Sunday, February 19, 2012

AP Review - Sinead O' Connor's ninth album- 'How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?' Shines like a Beacon of Truth.

Sinead O' Connor's ninth album- 'How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?' shines like a beacon of truth. O'Connor has never been content to make merely catchy songs. The 10 songs on this latest effort are either forged from characters she embodies,  rendered from her own experience or born out of socio political issues. They all carry the gravitas of truth (as she understands it to be) that she brings forth in the beauty of her voice and command of her vocal performance. She is not to be messed with. After all these years she still makes you stare unflinchingly at emotions that she strips bare and she is never afraid to speak her mind. In this day and age when artists seem content to not be political, to fly diplomatically well below the opinion radar, she is a rare bird indeed.

Reason With Me inspired by a heroin junkie she met moves slowly like the song is pushing a boulder up a hill. Sinead's voice carries the weight as well in a poised beautiful performance, "Hello, you don't know me but I stole your laptop and I took your TV.I sold your granny's rosary for 50 p."  Old Lady penned as a tongue and cheek love ballad of sorts for her long time friend director Neil Jordan, opens tenderly and then erupts into a post punk rock song. Very Far From Home plays like a love song to her children with a stripped down and vulnerable vocal performance. Back Where You Belong is a body swaying ballad. O'Connor says it is "a love song from a dead father killed in war to his son." With the snare beat, trancy organ strains, and thick breathy beautifully lush vocal bed it is lovely and uplifting. O'Connor's rendition of John Grant's potently bitter and funny "fuck you letter" of a song, Queen of Denmark feels right in her voice.

Sinead O' Connor is at her best when something is firmly stuck in her craw. Two songs on 'How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?'- (Take Off Your Shoes and VIP) absolutely stun you in their unbridled attempt to jar us for all the right reasons. Take Off Your Shoes is directly influenced by the 2009 Murphy Report that investigated Sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin and, in particular, how the sexual abuse of children became institutionalized and covered up by the church hierarchy. Even if you don't know the back story, the song is a powerful piece of work, the lyrics building on itself like broken pieces of church rubble, "Take off your shoes you're on hallowed ground...even you can't lie when I'm around." and "If you believed at all in your breviary... If you believed even in just the ghost of me... You wouldn't now be so surprised to see me... In vanity you took the name of me... You brought me into infamy... And now you're so surprised to see me." The lyrics are so evocative that it makes you want to find out what inspired the lyrical content and inspired vocals. O' Connor likens the song to The Holy Spirit speaking to the Vatican, she says, "What makes me angry and a bit of a soldier is I don't like the Holy Spirit disrespected. To me that's how it comes across, that they don't have any respect for the Holy Spirit if they can stand in its presence and lie over the rapes of small boys, covering these crimes up and yet it takes them two minutes to condemn Harry Potter for being evil." The last track on the album is VIP which directly challenges her fellow Irish musical artists to take up the torch against the issues raised in the aforementioned Murphy Report. In a sense, it challenges us all to take up a cause, any cause.

After 25 years of speaking and singing her own truth, Sinead O'Connor (at 45 years old) seems to be even more entrenched in her beliefs and the belief that that the truth can set her free. 'How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?' may be her most passionate and personal work to date.
-
Donker


For a limited time you can stream the entire album at NPR's First Listen
www.sineadoconnor.com


 Take Off Your Shoes- Sinead O' Connor


I bleed the blood of Jesus over you,

I bleed the blood of Jesus over you,

And over every fucking thing you do.

Seven times I bleed the blood of Jesus over you.

Take off your shoes--you're on hallowed ground,

Take off your shoes--you're on hallowed ground.

Even you can't lie when I'm around.

Take off your shoes--you're on hallowed ground.

Behold, at the last lamplight,

At the very end of your street,

I'm whispering something,

"Come closer to me,

Come closer to me."

I say you're running out of battery,

You're running out of battery,

And I don't see no bunny

Around here.

If you believed at all in your breviary,

If you believed even in just the ghost of me,

You wouldn't now be so surprised to see me.

In vanity you took the name of me.

You brought me into infamy.

And now you're so surprised to see me,

And now you're so surprised to see me.

Behold, at the last lamplight,

At the very end of your street,

I'm whispering something,

"Come closer to me,

Come closer to me."

I say you're running out of battery,

You're running out of battery,

And I don't see no bunny

Around here.

Take off your shoes--you're on hallowed ground,

Take off your shoes--you're on hallowed ground.

Even you can't lie when I'm around.

Take off your shoes--you're on hallowed ground.

Take off your shoes--you're on hallowed ground.

Take off your shoes--you're on hallowed ground.

Even you can't lie when I'm around.

Take off your shoes--you're on hallowed ground.









No comments:

Post a Comment