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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 28 April 2007
As a long listener of the Cranberries, I was immediately interested when

I heard that their ex-frontwoman Dolores O'Riordan was releasing her debut

solo effort Are You Listening?. Though in all honesty I had my doubts as to

whether or not she could release an album of any substance. What I found,

shockingly enough, was an album that falls only a few steps shy of perfection.

From the haunting Black Widow to the heartwrenching Ecstasy, Are You

Listening? is both a step in a new direction and a return to basics. While

sure not to disappoint long time listeners, with tracks such as Apple of

My Eye, Ordinary Day and October, Are You Listening? also opens doors to a

new audience. Most apparent on the Gothic, Black Widow with it's Robert

Smith-esque lyric and the Celtic sounding, Human Spirit. The one sore point

with Are You Listening? however is the same sore point it's always been with O'Riordan:

her lyrics still lack creativity and depth. With cringy lines like "I think

you pretend that you are my friend" in Accept Things and "Don't stand in my

way with nothing to say"in October I find myself wincing every single time

I hear it. That all said, Dolores O'Riordan's crystal clear voice is as

smooth, ethreal and breathtaking as ever, which is sure to compensate for

whatever tiny problems I can find with the album otherwise. It's definitely

worth the buy, we should all be listening.
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on 31 May 2007
I wasn't sure what to expect from Delores as, in truth, the best Cranberries stuff is now more than 12 years old. However, I was pleasantly surprised.

'Angel Fire' is a great track (the best in my opinion), as are the other more pop orientated tracks such as 'Loser' (I love the 'taking the piss' line), 'October', 'When We Were Young' and of course 'Ordinary Day'. However, there are other less obvious little gems on this album too, 'Apple Of My Eye' and 'Stay With Me' to name but two.

I don't expect this album to ever reach the top of the charts (in the UK anyway), but that is the fault of the buying public, not this great little album. If you were/are a fan of the Cranberries you'll love the album. If you were/are not a fan of the Cranberries, but like originality in your music collection, you'll love the album!

Well worth buying. Well done Delores.
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Although I was not a fan of The Cranberries when they were at their best, musical tastes can change as you mature, so when I heard that Dolores had released a solo album which was meant to be spectacular, I decided to give it a go.

First of all, of course, I have to comment on her voice. It is amazing. I think when I was younger (and into dodgy boy bands like New Kids on the Block), I could not appreciate the true beauty her voice has. Her vocal range is stunning. It is hard to find someone to compare to her, as her voice is so unique.

Next, the songs. "Ordinary Day" is the opening track and it is a great choice. It is an upbeat song that has a catchy tune and lyrics. "In the Garden" is a good example on this album of the diversity of her work - the opening verse is quite subtle and delicate, but then the chorus is full of anger and passion. "Stay With Me" is similar - on the surface, it is a simple love song, but the music and her voice on the chorus make the message all the more desperate and heartwrenching. "Apple of my Eye" is simply a beautiful love song, celebrating the love between her and her husband.

"Black Widow" is an exquisite song. The whole song - the delicate piano, the etheral quality of the singing, then the hard guitars towards the end - creates a truly memorable piece. This is perhaps my favourite of the entire album, as I like my music to be a little more experimental; Tori Amos, as far as I'm concerned is the standard for this.

Overall this is a fantastic album. There are very few I own that I wouldn't say have some fillers, yet on ARE YOU LISTENING, there really aren't. The diversity she has created in her music, both through the instrumentation and through her brilliant voice, is something to behold. I strongly recommend this album, even if you were never a Cranberries fan. So long as you appreciate good music, you will love this. As Dolores asks on this release, "Can you see the human spirit / Is there emptiness inside?" On this album, you will hear the human spirit, and these songs are anything but empty.
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on 22 May 2007
I was interested in Dolores' solo album as her amazing voice was always the draw of The Cranberries. Towards the end of The Cranberries the songs were getting pretty middle of the road and I will admit that is what I expected here. But I am pleasantly surprised as the sound breaks free of The Cranberries and paves the way for Dolores to have a sound of her own.

Stand out tracks are her first single 'Ordinary Day'. It seems Dolores has a different life these days compared with the mad, heady days of The Cranberries. She now has kids and that has changed her outlook on life and I think that reflects here. 'When We Were Young' reflects on past days and how getting older makes you think of the past.

On 'Loser' I think we have all had times when we have come across people who we can relate to this song! 'Stay with Me' is my song of the album. It finds Dolores in reflective mood and with a chorus remanisant of Evanescence (a bit of a surprise!). 'October' is also a great track.

All in, this is a good purchase and if you loved Dolores' voice in The Cranberries this takes things forward a bit more as she finds her own style as a solo artist after ending up as a bit of a lost soul at the end of The Cranberries. How things can change and that is what Dolores talks about here.

Buy! You won't regret.
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on 27 March 2007
If I got to choose a singing voice, I would ask for it be like Dolores O'Riordan's. It's so utterly complete, a voice that makes me full of wonder and green with envy at the same time. I love this album, it is a really cracking return. Do not be fearful of 'the comeback record' - this is not just a bored singer with a few quid. There is fire in this release, the kind which seems to come from a very genuine and meaningful songwriter. Dolores's concerns are honest and worldly in a 'dont f*ck with me' kinda way. I honestly can't recommend this record enough. If you loved the big Cranberries singles like I did, you will adore tracks like 'Ordinary Day' and 'Apple of My Eye', if you liked their more indie rock elements then you'll love 'When We Were Young' and 'Loser', and if you want evidence of a songwriter who is not just going through the motions and has really upped her game, you'll simply marvel at 'Human Spirit' which made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. Basically, its an absolute belter of a record.
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on 3 April 2016
This was a new artist to me as a name. Picked the vibrations of her originality, in music, up on Amazon sampler. Then noted she was originally in a group. A great find and I also bought her other album. Excellent value Thankyou RDR
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on 21 May 2007
without doubt dolores is the best all round female composer, writer and live performer, in the world. she is propably the only rock chick that has married, stayed married and has 3 children. family life has delayed this album but it was certainly worth waiting for. every song delores writes has a personal meaning for her therfore she is able to inject tremendous passion into her singing. no point me saying anymore as previous reviewers have said it all. buy it, you won't be disappointed.
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on 16 May 2007
This is truly a fantastic album, with not one song that you feel the need to skip. It is an album with attitude and I can't stop playing it! Dolores' voice is amazing and the songs are brilliant, each flowing nicely onto the next (a fine balance of noise/quiet). I cannot recommend this highly enough - just buy it and listen for yourself.
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on 18 August 2007
I don't have technical or fancy words to use but this is a great album I really enjoy it and I don't think she will get the recognition she deserves. Take a little time and listen the music is great and the words actually mean some thing.
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on 19 May 2012
i am a big cranberries fan bought this and its superb ,delores uses all her vocal skills to great effect wasn't sure what it would be like without the rest of the band but its an absolute joy,any cranberries fan will love it.
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