sat 18/11/2017

CD: Sinead O'Connor - How About I Be Me (And You Be You)? | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Sinead O'Connor - How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?

CD: Sinead O'Connor - How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?

The troubled Irish singer returns with a crowd-pleaser

O'Connor's ninth album is an epic display of vulnerability and emotion

Over the years, Sinead O’Connor has put her fan base though the mill but, with her ninth album, may have redeemed herself. Quite apart from her many well-publicized personal eccentricities, those who have been waiting for her to make an album that’s stylistically akin to her early material rather than, say, a collection of reggae numbers of Irish folk, should now be happy. Together with her first husband and long term collaborator John Reynolds, with whom she created her debut The Lion and the Cobra back in 1987, O’Connor delivers 10 songs freighted with passion, raw emotion and occasional bombast.

The most immediately explosive track is her caustic reading of John Grant’s “Queen of Denmark” with all its vitriol and self-laceration writ large and wounded, but there are also subtler pleasures on board. There are a number of songs that seem to be hymning settled domestic love, perhaps in honour of her own recent fourth marriage, songs such as “4th & Vine” and “Old Lady” (“When I’m an old lady I’m gonna be his baby”). There are also plenty of O’Connor’s trademark epics, which are an acquired taste: the military tattoo-like build-up of “Back Where You Belong” and the gigantic “The Wolf Is Getting Married”.

The over-the-top production amps up the singer’s emotional heft to the point where it drifts into the operatic but, I suspect, this is somewhere her keenest fans are pleased to see her journey. Certainly, by the time listeners reach the end of How About I Be Me (And You Be You)? there’s a sense that, as with a well-made Hollywood film carefully crafted to tweak the emotions, one has been manipulated by O’Connor’s stylistic tics. However, there’s also a sense that behind the exaggerated effect is an artist whose honesty derives from raw vulnerability.

Watch the video for "The Wolf is Getting Married"

The songs are freighted with passion, raw emotion and occasional bombast

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters