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Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries has died at the age of 46, suddenly and as yet unexplained.
She was a counter-cultural voice in 1990s rock, trying to channel sentimentality to a defense of humanity. “Salvation” was her song against drugs, “The Icicle Melts” the one against abortion, and “Ode to My family” and “Animal Instinct” were her family songs. Of course there’s also “Dreams,” unmatched in that decade for simple confidence in love.
Hair - Women - Boots - Doc - Martens
She wore her hair short, as rebellious young women did then. She wore boots (Doc Martens), as rebellious kids did. She sometimes called herself the rebel of the rebel scene, because she seems to have been intensely Catholic. Her songs were often simple pop, but her voice is remembered for its ability to convey anguish and longing. She sung about defeat, but not regret. She attempted to convey innocence instead of honesty or authenticity or self-expression in pop music.
“Linger” was her song about love faltering, betrayed, unable to face an ugly truth. She impersonates a wounded lover who addresses someone she can no longer trust, but cannot bring herself to abandon. The address is in the second person, thus speaking both to a treacherous, indifferent lover and the song’s audience. Is not this her attempt to speak, perhaps, for other women in the same situation?
Song - Fame - Zombie - Hit
The song that made her fame was “Zombie,” a hit that made it more...
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