mon 17/06/2024

CD: Sinéad O'Connor - I'm Not Bossy, I'm the Boss | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Sinéad O'Connor - I'm Not Bossy, I'm the Boss

CD: Sinéad O'Connor - I'm Not Bossy, I'm the Boss

Somewhat middle-of-the-road offering from the Irish singer-songwriter

Sinéad - the boss, apparently

Sinéad O’Connor has adopted quite a range of personas over the 30 years or so of her singing career. There was the proto-Riot Grrl of her first album, The Lion and the Cobra; the ballad singer of “Nothing Compares 2 U”; the Irish folkie of Sean-Nos Nua; and the pseudo-Rasta of Throw Down Your Arms.

In 2014, she presents herself as a romantic lover, but then obscures this by wading into the “Ban Bossy” debate and calling her new collection I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss. It was originally to be named “The Vishnu Room”, after one of its songs.

While O’Connor has turned out many magnificent songs since “Mandinka”, her breakthrough single of 1987, it would be safe to say that it has been her non-musical activities that have more frequently grabbed the public imagination. Some things don’t change and it’s likely that her recent spat with Miley Cyrus will be remembered in years to come, rather than this somewhat middle-of-the-road set of tunes. That’s not to say that I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss is characterised by bad songs. It’s just that most of them aren’t particularly memorable. “How About I Be Me”, a belated title track for her last album, pretty much sets the scene with its mellow atmosphere and refrain of “Don’t stop me talking ‘bout love”. This is followed by “Dense Water Deeper Down” which is reminiscent of happy-clappy hymns like “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”.

About halfway through, things move up a gear with a trio of songs with more heft. “The Voice of My Doctor” is raw and edgy, while the strident “Harbour” turns up the volume appropriately and “James Brown” gets sweaty and funky Prince-style. Unfortunately, business as usual resumes at this point and the album eventually meanders towards its inoffensive end.

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