“Wake Up And Smell The Coffee”: Review
‘Wake Up And Smell The Coffee’ is part of the new stage the band started with their fourth album ‘Bury The Hatchet’, in 1999. Dolores O’Riordan, Noel Hogan, Fergal Lawler and Mike Hogan return again to release this new album, their fifth one, which has 13 songs plus two bonus tracks.
The first single released, was ‘Analyse’, which has them like one of the most listened and purchased bands from the last summer. And the rest of the material is really good, started with ‘Never Grow Old’, a song which shows the feelings of Dolores, about her maternity and the people who round her.
Almost all the album is very maternal.
The one thing that was at the beginning a little bit racist, was the introduction of ‘This Is The Day’ where she shows her love for the white skin and blur eyes, but finally, the song’s concept is different, she is referring to someone, maybe to her child.
About the tracks 14 and 15, they were recorded in December 1999, in a live concert in Paris, and it’s took from the ‘Beneath The Skin’ DVD, and the last song is ‘In The Ghetto’, a Mac Davis song.
“Wake Up And Smell The Coffee”: Review
Their fifth album is entitled “Wake Up And Smell The Coffee”. We have to remark in the album, the lyrics. Like most of the band members have been parents some time before, they write more optimistic lyrics than in the other albums, giving as result an album full of songs with punk inspiration, but in which we can find those beautiful soft songs that the band used to write.
With 18 songs recorded for the album edition, only 13 songs have been included in the album, leaving the 5 other songs for the b-sides from the singles. Among the b-sides songs, we have to remark a singular version of “In The Ghetto”, made famous by Elvis.
From the album, there are good songs, especially “Time Is Ticking Out”, song that speaks about the environment, and “Never Grow Old”, a song that speaks about how much difficult can be have risks when things are going well…
We love the new Cranberries album, though we miss that rage from the other albums. Really, I’m not worrying about the more serious style from Cranberries, either about the new styles and tendencies. The thing that is worrying me now, is that I like them… The thing about growing old is really hard.
Is possible that the album won’t be a favorite one for the old Cranberries fans, or for new audiences, but I think Cranberries don’t care about that now.
Is possible also that we won’t be back to jump, scream and sing with Dolores, and maybe their next tour will be quitter, but the true is that this new album let them change to new music genres. An album that marks the beginning of a reborn from a band that is a myth.
“Wake Up And Smell The Coffee”: Back to the origins
It has surprised me very much.
After “Bury The Hatchet”, I was waiting for the worst part. The way The Cranberries were taking to the commercial pop, and getting away from the sound of the mythic “To The Faithful Departed” album, was making us to think the evident, that this album could have been popper than the last one.
But that wasn’t the final result, this album goes back to their origins. To the Cranberries essence they should have never leave. In general, the first thing that surprise from the album, among the intimate moments, are the lyrics.
Optimistic and positive lyrics. Maybe in that aspect has been a change since “Bury The Hatchet”, where the lyrics let us to see the bad moment they had some years before, and the return to the good way, happily found with her first child born.
Now in “Wake Up And Smell The Coffee” (continuing with characteristic album names), you can see that the lyrics are songs dedicated to happiness, an explosion of positive energy, and the fruit of the maturity.
Again Dolores’s maternity (now from a girl) has made notice the band’s good moment. That positive energy explosion can be even noticed in the album’s cover (red and blue spheres).
Everything is a color explosion. Everything’s invaded by powerful colors. The cover is very similar to the last album cover. About the songs, I could tell you many things, but I love them all. They are 13 songs plus 2 bonus tracks: “Salvation” (from “To The Faithful Departed”) recorded in Paris during the tour in 1999, and a surprising version of “In The Ghetto”. If I have to chose a song, maybe I would chose “Never Grow Old”. A beautiful soft song, that make you dream and see a perfect world. To wish never grow up… “Analyse” is the single that is invading us in the radios since August. For me is not one of the best songs (maybe it’s the most commercial), and that’s why I was afraid about the album, fortunately I was wrong.
“Time Is Ticking Out” with lyrics about social content, it makes us to think about what happens when we don’t think about what we do.
“Dying Inside” is the only one with sad lyrics. It makes me think about someone that maybe died. But I’m not sure…
“This Is The Day” surprises me since the first chords, because it seems a “Zombie” version. In the entire song, sound those chords, although lyrics are the same, and the chorus different. Hard song, future single.
“The Concept” is simple. Slow, and it reminds me the soft songs from the first album. Dolores whispering…What a beautiful voice she has! “Wake Up And Smell The Coffee” could be another future single. First, one minute and twenty seconds very slow, and later…everything changes.
“Pretty Eyes”: beautiful song. I just can imagine Dolores singing this song beside the cradle.
“I Really Hope” is maybe one of the songs that I like less. I wouldn’t be surprised if that song was one of the songs written for the Bury The Hatchet era, it has absolutely that sound.
“Every Morning” is another jewel from the album. A very simple song, and maybe the popper song of the album. But, what we should do about that? I like that kind of songs. In “Do You Know”, the lyrics show the good moment of Dolores: “I will be strong, will carry on, I’ll always hold on to my smile”.
“Carry On”, another slow song with the old sound…
In “Chocolate Brown” we can enjoy again those O’Riordan particular quavers. Another ballad (yes, maybe there are many, but the album in that way is perfect, I think I wouldn’t deleted or add any song).
The Cranberries “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee”
Do you have a moment? That’s the question, apparently simple, that it’s been established in the new album of the Irish band The Cranberries, “Wake Up and smell the Coffee”, which is their debut with MCA Records, and it’s their first released in over 2 years. In the last decade, The Cranberries have sold a lot of million albums and they have count with a lot of fans in the entire world, because of their beautiful arrangements, their shocking melodies, solid songs and full of quality, and most important, because of the transparent voice of Dolores O’Riordan. Now, coinciding with the celebration of their tenth anniversary, the group made one of their best albums, in which one they show optimism they’re enjoying.
In a certain way, “Wake up and Smell the Coffee” is a returning home. The album has been produced in Dublin, by Stephen Street (The Smiths, Morrissey, Blur), responsible of the band first two albums. Dolores says “the album offers a great stability, because of Stephen’s work”. Since we have started working together, he has always shown me a great sincerity, an authentic paternity sensation, treating me like if I was one of his daughters.
The band’s drummer, Fergal Lawler, says “It has been great to work with him again, Stephen is one of those guys that can understand what are we able to do, and what do we want, and he help us to make the best of us”. Maybe that’s the reason the album shows a marked sense of sincerity and compromise from the band members, it reflects the good stability moment they’re enjoying in their professional and personal life. “We feel more Relaxed than ever”, confess Dolores. “In this time of our career we have shown what can we do, so why are very calm, that have made us to enjoy very much the recording of the album.
Songs like “Never Grow Old” or the first single “Analyse”, are centered in the eternal fight between mind and soul, but to not finishing the great pleasures of life. “The last year I was able to discover the beauty that I didn’t see in a long time”, says Dolores. “Our new songs come to say things like: “don’t care about worrying in what will happen tomorrow, or the next week, or the next year, when there’s so much beauty around you”. From the new album, specially stands out the song “Pretty Eyes”, with an interesting rhythm of the 60’s, or Time Is Ticking Out, a composition that shows us until what point are The Cranberries offering in their songs the same decision and ideas from their first works. Other title, like “Dying Inside”, speaks about the constant soul corruption made by the actual society, something that contrasts with the love thematic of “The Concept” or “I Really Hope”. Other songs, this time involved in a soft waltz rhythm, “Carry On” or “Do you know”, suppose a real life celebration, while the song which gives title to the album, with a heavy hard rock rhythm, gives new energies to the album, which finishes with a song specially intimate and personal, “Chocolate Brown”, recorded live in the studio just with a microphone. “Some of the songs from the new album include very different rhythms to what we have done until now”, said Mike. “It seems very nice to me, to taste so different things, but it’s not something we have prepare, it’s totally spontaneous”.
The facility which they have got that nearness with their fans, and that special touch they have include in their songs, have been always remarked as one of the personal stamps of The Cranberries since the band’s birth in the Irish city of Limerick. The 80’s decade made an avalanche of great Irish stars in the discographic world, like U2, Enya, Clannad, Hot House Flowers and Sinead O’Connor. In 1989, The Hogan brothers, with two of their best friends, Fergal Lawler, and the singer Niall Quinn, decided to follow the way of their musical heroes. At the beginning of their career, they were “The Cranberry Saw Us”. The band had its first important change, when Dolores replaced Quinn a little bit later the band had done their first gigs. The demos they recorded in that time, made the Island Records president Chris Blackwell and the famous producer Denny Cordell, very curious and interested about them. They offered the band their first important discographic contract. In 1992, The Cranberries released their first album “Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?”. The single they edited in 1993, “Linger”, went top ten in the northeamerican rankings, while the album was selling over a million copies only in the United States. After its re-edition, it enters in the number one spot in the UK album charts (a big difference with the album’s number 75 spot in its first release). Their second album, “No Need to argue” (1994) sold over 12 million copies in its first year of release, supported by the single “Zombie”. In 1996, the band’s third album, To the Faithful Departed, produced by Bruce Fairbairn (Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, AC/DC) gave to the group new gold and platinum status. The musical critics and the fans were feeling fascinated about the shameless and direct style of The Cranberries. “Since the beginning, we had clear, that sometimes, less is more”, said Noel. “If you complete all the available space, you notice that the music cannot breathe, over all, having in mind the so impressive singer style which is Dolores”.
In 1999, the band produced their four album “Bury The Hatchet”, which got the number one spot in seventeen countries, and it’s an album that made them realize their most extensive world tour. They performed in 6 continents, and they made 110 concerts in front of over 1.000.000 fans. After the tour, they had a worthy rest, and after that, they got together to record some new songs, and to record the new album. The first recording seasons of “Wake up and Smell the Coffee”, were in summer of 2000, they had like stage the Windmill Lane of Dublin studios, some time before Dolores’s second child birth. She and Noel were parents for second time, with Molly’s and Sophie’s birth respectively, in January and March of 2001. “Having children make you stop worrying about things that doesn’t matter”, said Fergal. “In our case, the paternity has got us more together like a band”. We had more new things to talk about. We were asking to each other: “Does your baby have teeth now?” Very soon, the band must to prepare their luggage to go in the new world tour. The Cranberries are always remarked as one of the most involved bands in their job. If there’s nothing that makes complex the tour, like a family problem, they’re always expecting to go on the road. “We had a really good time in our last tour”, said Mike. “It was great to enjoy the concert just like we dreamt about it before, seeing how our fans are able to enjoy a lot our songs, and even some fans from other countries that don’t know the lyrics, but they still enjoy it”.
They enjoy a lot when they’re making tours, but the band feels especially good when they’re at home. Fergal tell us: “A lot of people have said us we should go to live in Dublin or London, but we don’t think that’s necessary. Limerick is our hometown, that’s where our friends and family live. If we are a long time far from Ireland, we feel bad, and we feel we should go to the country, at least for one or two weeks. Is a magic place” A lot of you maybe agree in the fact The Cranberries are that special magic which Fergal was talking about. Today, after 10 years and with over 33 million albums sold around the world, the band is in their best moment, personally and professionally. “We are very happy like a band, and individually also”, confess Fergal, “and we’re sure the album reflects very well those feelings”. With no doubt about it, with “Wake up and Smell the Coffee”, The Cranberries have reached a great quality level in the artistic world.
The Cranberries “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee”
Great title for an album which with intimate moments or intense arrangements smells good. So good with the ductile voice of Dolores O’Riordan, the brain and soul of a band which with their fifth album finish with honors the “style’s grade”. In some songs, playing guitar to distortion (“This Is the Day”), or whispering one of those love songs that are always so good (“Never Grow Old”), the band make an album with different speeds.
Making a reference to The Sunday (“Do You Know”), and a bonus track of one of their greatest hits (“Salvation”), and other good moments in the album, The Cranberries make a “practice” more than attractive: to waking up, and smell the morning’s coffee with Irish music in the background.