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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I dread this place without you
It seems to me that every person buying Dolores O'Riordan's debut solo release Are You Listening? is only doing so because they loved The Cranberries. Tis the reason I did so I'm not saying that it's a bad idea at all. In many ways, this IS a Cranberries record, maybe even better at certain points. If you loved Dolores in The Cranberries there's absolutely no reason for...
Published on June 10, 2007 by Brett Corkins

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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing album bordering on BORING.
I have been a Cranberries fan since the first time I heard their music. Dolores O'riordan's voice was simply magical. Listening to her singing always sent chills up my spine and gave me a buzz. Her original, intense, and emotional voice was a saving grace to much of the junk music that overwhelms us today. I was heartbroken to learn that the Cranberries split and went...
Published on July 19, 2007 by Dark Water Mermaid


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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I dread this place without you, June 10, 2007
By 
This review is from: Are You Listening? (Audio CD)
It seems to me that every person buying Dolores O'Riordan's debut solo release Are You Listening? is only doing so because they loved The Cranberries. Tis the reason I did so I'm not saying that it's a bad idea at all. In many ways, this IS a Cranberries record, maybe even better at certain points. If you loved Dolores in The Cranberries there's absolutely no reason for you not to be head-over-heels for Are You Listening?

It's no secret Dolores has a voice you either love or hate. However, love or hate, everyone seems to be in agreement that her voice definitely stands out. That's one thing every single song has going for it. Another thing is the band backing her. At times it's nothing big, a piano-laced track with mild use of the guitar and drums maybe. Other times your jaw will just hit the ground because of how unexpected something they did is. And lucky for us, that happens quite a bit throughout the CD. Dolores' lyrics have always been questionable, and they still are at points here, but she's actually gotten a lot better with words.

Looking for a few songs that will jump out at you immediately? In The Garden, Stay With Me, and Black Widow are the most powerful tracks featured. Dolores' delivery in these songs never fail to stun me and the band really proves to be quite excellent. When We Were Young, Loser, and Apple Of My Eye all feel as if they were ripped straight out of The Cranberries catalog, and do them every bit of justice. As for the rest of the CD, sure there's a few influences that are easy to spot but for the most part there isn't a dull moment to be seen. Human Spirit, Accept Things, and Ecstacy are the more notable songs of that certain pack.

My favorite songs are In The Garden, Stay With Me, Apple Of My Eye, Black Widow, and Accept Things. If you like The Cranberries or have always been fond of Dolores' voice, definitely check this out. For everyone else, there's such a variety on this CD that it'll be easy for most people to find a few songs they like. Are You Listening? is highly recommended.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ireland's pride and Joy!!, July 3, 2007
By 
Amre the king (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Are You Listening? (Audio CD)
What an amazing album. A great effort from the unique Limrick girl. I did like the Cranberries to some extent but this is much more a mture and outstanding effort.
The music is catchy and clean at the same time. My favorites are "Ordinary day", A beautifully written piece of art with tender words oozing with honesty. Rich melodies and easy flowing arrangements. The absolute stunner on the album is "Ecstasy", Once again beautifully written and produced. The lyrics are controversial but I'm sure one can understand what the lass is talking about! and the music is absolutely devine. I think this is the best song she has ever written! I'm hooked!!

The great thing about the album is that there isn't a bad song on it and you can listen to the whole album without skipping tracks, something very hard to find nowadays. I wish Dolores would be more widely promoted as the world deserves to know of her talent which is genuine and generous but unfortunately it's the manufactured Irish boy band Westlife with all their repititious hollow songs that are more clever with promotion and playing on a sickly boring image that seem to be the better sellers but then again, so are the likes of Britney and Crazy Frog!!!. Never mind Dolores, you have your loyal fan base and most of all, you know you're true to yourself. Both thumbs up!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She is back!!, May 23, 2007
By 
A. Stuchlik (Treasure Island, FL) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Are You Listening? (Audio CD)
I listen to a lot of music. For me to go buy it, the album has to be really good. This is one of those albums. Dolores's voice is beautiful as always. A few of the songs can be a bit repetitive, but as a whole, the album is terrific. If you liked the Cranberries, you will love this.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing album bordering on BORING., July 19, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Are You Listening? (Audio CD)
I have been a Cranberries fan since the first time I heard their music. Dolores O'riordan's voice was simply magical. Listening to her singing always sent chills up my spine and gave me a buzz. Her original, intense, and emotional voice was a saving grace to much of the junk music that overwhelms us today. I was heartbroken to learn that the Cranberries split and went on to individual projects, but as long as Dolores was still singing, I'd surely be buying. And then she gives us "Are You Listening?" And well......What happened???!

She told us her solo album would be something different from anything she's ever done before. Something more .... AHEM... "experimental" (very overused word in the music industry and hardly applicable considering so much pop garbage sounds alike). Well, Dolores, where's the originality in this album? This album is much more <<cringe>> POP sounding than her previous work with the Cranberries. The musical originality is absent from most of the songs. It sounds like she uses typical pop arrangements, sounds, and tricks and as a result the album sounds like very all-purpose, generic pop music with Dolores O'riordan's voice sing the predictable rhyming lyrics. Very uninspired music.

Dolores does quite a bit of whisper (breathy) singing on this album. Usually when I hear that I think of a singer who's vocals aren't as strong as they used to be and who literally CAN'T sing crisply, clearly, or as strong as before. I hope that's not the case with Dolores' voice, but all the whisperings on this album make for a weak sounding voice. An annoyance when I'm eagerly waiting for her to just SING.

As for the lyrical content, Dolores continues to sing about the same subjects - her children, her husband (and her love and/or desperate need for him in her life), her other family & loved ones, people who put her down (remember the song "Loud and Clear"? well, she still sings defensively to people who hurt her and this time it's in the song "Loser"), and her efforts to evolve and grow as a human being. Dolores' lyrics tend to be simply put and straightforward. There's nothing wrong with that. Simple can be good. Listening closely to her lyrics give me the impression that she is still trying to find herself and climb out of a dark, murky something that is taking up more than enough space in her life.

I find most of the songs plain, uninspired and very forgettable. There are some standouts, namely BLACK WIDOW and OCTOBER. Black Widow is a song she wrote while going through the death of her Mother-in-law from cancer. She sings the song passionately and with a little creative use of her voice. It is heavy on the electronic musical *help* though. I wonder how the acoustic version would sound. OCTOBER is another song that I really liked at first. When I heard it the band Linkin Park came to mind. This one sounds like a Gloria Gaynor "I Will Survive" song. Meaning, "I may be down but I'm not OUT!" It's a You Go Girl! song and I have a soft spot for those.

My biggest complaint with this album is that Dolores just doesn't sound very alive when she's singing. I don't mind that she sings about the same topics. She could be singing about her cornflakes cereal for all I care. But sing it like it's the best stuff you've ever tasted and every bite tastes absolutely wonderful and puts you in 7th heaven! That kind of energy is missing from this album. She sounds like she's trying too hard when it used to come almost effortlessly. Maybe Dolores went the way of some other artists (Tori Amos, Sinead O'connor, Alanis Morrisette to name a few) who could sing beautifully and with such raw passion when they were angry or unhappy, but somehow lost some of that spark when intense dark emotions left them. Can't they be just as intense when they're happy?

Dolores hasn't done a complete 360 (a la Sinead O'connor) with her voice, it still sounds great. But in this album it's sounding a little more flat and dull. Not a bad effort for her first solo album, but I hope for a better sophmore solo album.

I shelved this album one month after I purchased it. It's so lackluster. And I am still listening to her older works more than 10 years since I purchased it. That says a whole lot. No doubt she could be a great solo artist, but she missed it buy a long shot with this album. Buy it and listen for yourself.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't Let Me Down, August 29, 2007
By 
Joseph P. Darak Jr. (Gallup, NM United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Are You Listening? (Audio CD)
I liked this album all the way thru. I was a Cranberries fan. I'm happy that Delores has found a niche out there in solo land. She came up with quality songwriting and the voice is as seductive as ever. Great alternative rock. Check it out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The direction I wish the Cranberries had taken, February 17, 2008
By 
William Davidsen (boyds, maryland United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Are You Listening (Audio CD)
This abum has made my year (musically that is). I am a big Cranberries fan, and although I am sad to hear that they have broken up, this album is great and I can't stop listening to it! The instrumenation, lyrics, and vocals are all outstanding. I like this album more than all the Cranberries albums after the first two (their first album is so great that it will take a lot to beat it and probably isn't possible). Keep them coming Dolores!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are You Listening ? - Remember The Cranberries ?, December 4, 2011
By 
This review is from: Are You Listening? (Audio CD)
Yes,... i've always liked The Cranberries...always thought Dolores had a beautiful voice, i followed them throughout the years and was sad when they decided to stop after "Wake Up And Smell The Coffee". That's why i was very happy to know that a new album is coming in February 2012, ROSES.

ROSES will mark the end of an 11 years hiatus!!....I cant wait !!! ...But for those of you who were wondering what was going on with Dolores the past few years, i'm happy to let you know that she did 2 solo albums! ARE YOU LISTENING ? (2007) and NO BAGGAGE (2009).

I got them both and i'm very happy with it. If you like the cranberries and you miss them then you should definitely get this album. It is a very good album in general, some song you will dig right away...my favourite on the album is LOSER but there is also lots of nice ballads and other songs that will grow on you the more you listen to it.

Any fan of the cranberries should get their hands on this one! It was a pleasant surprise! NO BAGGAGE is her 2nd album and is also very good!!. Give it a try and see what you think!

ENJOY!!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars dolores vs. the cranberries, December 21, 2007
By 
ronaldbrian (Quezon City, Philippines) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Are You Listening? (Audio CD)
The Cranberries has indeed broken up. The 90s band had 5 albums--6 if you include their Best-of compilation, 7 if you include Treasure Box, a four disc box set that sets the first four albums with some B-side tracks. ("Away," my personal favorite, was used in the movie Clueless.) The Cranberries almost broke up after the third; After the fourth came out, I gave a sigh of relief. Yes, you can break up now, four albums is good enough for me. In one track Dolores croons: "Move over/ Move over/ There's a climax coming my way."

And now, Dolores O'Riordan's Are You Listening?

As of writing, I've only listened to it once. (I wasn't really listening, haha.) What can I say? I definitely love O'Riordan's voice. What an exquisite instrument it is. O'Riordan gave The Cranberries the lush mellifluousness that was its distinction, what made it special in the 90s alternative-rock band scene. Listen to her purr in "Ode to My Family," "Pretty," "Put Me Down," "Twenty-one." But her soft voice also delivered power, anger, edginess--the mark of certain Cranberries songs. Case in point: "Zombie," "Salvation," "I Just Shot John Lennon," "Promises."

I guess that's exactly what's missing in O'Riordan's solo album--the raw, edgy tang of her former band. Perhaps its a legacy of The Cranberries that O'Riordan gladly cast aside in her music. With Are You Listening I can hear some teenager muttering Mom Rock! But still, no one can fault the earnestness of her songs. Listen to "Ordinary Day," or "Human Spirit," or "Stay with Me." The earnestness is so much part of The Cranberries that I loved. So, so for now I'll just say: I really miss The Cranberries, but Thank You, Dolores, for picking up the hatchet and cleaving your own way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Are you listening?, August 24, 2007
This review is from: Are You Listening? (Audio CD)
I honestly can't say that I was a big fan of the '90s alt-rock band The Cranberries. They had a few songs I liked here and there but overall I wasn't what you could call a diehard fan of the band. In the past few weeks I have been hearing good things about the solo album by Dolores O'Riordan, the former lead singer of The Cranberries. I recently acquired a copy to see if it is any good. Much to my surprise, ARE YOU LISTENING? turned out to be better than expected. The more I listened to the cd, the more the music grew on me. The music is melodic pop/rock reminiscent of Dolores' former band with a sprinkling of celtic and electronica music. I really liked the first two tracks "Ordinary Day" and "When We Were Young". They have that similiar catchy pop/rock sound that you would usually hear in say Avril Lavigne's music. There were moments on the cd when I thought I was listening to Sinead O'Connor like on "In the Garden". Dolores' vocals reminded me of Sinead. Another favorite song of mine is "Human Spirit". I liked the celtic influences in the melodies and Dolores' vocals on this particular track. I wasn't too crazy about "In the Garden", "Stay With Me", or "Loser". I wasn't keen on the melodies on either song, and I certainly thought the lyrics for "Loser" was cliched. Overall I thought ARE YOU LISTENING? is a very strong effort from The Cranberries' former lead vocalist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm Listening ... Are You?, June 25, 2008
This review is from: Are You Listening? (Audio CD)
The lead singer from The Cranberries, a band which captured all of my mid 90's angst and love has finally come out of a self induced real life to record a brilliant solo album. Now I have always loved Dolores and her acrobatic vocal take with her ever so prominent Irish yodle just warbling beneath the surface, and though by the end of The Cranberries recording career, I myself had tired a tad of Dolores' take on music but with Are You Listening? she comes full circle.

Some of my all time fav Cranberries songs are the hard rock edges ones like "Zombie", "Salvation" and "Promises" and though a lot of the slower ballads were incredible ("Linger", "Pretty") I've always been a bit of a rocker. Luckily, Dolores has come through on this, not that she made a rock album per se but she didn't rely only on ballads and she didn't go all "Zombie"-esque alterna punk either, instead she is right down the middle and every single song on here is great.

I'm through 6 songs singing along with Miss O before I even realize the album is half over. Of my recent purchases this has been on contant rotation. The opening single "Ordinary Day" kicks it from the beginning and the fun and fierceness just keeps getting better, with songs like "Human Spirit", the rocking and bitchy "Loser" and my all time favorite (this week) "October".
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Are You Listening
Are You Listening by Dolores O'Riordan (Audio CD - 2008)
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