Sinead O'Connor: I'm Not Bossy, I'm the Boss (Nettwerk/Southbound)

 |   |  1 min read

Sinead O'Connor: The Vishnu Room
Sinead O'Connor: I'm Not Bossy, I'm the Boss (Nettwerk/Southbound)

Too often in popular culture, controversy and craziness are substitutes for, or get in the way of us seeing, real talent. O'Connor has courted her share of both and that often blurred the focus of her. Strangeness still circles her private life, but this straightforward album – 12 well-arranged, emotionally and musically direct songs – finds her at top form on economic songs, only two breaking four minutes. The opener How About I Be Me – taking its title from her previous album, although this moving song didn't appear on it – speaks from a wounded heart: “Don't stop me talking 'bout love, I got to find what I'm dreaming of”.

And throughout these melodic and memorable songs she addresses relationships, and spiritual or secular passions crystallised in big things (“he makes me forget everything my mother warned” and “she is harbour and he has not harbour”), small detail “(Your smell came through, made me wish I had my face buried in you”) and quick images (“there's no safety to be acquired riding streetcars named desire”).

Matching these lyrics are songs which are pure pop (Dense Water Deeper Down), bristly rock (Kisses Like Mine, the arresting self-referencing Voice of My Doctor, the thrillingly visceral Harbour) and idiosyncratic pieces like the fleet-footed, sensual Afro-funk track James Brown with (Seun Kuti on sax).Most come with focused verses and choruses of the old style.

Take Me to Church (“but not the one that hurts because that ain't the truth”) is three minutes of empowerment.

If you've thought of her as a crazy, come back for this. She's rarely sounded so clear, spiritual and secular, forgiving and empowered, comfortable and confident in her skin.

Exceptional.  

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Son of Dave: Shake a Bone (Kartel/Rhythmethod)

Son of Dave: Shake a Bone (Kartel/Rhythmethod)

You can't say you weren't warned. A couple of years back when he released his '02' album Elsewhere said you'd be hearing more of this human beat-box, one-man foot-stompin' blues band which is Ben... > Read more

The War on Drugs: Wagonwheel Blues (Longtime Listener)

The War on Drugs: Wagonwheel Blues (Longtime Listener)

Some music is purely functional: music in airports; massage music, Kiwi backyard-bbq reggae etc. This one by a US band I know nothing about is driving music -- annoying inner city stop-start or... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

BOXER MAX SCHMELING REMEMBERED (2005): And a fighter by his trade

BOXER MAX SCHMELING REMEMBERED (2005): And a fighter by his trade

News of the death of Max Schmeling came through this weekend, a man who stood briefly in the spotlight of history. His name will not be familiar to you unless you are interested in boxing. I am.... > Read more

Louis Armstrong: Why Did Mrs Murphy Leave Town? (1970)

Louis Armstrong: Why Did Mrs Murphy Leave Town? (1970)

At the very end of his long career the great Louis Armstrong seemed rather detached and indifferent to the material he was playing. He'd scored huge and cross-generational hits with Hello Dolly and... > Read more