “Twenty-One” and in the intro to “Ridiculous Thoughts.” The tweaking of their sound was well-received and “Zombie” was a number one hit on the modern rock charts.

Popular tracks include “Zombie” of course, and “Ode to My Family,” which is completely preferably over “Zombie” in my opinion.


If you are unfamiliar with The Cranberries, this album is the perfect starter kit. Displaying a range of hard rock songs, such as “Zombie” and integrating some slow, peaceful tracks, like “Dreaming My Dreams,” it also incorporates tracks that mix both sounds such as in “Yeat’s Grave.”

This album also shows the range of the band’s vocalist. O’Riordan haunts with sometimes twisted lyrics, but always seems to make those lyrics build into terrible beauty, as in the song, “The Icicle Melts” which is arguably about a kidnapping or abortion.

There is no denying the beauty of the title track. “No Need to Argue” has moving lyrics that are captivating and also dismally lonely. It relies wholly on the vocals and has hardly any music except some minor keys. Although simple, the song is stirring and purely beautiful.

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