Friday, January 7, 2011

Let's Talk Fruits and Vegetables

A true story about redemption and unrequited love by Brendan Cavanagh

Since coming home for a month away from school, I've learned that change is much more apparent when you've been away for a while. For instance, the intersection of Monroe/Old Jacksonville and Veterans Parkway now boasts a staggering nine hundred and seventy five lanes, the curtains in my living room have been replaced for the first time in my memory and a Cranberries' Greatest Hits CD sits in my car. I first paid little attention to the album, assuming it was an impulse buy of my sister's or my parents'. I knew of the Cranberries- that they were a popular Irish rock band with a female lead vocalist in the 90s- and could name at least two of their songs, but I did not really feel any obligation to give the CD a listen as I commandeered the family minivan for the duration of my break. For one thing, I've grown to distance myself from purchasing greatest hits CDs like I did in grade school because there's just something inherently wrong about it. Every time I see that 20th Century Masters logo, I cringe.

Anyway, one night I was driving myself and a buddy to our friend's house, and on the way he pointed out the Cranberries CD in the car and suggested we listen to the first track, "Dreams." I reluctantly assented, but after about two seconds of hearing the lovely Dolores O'Reirdan's voice again for the first time in years, I was sold. Over the last week and a half or so, I've played the first three tracks of that CD every time I've driven the car. I don't know what it is! I've fallen in love with the music, maybe more with Dolores O'Reirdan herself.

O'Reirdan is probably the best example of a dichotomy there is. Her voice is smoother than Dove chocolate, sort of swimming across the vibes provided by the backing band and flitting into my ears. She sounds like one of those ideal charming lasses from the Old Country, like Janet Munro's character in Darby O'Gill and the Little People. I can see her serenading me from under a tree in a green field while Sean Connery plows and hoes in the garden and Darby gets drunk and makes deals with his leprechaun friends.

But then you look at pictures of her and she's this edgy, punk-rock type chick with piercings and Cons and a Pixies-style haircut. I can imagine getting all spiffed-up and taking her out for a drink, where she'd subsequently cream me in a drinking contest- for money- and brazenly, yet somehow sexily, exhaling a plume of cigarette smoke into my face while she tells me what a bitch I am. I think I would be simultaneously confused and turned on.

Basically, I've only listened to the first three tracks, "Dreams," "Linger" and "Zombie" because they're the top three singles, they're incredible and I'm just too apathetic to give the rest of the compilation a chance. I'm okay with my fear of the unknown, though, because I know what I like, and I really like the first three songs. "Dreams" has O'Reirdan softly crooning verses about love and all that, but honestly, it's not about the lyrics to me, it's the delivery. She sounds so damn cute and anguished, and then she comes in for a powerful, wordless chorus of musically guttural Irish moans. Linger has the opposite effect on me, though. The verses are nice and quiet, but they build up to a crescendo where in the chorus, O'Reirdan soulfully sings about trying to get over this guy who left her for another woman, but she still has such strong feelings towards him no matter how hard she tries to move on. I want her to give up on that loser and sing to me like that! If I had a cute Irish girl tell me, "You know I'm such a fool FER youuuuu" I would melt into her arms. Ladies, take note. "Zombie" is cool, it's nice and loud and political and nicely referenced by Ed Helms of The Office, but I prefer the romantic aspect of the first two tracks.

All in all, the Cranberries are a talented band, but Dolores O'Reirdan has seen my heart- AND IT IS HERS.

1 comment:

  1. Haha the Zombie video is so bizarre. I love it though.