MCA - 2001 - 56 minutes

There may have been sales of 33 million albums in the interim, but The Cranberries have never made a record as good as their debut. Somewhere along the way they swapped bedsit emotions for stadium sentiments, dropped a lot of old fans, gained more new ones, treated the world to some well dodgy albums and lyrics ("Suddenly something happened to me as I was having my cup of tea" being the all time 'classic') and managed to incur the over-the-top wrath of most writers on this side of the pond.

'Wake Up and Smell The Coffee', however, could signal something of a lull in hostilities between band and critics. In one of their wisest moves in years they've re-hired producer Stephen Street with the resulting sound playing more to the delicate glories of old than the blunders of the late 90's. The whole album is a low key affair with little in the way of rockouts ('This is the Day' and the 'Hand in Glove' dynamics of 'I Really Hope' are the exceptions) but much showcasing of Dolores' slow set talents.

Standout tracks like 'The Concept' and 'Pretty Eyes' suggest that this is the album they should have made after the 'Zombie' furore of 1994 and while the feeling is of a band playing to the converted, you have to commend them for heeding their own titular advice.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Never Grow Old - Analyse - Time is Ticking Out - Dying Inside - This is the Day - The Concept - Wake Up and Smell The Coffee - Pretty Eyes - I Really Hope - Every Morning - Do You Know - Carry On - Chocolate Brown - Dreams (Live in Paris) - Promises (Live in Paris) - In The Ghetto