Dolores O’Riordan — one of the ten richest women in Ireland and the famous Cranberries singer is back with her solo album “No Baggage”. An eleven-song set of swirling, orchestral adult-alt rock, not very removed from her old band’s sound, so those hoping for some sort of Rounder-esque foray into roots music will be disappointed. However, No Baggage is filled with awesome melodies, and O’Riordan’s trademark canary call is in fine shape. The sticking point of this album is its ultra-dense production. Nothing sounds live in this album. The drum lines are digitised and the guitars are heavily processed and pushed in. The songs themselves, though, are as strong as ever. “Apple of My Eye” is a graceful love song; “It’s You,” finds joy in the repetition of a simple and an awesome melody; “Stupid” is a much prettier song than one with that title would suggest. The entire album has catchy verse and grand chorus vocal lines, although the bridges in a few songs appear to be a mismatch at times — very strong switch on the momentum of the song. Songs like “The Journey” which could be a hit single, sound like something which would be played over and over in a rehab centre because of its lyrics. Still, O’Riordan sounds insistent that her own moment has returned, and with “No Baggage’s” satisfying song craft, she may be right.
SRIKRISHNA NATESAN, drummer for Blind Image
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