There are some people who think that the Cranberries are not a real rock group, that Dolores O’Riordan is over-screechy and unbearable, that their songs are monotonous and over-political. To these I say - who cares about your daft opinions, anyway?!
"Wake Up and Smell the Coffee" is the fifth album by this superband and it’s really a credit to their talent and appeal that it feels like they’ve been at it for decades instead of years. This album is a far cry from the sombre criticism of most Cranberries’ albums, especially "To the Grateful Departed". The album is full of positive messages and songs of hope and joy, marking a new phase for their work, starting with the title song, which has a simple and brilliant message - "wake up, shut up, it’s time to smell the coffee".
With that in mind, it’s easy to follow the other numbers, which mostly tell you to relax and enjoy life. Another surprising thing about this album is the number of soft, slow numbers. The best of these are "The Concept", which has almost sleepy effect, "Every Morning", an almost lullabyish number with a rather (dare I say it?) cute feel to it, and "Don’t Analyse", which has an almost U2 feel to it, in terms of sound and song. There’s also "Carry On", which is classic O’Riordan – haunting and crooning. The other numbers aren’t bad, but they are too similar to previous Cranberries’ songs and are not distinctive (though still worth a listen).
The album isn’t the best that the group has ever come with, but it’s worth it just for a feel of their new sound. And hopefully, this sound will carry over to their next album as well. Go ahead and grab this album as fast as you can!This article was first published on 25 Nov 2001.