Sinead O’Connor/The Lion And The Cobra

Sinead O’Connor is an Irish Singer/Songwriter from Dublin, Ireland. O’Connor hit the mainstream alt-rock movement in a big way with her 1987 debut. Garnering huge public and critical acclaim, this debut showed off not only her unique look, but an exquisite vocal delivery and songwriting talent. O’Connor has had career ups and downs, huge record sales and minimal record sales as well as public outcry for her legendary ‘performance’ on Saturday Night Live. Despite all her career and personal twists and turns, O’Connor continues to record, tour occasionally and still outrage the public. Both an ordained Episcopalian Priest and Political Activist, Sinead set the bar high with this debut.

Jackie—-Immediately, one is welcomed with the haunting sounds of O’Connor. The voice shines through the gentle musical landscape. As the song progresses, the strings swell with the emotion of the vocal delivery. O’Connor can deliver a haunting whisper of beauty, but she can also wail with the best. This song beautifully displays both of those attributes.

Mandinka—-With an unforgettable dance oriented musical track, O’Connor again displays a controlled and wonderfully delivered vocal. At the second bar, the strumming guitar enters and brings the song to life. I love the timbre of O’Connor as she delivers the chorus and the music is at once laden in your brain cells. Excellent.

Jerusalem—-Beautifully instrumented, O’Connor delivers a vocal that is quiet and introspective…as the music builds, the vocal intensity build with it. The song is really masterful…it has many moods and that voice!!! The music does open up throughout the composition, becoming even slightly funky at times. O’Connor wails and you actually FEEL the song.

Just Like U Said It Would B—-Stripped down and acoustic in sound, O’Connor again delivers vocal that says even more than the lyrics do. Her emotion is so clear in the controlled delivery of her vocal. You feel hurt, sad, angry and disappointed right along with her. And don’t forget the sarcastic tones either!

Never Get Old—-Beginning with what sounds like an Hebrew cantation, the song is mysteriously quiet and calm from the onset. The vocal has a slight echo to that adds to the serene effect. O’Connor delivers some wails that will live in my memory forever. I have owned probably three copies of this in one form or another and I have never gotten tired of reaching back for it from time to time. That is the mark of a true classic. When O’Connor lets loose with her voice, it sends chills to every part of your body. Magical!!!

Troy—-Coming out of a silence that slowly build with strings and orchestration, the voice is quiet, calm but with a slight edge of hurt and dismay. The song is a masterpiece and a favorite of many people who discovered this release. I’m not sure that it ever charted, but I always though with some radio play, this could have been huge. O’Connor remains calm throughout most of the song, but there is an edge to her voice and you just know an outburst is coming. When O’Connor does let loose, in perfect accompaniment with the strings, you realize how pissed off she is about stuff. Unforgettable!

I Want Your Hands On Me—-Enjoying numerous remixes, this floor stomper gained even more life in dance clubs throughout Europe and the U.S. Slightly funky, with a slight African energy, the song moves along at a nice pace despite the relaxed vocal. This is great, but i prefer a more moody O’Connor.

Drink Before The War—-Full of solace and emotion, the song begins with an eerie quiet. Mere instrumentation allows an almost whispered vocal that is so serene and melancholy, you feel the tears in the back of your eyes. I love how she sings in the masculine prefix. The song does not really pick up in speed or mood, the voice matches the minimal instrumentation perfectly. This is CLASSIC! We all fight our own wars…they just don’t always involve warfare.

Just Call Me Joe—-A heavy bass guitar with a distorted fuzz greets you at the onset of the song. The melody is pretty and shines through the ‘noise’. O’Connor again delivers a vocal that is controlled and serene. The mood of the song seems a little sunny….perhaps it is the pace of the song that gives it that feel. Remarkably good!

***** out of 5


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