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Former Cranberries singer preps second solo album

 Irish singer Dolores O
Irish singer Dolores O'Riordan, former lead singer of Irish band The Cranberries, performs on stage during a concert in Tirana, early June 20, 2007. REUTERS/Arben Celi
— image credit: Reuters

By Michael D. Ayers

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Former Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan will release her second solo record in the United States on August 25.

"No Baggage" will be distributed by Rounder Records' rock imprint Zoe. O'Riordan co-produced the 11-track set with Dan Brodbeck, her partner on "Are You Listening?," her 2007 solo debut on Sanctuary Records.

The Cranberries have been on an indefinite hiatus since 2003, and O'Riordan has relished the down time.

"I decided to give up music for awhile -- not be in a band, not be on a label, and not be in a box," the 37-year-old Irishwoman told Billboard.com. "You get all this adoration, but you don't know how to take it when you're young. This is something I'm doing for myself. It challenges me. And it's made me more in touch with myself, the reason that I'm here. I don't have any of that pressure. It's totally a hobby for me; for a long time, (music) became a job."

She described "No Baggage" as a very personal album, driven by a desire to "make peace" with herself.

"I wanted to address everything and not hide anything. I think for a long time, I closed up and became introverted. As human beings, we're always looking forward and always looking back. It's hard to live in the present."

Alongside 10,000 Maniacs and Mazzy Star, O'Riordan and the Cranberries rose to prominence seemingly overnight during the explosion of alternative rock in the Nineties. The Cranberries had wildly successful singles, including "Linger," "Dreams," and "Zombie."

On "No Baggage," the driving rock of "Be Careful" and lead single "The Journey" seem to reference her quick ascent to the top of the female rock-act chain and subsequent years.

"I got to say, it was the darkest and weakest part of my life, emotionally," she said. "I got so big so quickly, I lost sense of reality. I lost my friends and I didn't really have a normal life. All my friends went to college when I was 18 and I went and got famous overnight. So, I was a bit of a train wreck, to say the least."

O'Riordan is currently on a European promo tour and will head to the United States in July for a series of dates. "The Journey" will be released on iTunes on June 2.

(Editing by Dean Gooodman)

(please visit our entertainment blog via www.reuters.com or on http://blogs.reuters.com/fanfare/)

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