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Theology Limited Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (25 Jun. 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Limited Edition
  • Label: Rubyworks
  • ASIN: B000O5BPCI
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 130,517 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

SINEAD OCONNOR Theology (2007 UK 2-CD album set including her stunning cover of I Dont Know How To Love Him from Jesus Christ Superstar the beautiful Curtis Mayfield song We People Who Are Darker Than Blue and Rivers Of Babylon withadditional lyrics by Sinead. Housed in a fold-out gold embossed picture sleeve - still sealed from new in original stickered shrinkwrap RWXCD50)

BBC Review

Remarkably, it's now 20 years since the snarling, glabrous-pated yet strangely beautiful Sinead O'Connor first emerged with her passionate and eclectic debut album The Lion And The Cobra before going on to achieve worldwide fame three years later thanks to an unforgettable version of Prince's ''Nothing Compares 2 U''.

After this early career peak, O'Connor has attracted more headlines for her frequently provocative and occasionally bizarre opinions than for her music, which has remained frustratingly inconsistent for a decade or more.

Following typically wilful departures into traditional Gaelic and reggae covers on her last two collections, the singer is back with a double album of mostly original compositions, featuring acoustic and full band versions of the same core songs. After famously tearing up a photograph of Pope John Paul II live on U.S. television, it now seems Sinead has got religion in a big way, and a theme of spiritual contentment is palpable throughout Theology.

Described by the artist as 'an attempt to create a place of peace in a time of war' in response to the tragedy of 9/11 and its subsequent impact upon the world, it's clear that O'Connor is still keen to tackle big subjects, albeit in a far less confrontational manner than of old. The hair has been allowed to grow to a neat French crop, the scowling has faded but what's worrying is the way this new-found maturity has been allowed to dull the edge of her music.

Of the two discs, the Dublin Sessions, featuring O'Connor alone with just a guitar accompaniment, fares better. Some strong new songs, notably the warm, tender lullaby ''Dark I Am Yet Lovely'' and the defiant yet vulnerable ''If You Had A Vineyard'', work well in a stripped down setting, allowing O'Connor to show off her achingly lovely voice to best effect.

London Sessions, with a full band added to flesh out the original versions, is a major disappointment - mannered, dated and over-produced soft rock which at times lurches perilously close to sounding like a Celtic-tinged Dido. Even the better tracks from Dublin Sessions succumb to the ubiquitous blandness that O'Connor has allowed to dominate the record, while some limp covers, including ''I Don't Know How To Love Him'' from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar and an inexplicable reworking of Boney M's ''Rivers Of Babylon'' have a similar impact to walking past a pub hosting an adequate karaoke night.

O'Connor is a singer with the range and emotional intensity to rank with the best, but Theology is stark evidence that she continues to lack the direction and quality control required to rediscover the critical and commercial success of her early work. --Chris White

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
O'Connor is doing here much what she did on her seminal "I Do Not Want" from 1990, particularly with the classic "I Am Stretched On Your Grave" : she's taking ancient (and oft-forgotten) poetry and cleverly adapting it to contemporary sensibilities with a HUGE dose of reverence. Some reviewers have moaned about "lack of melody," but I wonder if these people realize that she is adapting the Psalms, which have been liturgical chant for centuries.

Let's face it: Sting's new medieval disc is not "melodic" in the modern pop sense at all, but HE gets kudos when O'Connor is singing far more ancient, far more substantial material and adapting it with careful reverence?

Formulaic "pop-tart melody" is not applicable to this kind of structure. The songs require reverence, care, and faithfulness to the source-material. Gregorian chant doesn't have "melody" in the watered-down contemporary sense, but it's still astonishingly beautiful music.

Moreover, O'Connor delivers the Psalms with PLENTY of melodic lilt and just enough experimentation here--without divorcing herself from the power contained in the source material. Her voice is better than ever, like the proverbial fine wine, with so much gravitas and emotion. The purity of tone is unquestionable. The melodic settings she has created for these songs soar and uplift the way a truly proper treatment of ancient spiritual anthems SHOULD.

I wonder whether much bias against this record is really foucused upon an automatic dismissal of spiritual music, in and of itself. Disc One is raw and strictly acoustic as O'Connor presents these "psalms" as emotional chants, if you will. The effect is not lessened because they do not have formulaic "pop" melodies.
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Format: Audio CD
Sinéad O'Connor returns after a two-year hiatus, but as usual with O'Connor, nothing is at it seems. "Theology" is a collection of spiritual tunes, mostly written by O'Connor and adapted from certain Biblical scriptures. The first disc is a collection of bare acoustic tracks, and it starts out with the poignant "Something Beautiful", which is a nice little tune with it's lilting melody. Her cover of Curtis Mayfield's "We People Who Are Darker Than Blue" have a certain sadness the original didn't, not to say that it's better, it just feels cleaner with just the guitar and her voice. Much of the material on the "Dublin Sessions" are very bare, and it helps intensify the already naked atmosphere of the first disc. Sinéad is clearly extremely devoted to these tunes, and songs like "Out of the Depths" and the joyous "Dark I Am Yet Lovely" are just lovely, but not all of the songs have the same flow. "The Glory of Jah" suffers from not really having a melody, and so does her cover of the Traditional "Rivers of Babylon". The "London Session" is more melodic, but still suffers from lack of melody. "Watcher of Men (Job)" is the strongest cut on this version, with its tormented message and defiance. "Whomsoever Dwells" suffers from lack of melody, and it doesn't really feel like an actual song, but more of a simple reading, which is probably why she doesn't raise her voice beyond a whisper. The gorgeous "If You Had a Vineyard" is severely wronged by its blatant backup vocals, and it simply does not work as it did on the first disc. Her cover of "I Don't Know How to Love Him" is lovely, and so is the perhaps best track on the entire album "33", with its glorious strings and middle-eastern beat. In the end, "Theology" is a lovely collection of highly personal and spiritual songs.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
Sinead O'Connor is a very interesting artist as her voice possesses a soft quality but also a contrasting angst. In previous records this has also been demonstrated by the accompanying arrangements, but on "Theology", these contrasts are much more subtle as the songs are arranged in an acoustic fashion. There are two discs to this album: The Dublin Sessions are recorded using simple acoustic guitar arrangements and The London Sessions have more rhythm and additional instrumentation.

On the Dublin Sessions, "Something Beautiful" is a light song with soft vocals and arrangements. The eerie but beautiful "We People Who Are Darker Than Blue" uses acoustic guitar arrangements just like its predecessor, but presents a much darker and sombre quality to Sinead's vocals. "Out Of The Depths" and "Dark I Am Yet Lovely" are lovely folk inspired songs where her voice gently preaches and unravels the story of the songs with compassion. "If You Had A Vineyard" has a deconstructed feel to it which adds to its sweet vulnerability. "Watcher Of Men" has an intriguing oriental feel to it and is very effective whilst "33" possesses a sadness and rawness that draw you in. "The Glory Of Jah" and "Whomsoever Dwells" are sweet inspirational songs with lovely melodies. The acoustic version of "Rivers Of Babylon" is quite refreshing and fits in beautifully with the rest of this first disc which is very soothing.

On the London Sessions, "Something Beautiful" is turned into a really captivating pop track with lovely string arrangements and a powerful Irish influence. "We People Who Are Darker Than Blue" is revitalised and transformed into an effective atmospheric urban influenced groove. "Out Of The Depths" is given a clever modern rock twist and a heavy beat.
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