PopEntertainment.com

It's all the entertainment you need!

 

FEATURE STORIES MOVIE REVIEWS MUSIC REVIEWS BOX SET REVIEWS TV SHOWS ON DVD CONTESTS CONCERT PHOTOS

 

  FEATURE STORIES
  INTERVIEWS A TO E
  INTERVIEWS F TO J
  INTERVIEWS K TO O
  INTERVIEWS P TO T
  INTERVIEWS U TO Z
  INTERVIEWS ACTORS
  INTERVIEWS ACTRESSES
  INTERVIEWS BOOKS
  INTERVIEWS DIRECTORS AND SCREENWRITERS
  INTERVIEWS MUSIC
  INTERVIEWS OSCAR NOMINEES
  INTERVIEWS THEATER
  IN MEMORIAM
  REVIEWS
  MOVIE REVIEWS
  MUSIC REVIEWS
  CONCERT REVIEWS
  BOX SET REPORT CARD
  TV SHOWS ON DVD
  MISCELLANEOUS STUFF & NONSENSE
  CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY
  LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
  CONTESTS
  LINKS
  MASTHEAD
  EMAIL US

"WILD YEARS-THE MUSIC & MYTH OF TOM WAITS" BY JAY S. JACOBS

AVAILABLE IN BOOK STORES EVERYWHERE!

 

www.wbshop.com

PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Record Reviews > Sinead O'Connor

MUSIC REVIEWS

Sinead O'Connor - So Far: The Best Of... (Chrysalis)

 

This album seemed unnecessary to me. It's been eight years since O'Connor put together a dazzling album. In the ensuing time, music was overshadowed by an unhappy tendency to be in the middle of the silliest tabloid stories in rock history.

 

So Far starts off, understandably, with the only real hit, a spare reading of Prince's "Nothing Compares To You." Since the song dipped from the cultural radar, I'd forgotten how devastating its sense of loss and sorrow was. So Far follows with her two other well-known tunes. A prototype for the new women's rock movement shines through in the thundering, wailing thump of "Mandinka" and the wise-before-her-years meditation on sudden stardom that is "The Emperor's New Clothes."

 

These songs are great, no one has ever questioned that. But, it's surprising how tall the rest of O'Connor's songs, even from lesser albums, stand up. In 1992, O'Connor's remake of Tammy Wynette's "Success Has Made A Failure Of Our Home" seemed a big band indulgence, but in this context, the desperate repeated howls of "am I not your girl?" closing out the song take on a startling power. "Fire On Babylon," freed from the melancholia of the Universal Mother album, now stands tall on its own.

 

So Far demands a serious reassessment of O'Connor as a top notch talent. (1/98)

 

Jay S. Jacobs

RETURN TO RECORD REVIEWS MENU

 

Copyright 1994-1998 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Revised: January 31, 2016.

Sinead O'Connor - Universal Mother  (Chrysalis)

 

It's hard to believe this record is by the same woman who did The Lion and the Cobra

 

On that album, Sinead O'Connor spat out lyrics with a barely checked rage.  In the following six years, O'Connor has had to deal with a million-selling single, the apparent inability to follow it up, the "Star-Spangled Banner" incident, the bald chick jokes, the Pope controversy, a failed suicide attempt and even the threat of an ass-kicking from Ol' Blue Eyes. 

 

On The Universal Mother, her first album of original material in four years, O'Connor frankly sounds whipped -- which, in itself, is not necessarily a bad thing.  Musically, despair can be every bit as strong an emotion as anger -- even stronger.  If The Lion and the Cobra had a strong bullying power, The Universal Mother has a frail, affecting feel. 

 

Even on songs that show musical power like the dance tune "Fire On Babylon," the voice seems ready to shatter at any moment.  The one major blunder here is remaking Nirvana's "All Apologies."  I know it's supposed to be a tribute to a fellow lost spirit, but frankly O'Connor's voice doesn't do the lyrics justice.  As for the song's softer acoustic background, well, Tori Amos did it first and did it better with her piano version of "Smells Like Teen Spirit." 

 

But overall The Universal Mother does work because it is so heartfelt and born of pain.  (11/94)

 

Jay S. Jacobs