The second half of the '90s was difficult for the Cranberries, not just because of changing fashions, but because the group embraced both a social consciousness and a prog rock infatuation, crystallized by the Storm Thorgerson cover of Bury the Hatchet. Thorgerson has been retained for their fifth effort, Wake Up and Smell the Coffee, but the group has hardly pursued the indulgent tendencies of their previous collaboration with him – instead, they've re-teamed with producer Stephen Street and come up with an album that's as reminiscent of their debut as anything they've done since. So, even if it's wrapped in new clothing, this is essentially a return to basics, and it's a welcome one, since it's melodic, stately, and somber – perhaps not with the post-Sundays grace of "Linger," but with a dogged sense of decorum that keeps not just the group's musical excesses in check, but also O'Riordan's political polemics (although she still sneaks in cringe-inducing lines like "Looks like we've screwed up the ozone layer/I wonder if the politicians care").
A good mix of down-and-dirty blues, 1976's Long Misty Days also features Robin Trower's ethereal ballads. Its 1977 follow-up In City Dreams – also included on this two-fer – is slightly funkier than the previous albums, but still highlighted by a delicate ballad, "Bluebird" and the majestic title track.
There have been previous attempts to marshal a lot of British psychedelia into one compilation, but Real Life Permanent Dreams is a little different from those. This four-CD, 99-song box set isn't a best-of, but more like an attempt to assemble a very wide (though still representative) cross section of material, most of it pretty obscure to the average listener. For the most part, it succeeds in delivering a high-quality anthology that manages to offer a lot to both the collector and the less intense psychedelic fan, though it's by no means the cream of British psychedelia.
The 2017 full-length album by the reunited German band, which already became a popular name in jazz rock/fusion circles as early as in the mid-late '70s. These contemporary tracks were taped with the original line-up, except for the drummer. Featuring all original material.
Wild Beasts are set to release new project 'Last Night All My Dreams Came True' on February 16th. The band are set to call time on their career next year, announcing a final flurry of live shows.