Despite the fact that my wife refuses to acknowledge her greatness, Dolores O'Riordan is, in my opinion, one of the top 5 best female singers in popular music today. After five amazing albums as the lead singer of The Cranberries, O'Riordan took a few years to relax at her home in Canada.
Now she's back with a vengeance! Her new album, Are You Listening? is incredible! Of course, I'm such a huge fan that it would be difficult for me to not love it. I expect "In the Garden" to be one of the biggest hits on the album. It's upbeat, without sounding a thing like "Zombie" or "Salvation". There's more heartfelt angst involved here. "Human Spirit" is my favorite track. The intro piano and flute give it a different feel than the typical Cranberries song.
Of course, once she starts singing, O'Riordan's sound is impossible to miss. The chorus sounds more like the band we're all familiar with. "Loser brings me back to the feel of my favorite Cranberries songs. "Black Widow" bears a very listless intro, with a whispering quality to her voice, which somehow evokes images of Gibson's Hamlet in my mind. Perhaps there's a bit of Ophelia in this song.
And if you ever wondered what a hybrid of O'Riordan and Mazzy Star would sound like, check out "Ecstasy". It's still distinctly O'Riordan, with a breathy, husky quality that somehow reminds me of Star. It's a solid album, for sure. Check it out on iTunes today! Show her some love!