Review No Need To Argue (The Complete Sessions 1994-1995)

The Cranberries

... read moreWith their surprise success behind them, the Cranberries went ahead and essentially created a sequel to Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We with only tiny variations, with mixed results. The fact that the album is essentially a redo of previously established stylistic ground isn't apparent...

With their surprise success behind them, the Cranberries went ahead and essentially created a sequel to Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We with only tiny variations, with mixed results. The fact that the album is essentially a redo of previously established stylistic ground isn't apparent in just the production, handled again by Stephen Street, or the overall sound, or even that one particularly fine song is called "Dreaming My Dreams." Everybody wasn't a laugh riot, to be sure, but No Need to Argue starts to see O'Riordan take a more commanding and unfortunately much more self-conscious role that ended up not standing the band in good stead later. Lead single "Zombie" is the worst offender in this regard -- the heavy rock trudge isn't immediately suited for the band's strengths (notably, O'Riordan wrote this without Noel Hogan) -- while the subject matter -- the continuing Northern Ireland tensions -- ends up sounding trivialized. Opening cut "Ode to My Family" is actually one of the band's best, with a lovely string arrangement created by O'Riordan, but her overdubbed vocals start showing her distinct vocal tics becoming a bit more gimmicky at the expense of the performance. Where No Need succeeds best is when the Cranberries stick at what they know, resulting in a number of charmers like "Twenty One," the uilleann pipes-touched "Daffodil's Lament," which has an epic sweep that doesn't overbear like "Zombie," and the evocative "Disappointment." [No Need to Argue: The Complete Sessions adds the Carpenters cover "(They Long to Be) Close to You," a remix of "Zombie," and a bonus track, "So Cold in Ireland."] ~ Ned Raggett