There was nothing conventional or cookie-cutter about the late, great and phenomenal Dolores O’Riordan’s voice. It was raw, powerful and, at times, angelic. It was like nothing else.
Born in Limerick, Ireland, O’Riordan’s style was something that was both relevant to America’s alternative rock scene in the ‘90s and something unapologetically Irish.
Her band, The Cranberries, released seven studio albums, selling 40 million copies worldwide. The latest, “Something Else,” was released last year. The album’s retrospective feel seems poignant now.
Featuring three new songs, the 13-track album was primarily made up of acoustic versions of past favorites. Among those re-recorded were “Dreams,” “Zombie” and 1993’s “Linger,” the band’s biggest hit, which charted eight on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US.
“I think they sound more mature. You get more confidence with your singing voice,” O’Riordan told Artist Direct Interviews in April 2017. “When we were younger we were a bunch of nervous Nellies.”
More than half of O’Riordan’s 46 years were spent as a professional musician. After the Cranberries’ 2003 hiatus, she released two solo albums, “Are you Listening?” and “No Baggage,” prior to the band’s reunion and subsequent album, “Roses,” in 2009.
Though certain aspects of her vocal style have been compared to other singers, make no mistake, there was only one Dolores, and that’s how it will always be.
Update: On Sept. 6, it was announced that she died due to an accidental drowning while intoxicated. Prior to the release of this tragic news, and following her death, the Cranberries announced they would go ahead with releasing the 25th anniversary, remastered, deluxe edition of the group's debut album, "Everybody Else is Doing It, So Why Can't We?" The two-CD re-release will feature album outtakes, b-sides, the band's debut EP and early demos.
Furthermore, the band has said it will also go ahead with the release of its eighth studio album, for which O'Riordan had already recorded vocals.
There could never be another Dolores, but it's comforting to know that there's still songs she has left to share with us.