Sinéad O’Connor – How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?
Record Label: Shamrock Solutions
Release Date: March 6st, 2012
Sinéad O’Connor’s is no stranger to controversy even in her old age; in the last few months she has attacked her national media by accusing them of anti-Sinéad sentiments, rather desperately pleaded on twitter for a husband, eventually got married and then they broke up in the same weekend (only to later patch it up). But that is all hearsay as on this first album release in over five years O’Connor is finally pleading for a bit of normality; How About I Be Me (And You Be You)? On this new album O’Connor engages with the usual topics that she has been so heralded for successfully tackling over the years; children, marriage, the Catholic religion, emigration and love. She also breaks new ground with a ballad for all the homeless junkies out there on “Reason With Me”; the song also touches on her own drug problems in life and the desperation that comes with public self destruction. It does fall on the slightly cheesy side though with lyrics like “I even stole your granny’s rosary, for 50p/Oh, so long I’ve been a junkie/I really ought to wrap it up and mind my monkeys”.
First song on the album “4th and Vine” somehow manages to make that brass Irish voice match perfectly to a reggae beat. It is the upbeat intro that this classily pieced together piece of work deserved. It is instantly demonstrated as one of those classic tracks which you will feel you have already heard before. “Old Lady” jumps into the reality of falling in love throughout the aging process and the pitfalls that comes with the territory, and the track is as upbeat and optimistic as O’Connor could possibly have mustered up. “Take Off Your Shoes” is one of the best songs on offer with the guitar led ballad tackling the concept of worship and Jesus. The track features Damien Dempsey on guitar but O’Connor’s haunting voice is the real champion here. She really is back to her best when finally placed into the screaming vocal capacity in the vein of her ultimate hit “Nothing Compare 2 U”.
On “I Had A Baby”, which is as straight forward as the title suggests, she tackles the problem of how she will ever be able to tell her child that he was born out of wedlock (as the result of an affair with a married man). This track alone highlights the one thing which has always been so fascinating about Sinéad O’Connor apart from her unique voice; her ability to channel her life experiences into songs so effectively. With even the quickest listen of this album the sheer variety of life experiences and the honesty that she channels through her songs is quite astounding. This album really makes the listener feel like shaving their head and belting out some of their own life experiences; but it will surely never sound quite as good as this Celtic goddess?