“No Baggage” — the sophomore solo confessional from ex-Cranberries diva Dolores O’Riordan — is an introspective reflection on her life at 38, full of grave, personal entries such as “Skeleton,” “Tranquilizer” and “Be Careful.”
Why such frankness? “As you get older, it’s good to open up and acknowledge that everybody has their scary moments, their negative moments,” says the Limerick-born lass. “And in order to move on and find comfort and hope, you have to stop running from the darkness and face it. And when you face it, it’s not that scary at all, and sometimes it actually turns around and runs away.”
While she was making peace with her past, the singer decided to take the next logical step. She canceled her own tour and instead — after nearly seven years apart — reformed the Cranberries, whose reunion juggernaut hits The City on Saturday.
O’Riordan outlines her upbeat new philosophy on the “Baggage” track “Fly Through”: “You can go through life dragging your ass and being miserable about everything that’s happened before,” she says. “Or you can just fly through it.”
More than 15 million Cranberries albums sold stateside, which included memorable hits like “Linger,” “Zombie” and “Ridiculous Thoughts.”
The Cranberries seemed to have a ripe, succulent career when they suddenly disbanded in 2002. The reality? “I guess all bands get to that point where they run out of inspiration and just get bored with the chemistry,” says O’Riordan, who resides in a rustic log-cabin retreat in the Ontario woods, where she composes and oil paints in solitude.
“The excitement went out of it, so taking this hiatus was a really good idea — it’s made things fresh again,” she says.
But getting the group together again was her call, O’Riordan admits. In January 2008, Trinity College’s Philosophical Society in Dublin was making an honorary patron, and they asked her to perform a few songs. She quickly phoned old Cran chums — guitarist Neil Hogan and his bassist brother Mike — and put together an impromptu set.
This summer, she invited her bandmates to her son’s confirmation. “So the guys came with their wives and their 11 kids, and it was strange seeing all these kids that I’d never met,” she says. “A whole new generation had come up, and I thought ‘Time’s moving on and we’re not getting any younger — Let’s do it. Let’s do a reunion!’”
Will this lead to a new Cranberries album? “It could happen,” O’Riordan says, optimistically. “If the chemistry’s there and the new material we come up with sounds good and different? We’re gonna go for it!”
IF YOU GO
Where: The Regency Ballroom, 1290 Sutter St., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: $36 to $43