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The Cranberries wrote the music for In the End in the year leading up to Dolores O’Riordan’s death, and even though they had no way of knowing that this would be their parting statement, almost everything about it exudes finality. Many of the songs are about moving on or trying to move on from something, and O’Riordan’s voice is strong, but it suggests restlessness. What’s extraordinary about her performance is that all of her contributions were for demo recordings – sketches of songs that she and her bandmates expected to develop in the studio. The rest of the group got that chance, working with producer Stephen Street who helmed the Cranberries’ biggest nineties hits, and made each song its own ornate, moving statement with layers of glassy guitar chords and moody textures.

For much of the record, the angst of the Cranberries is still there, but this time it tips more toward feeling heartbreaking because it’s realer.
In the End exemplifies the defiance that The Cranberries (and O’Riordan herself) have shown throughout their career. Defiance of the status quo, defiance of violence, and ultimately defiance of death. It’s unmissable, unquestionable and unforgettable.