Are You Listening?

Studio Album by released in 2007
Are You Listening?'s tracklist:
Ordinary Day
When We Were Young
In the Garden
Human Spirit
Loser
Stay With Me
Apple of My Eye
Black Widow
October
Accept Things
Angel Fire
Ecstasy

Are You Listening? review

The face of The Cranberries

The Cranberries were one of the most influential alternative bands in 90's, at least such number as 40 millions of album copies sold all over the world speaks about it quite eloquently. There are many factors that can explain why their songs were so popular but the main one is of course Dolores O'Riordan's voice. She has always been the face and brand mark of this band. So it evokes no wonder that she became the only band's member whose career received a further development after The Cranberries broke up in 2004. Dolores stepped aside from her musical affairs for a certain period of time and devoted herself to a family life, though it didn't prevent her from taking part in a number of side projects. In spite of being busy with her kids she never quitted composing and penned about 30 new songs for the last few years. This could be enough for a few full-fledged albums but Dolores decided to act differently. Instead of releasing everything she preferred to cut down the material to 12 songs choosing only best ideas to include them in her first solo album Are You Listening?               

Are You Listening?: a loud guitar album

Are You Listening? is an album recorded in the best traditions of British rock. Both the sound and arrangements are based on the legacy of alternative scene of early 90's and features characteristic for this genre forceful rhythm section and solid guitar work. Dolores's songs are not liable to fissionable musical trends, old Cranberries' fans will love many of the songs represented here. Such tracks as Ordinary Day or Apple Of My Eye resemble a mood of popular singles of this band. The majority of the album's material bears sad and even mystic colors. The main single Black Widow is just great to exemplify it. This unhurried song sounds like a soundtrack to a thriller about secrets of an ancient castle and when heavy guitars start playing in the middle of the song a feeling of mystery and chill only increases. But there are positive things here too. For example, Loser – quite interesting mid tempo piece with perfect guitar parties and kind atmosphere or In The Garden – a song where Dolores managed to combine pop rock and heavy guitars in the vein of Evanescence.        

Dolores O'Riordan to depart from the boarders in which The Cranberries were playing

A performing manner of Dolores O'Riordan was always notable on the background of other rock divas. Her voice is easy to recognize and this is probably the reason why Are You Listening? evokes stable associations with The Cranberries. Yes, the album will be interesting for old time fans of this band first of all but it only emphasizes how important was Dolores's role in its career. Of course, similar features are present in many respects, but the main among them is her voice. Actually, Dolores tried to depart from the boarders in which The Cranberries were playing, some songs here are much more guitar oriented, and you may feel strong influence of pop in others. But being united by her voice the songs sound like one single context. Moreover Are You Listening? turned out to be more emotional than her former works. A subject matter of songs is dedicated to her personal feelings and worries and somehow she managed to interweave them with the mood that the music creates. Are You Listening? is a solid and interesting record which celebrates a return of unique rock songstress and songwriter.            

(24.04.2007)
Rate review4.15
Total votes - 44


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