Source: Melody Maker (19.10.91)
Author Colm O’Callaghan
The Cranberries are probably too tender for all of this, but right now they have all our hopes to weigh them down. They’re charming little innocents, so untouched, so perfect, so astoundingly pure. They’ve come from a city that isn’t Dublin, from a county where politics are conservative and where Gaelic games and rugby offer some small social hope. They thing small, embarrassed by what they’ve suddenly become. By what we’ve painted them up to be. To singer Dolores, pop songs have nothing to do with video and make-up. Nothing to do with fanciful clothes. She’s stopped reading her band’s press because she doesn’t need us to tell her who she is. And when she stands still, saying little, in places like this, it’s because she’s very unsure about all of the fuss. The Cranberries, understand, are charmingly naive, It is their single greatest attribute.
They have no idea, see, of how good they are. Of how important they might yet become to those of us who’ve become too familiar with mediocrity and mundanity. The Cranberries had never hears of The Sundays or Throwing Muses nine months ago. The songs just happened. They just came our. We believe that. The Cranberries are too frail to be contrived. And while a line like “I was just 16 years old when I married you / And now it’s just a stupid mess I don’t know what to do” might seen trite, then you have to understand that Dolores is 18 years old and coming from what is essentially a very narrow rural tradition. And she writes nothing like The Saw Doctors.
Tonight is all very full, lots of old songs, gorgeous songs, “Put Me Down” with its spine-shill jangle and hum, “Linger” with its gloriously spellbound simplicity, “Dreams” with its curious drum thud. Dolores even plays some acoustic guitar but it look all wrong, all too cumbersome for her. It still sounds very fine, though, and “Reason” and “Pathetic Senses” become huge shimmering pop songs, songs that Johnny Marr, for instance, would collect and play. “Liar” owes to Pixies’ “Is She Weird” but we’re not here to look for clues. We’re here to love a band wholly. To hug them and kiss them. Tonight beauty does what beauty does best. Be beautiful.