Picks and Pans Review: No Need to Argue

updated 10/17/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/17/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The Cranberries

Like a wild thrush singing to the treetops, lead singer Dolores O'Riordan opens her mouth and pours out flute-like sounds, sometimes seeming to release two notes at once as she leaps between octaves. Her gentle but dramatic voice is the focal point of the second album by her Irish pop-rock group.

As on the quartet's double-platinum-selling 1993 debut, these new songs are mellow, feet-up-after-work music with lyrics, mostly about troubled love, that float on the gentle pulse of drums and guitars. But on a few songs, such as "Zombie," an edgy lament about the long-running Irish-English conflict, O'Riordan drops her usual restraint. "It's the same old theme since 1916," she spits out bitterly as the band's guitars work up an angry grind. O'Riordan's intense delivery brings out a slight tartness—which, of course, is the mark of a truly good cranberry. (Island)

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