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"...Gonna Reach My Hand Out..."
on 6 March 2012
There aren't many singers who can open a song with "I wanted to change the world, but I could not even change my underwear..." and then a few minutes later - stop your giggling in its tracks by moving you to tears. But then Sinead O'Connor has always been impossibly special - and at times - a complete space cadet.
Newly signed to One Little Indian Records - 2012's "How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?" is a hugely accomplished record - and more importantly - it's a moving one.
The opening number is catchy enough - a clever ditty on marriage called "4th And Vine" (and a potential single), but the haunting "Reason With Me" is different. It's beautiful and its message about knowing that you need to seek help is incredibly moving (lyrics from it title this review). "Old Lady" grows on you like mad - an upbeat winner - as does "Take Off Your Shoes" with its religion and reverence. "Back Where You Belong" is properly great - a gorgeous melodious vocal with a drum rhythm that feels like a march towards something spiritual. It's followed by the joyful single "The Wolf Is Getting Married" (recently aired with such confidence on The Graham Norton Show on UK TV to a rapturous audience response). The witty and angry "Queen Of Denmark" (a John Grant cover from his album of the same name) has superlative lyrics (mentioned above) and is a blindingly good interpretation. It's followed by a powerhouse of hurt and longing called "Very Far From Home" where she pines with a stunning emotiveness "I long for you...see you in my dreams..." The last two tracks "I Had A Baby" and "V.I.P." suffer a little from being too preachy, but are powerful stuff nonetheless.
To sum up - like John Martyn, Bruce Springsteen, Joni Mitchell, Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, Kate Bush and so many other great songwriters with brains and heart and the courage to wear their world on their sleeve for all of us to see - there is 'always' magic in their latest offering - that track that simply floors you - touches your soul even...
Well folks - Sinead O'Connor is back with an album chock full of them - and I'll openly admit that many of them left me in tears of admiration. "How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?" is a bit of a blinder frankly.
Way to go you gorgeous woman...