There are too many life defining albums to choose from, I could be here all week. For National Album Day I have chosen to share on The Cranberries, Everybody Else Is Doing It, Why Cant We? (1993) and the 1993 version, not the remastered one that came later with a few added tracks, the one with the perfect imperfections.

It was lilting, lofty and like nothing I had heard or connected to before. With a half Irish best friend, in a time when the words ‘Northern Ireland’, ‘Sinn Fein’, ‘tension’ and ‘the troubles’ were heard every night on the news and not positively, The Cranberries were flying the Irish flag in a very positive fashion, perhaps conveying some of the hurt the country was feeling at the time.

As a typical teenage girl, I was searching for strong women that spoke to me. And although Dolores O’Riordan sang about love, loss and heartache in that distinct ethereal voice that touched your very soul, somehow I took messages of positivity and encouragement to think forward from Waltzing Back and Linger. The ultimate album for devastation and breakups before I’d ever felt anything like it.

There was so much emotion and pain in those songs that I almost wanted to lose somebody so I could connect on another level with the tracks I played on a constant loop. While I Still Do healed me many years down the line and I Will Always was the song I played when I learned of Dolores sudden and sad death. To this day I believe this album provides comfort for so many of life’s twists and turns. But there will always be a part of me who is that girl, the one dancing around the dining room, pretending to be a ballerina in her biggest floatiest dress while singing along to Pretty.

Everybody Else Is Doing It, Why Cant We? by The Cranberries, 1993. Chosen by writer Sharmayne Robinson