The Loss of Dolores O'Riordan: I am shook.
I remember it was summer, and my friends older brother had gotten Everybody Else is Doing it, So Why Can't We. I would hear the opening to Dreams, bust out of her bedroom, press my ear to his bedroom door and dance in their hallway. I was 10 years old when the album came out. The beat was so light and perfect. Dolores' voice was so melodic, and haunting...and fierce! Who knew the lasting impact that moment would have on me.
The Cranberries music became a staple in my household. I would play Mario Brothers 3 on our SNES in the living room, and have No Need to Argue on repeat. To a point where my Mom would yell at me. In sixth grade, we moved. I was splinched between two different schools and groups friends. Trying to find my way through puberty. The Cranberries put out To The Faithful Departed. The track Salvation was perfect for an angsty teenage girl to rock out to in her bedroom when no one was home.
When Bury the Hatchet came out it was a new sound, but it still felt like their music. That was the thing about The Cranberries is that they evolved, but at the core stayed true. I got to see The Cranberries with Collective Soul at DTE Theater formally known as Pine Knob. It was maybe my second concert, and they just blew my mind. I remember walking out of the venue grinning ear to ear; telling my cousin I was definitely going to have to go to more shows. Now looking back the album feels like 1999 to me. I was about to be a freshman in high school and Just My Imagination was my jam. A friend reminded me that I had "The Cranberries" in whiteout written on my backpack- so 1999.
In 2002 I graduated high school. I took my now husband to the Wake-Up and Smell the Coffee concert tour at Meadowbrook Music Theater. I think he understood more fully my undying affection for The Cranberries. We got to see Dolores rock out- so effing hard. Let me tell you, it is amazing to see someone with such a tiny stature fly from one of the stage to the next. I danced my pants off at their concert. I know I am so lucky to have had the experience of seeing them live.
When I started my job at the local pharmacy I got a position traveling from store to store to set up their cosmetic sections. During that time Wake Up and Smell the Coffee was my number one album in my tiny lime green Volkswagen beetle. It got me through the anxiety of taking on a large project and navigating outside of my comfort zone.
Through out the years my relationship with the music ebbed and flowed, but it was something I always knew I could come back to. Something Else resonates with me because it is so stripped back. Now that I am older I can reflect on all these experiences with the music; Roses and Something Else feel beautiful and mature.
Of all their song I know most people venture back to Zombie or Linger but I always come back to Dreams. It seems to make its way on to every mixed cd I have ever made. It became my anthem. Happy or Sad- it's my song.
Right now I am sad. I am sad that the world has lost such an epic- fierce- no holds barred artist. When the news came of Dolores passing I had friends and family reach out to me because they know the impact the band has had on me. Something that comforts me is that through all of the milestones in my life The Cranberries music has been there. That is the sign of a true solid legendary band; when you can consistently associate an album or song with a specific moment in your life.
So much love and condolences go out to her three children, and the other artists of The Cranberries; Noel Hogan, Mike Hogan and Fergal Lawler.
Thank you, Cranberries for making amazing music that has been my soundtrack through every avenue of my life.