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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

This Week's Music Biz-tch: Dolores O'Riordan

I've decided to start ongoing categories of things I get a strange urge to rant about. Why, I don't know... probably because it's late. Or maybe because I feel like it. Who knows... (if you do, please tell me, cause really, I'm at a loss)

In 1992, the Cranberries were introduced to mainland America, and with them came the breathy voice of their lead singer, Dolores O’Riordan. Now at times a breathy voice can be very attractive and sexy; I was on the phone just last night with a woman who had an incredibly breathy voice, and it drove me absolutely wild. It’s a shame I had to pay $5.99 a minute to hear it.

Dolores, on the other hand, has a voice so breathy that it leads one to hyperventilation. When she sings "Dreams," I find myself feeling as if I’ve just run a marathon while chain smoking cigarettes. There’s no amount of Powerade that can bring the strength back into my system; I’m having a full-on asthma attack, my lungs not able to hold air in for more than a second at best.

Sometimes Dolores will use her powerful voice though, as evidenced in the hit single off of the Cranberries’ second album, "Zombie." Unfortunately, that so-called powerful voice is nothing but an 80’s cliché; that is, singing strong, but voicing certain notes as if she’s a pubescent male, her voice cracking on high notes that her non-existent Adam’s apple just can’t get around.

Admittedly, this voice crack can be enjoyable, as when Howard Jones did it, or Simon Lebon from Duran Duran used it for emotional purposes. Of course, actual emotion would probably have worked better for them, but this was the 80’s, and everyone was so strung out on coke that emotions couldn’t possibly be allowed to interfere with the magic.

When Dolores does it though, it feels ridiculously forced. It feels like an extra period at the end of a sentence. And the fact is "I went to the store.." looks stupid on paper. It looks like a mistake, which it is. Just like her singing voice.

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