Saturday, April 7, 2012
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: SINEAD O'CONNOR - HOW ABOUT I BE ME (AND YOU BE YOU)?
This is unfortunate, because for the most part, her albums have remained compelling and are performed marvelously. O'Connor has such power in her voice, an ability to sing directly to you. Imagine the effect she would have if she used those powers for good, not, umm, bizarre.
Is that too strong? There would certainly be some who appreciate much of what she has said over the years, and say we are bizarre for not listening to her. Fair enough. Of course, I'm not the one telling the world I've joined PlentyOfFish on my website (you can just imagine the fans who would answer her there), or writing public letters to Bob Dylan on the site, too. Ya, I'm going with bizarre.
This is the first album of the past few that isn't a concept one. These have ranged from Irish folk to Reggae/Rastafari to theological. A good collection of her pop material would probably help bring back a few old friends. Unless, of course, there were distractions, and of course, there are. She takes swipes at some of her favourite targets, including the Vatican, and, reportedly, one aimed at fellow Irish star Bono (VIP). She gets highly personal, recalling the details of her child's parentage, in what is actually an incredibly powerful song. This is very challenging to listen to, sort of like a musical version of somebody's therapy session.
For all that, her ability to present a song's lyrics in a most arresting yet beautiful way is peerless. Maybe, to get to that level of strength, she has to lay bare her emotions, her theories, rants, and raves. I guess sometimes art has to be controversial and a little crazy. Or a lot.