The songs here are clearly inspired by the events in her life since her old band's final album, from the birth of her daughter on the enticing, lulling "Ordinary Day" to her love for her husband on "Apple of My Eye," which rises above its overly doting lyrics with a warm, lilting delivery.
But life during O'Riordan's time off was not all butterflies and apple pie: "Black Widow" is a response to her mother-in-law's battle with cancer, and her howling frustration is reminiscent of the passion in the Cranberries' "Zombie." The song begins as a delicate duet between her voice and a staccato piano line, but her fervor intensifies to match a more aggressive rock sound. Though O'Riordan's graceful voice may never truly sound angry, she conveys her fury with a frailty that makes her sorrow all the more heartbreaking.
-- Catherine P. Lewis