Released: 11th August 2014. Number 1 in Ireland.
Who hasn’t mentioned Sinead O’Connor recently is my first question? I always seem to see her get mentioned in the news for something that is not related to her music. Whether it is about her marriages, the controversial television performances or even the open letter to spoilt pop-star Miley Cyrus, Sinead is more known nowadays for what happens personally and not professionally. But I am not talking about this side to her, I want to explore the Sinead O’Connor that I know, the musician! I think the new album I’M NOT BOSSY, I’M THE BOSS is a treat to fans of the Irish wonder and also a great pop-ish album to delight many listeners.
‘How About I Be Me’ starts off the collection of new tracks, “I wanna be a real full woman, yeah lady!” is the first line, the pop influenced tune has her requesting that she can continue to talk about love and how she needs it. The woman we remember from the ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ days is made more upbeat and she creates a cool, loving vibe over 206 seconds of music. ‘Dense Water Deeper Down’ then gives a more classic rock style to her journey on this album, ELO would be pleased to cover this song as it sounds like it could easily fit into their discography. Imagine ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’ given a modern day twist. ‘Kisses Like Mine’ is, to me, a message to her previous lovers to say to her that they will not be with anyone like her. I think this is true, just be glad Sinead isn’t making a whole album about you because this is quite light on what some acts can do about ex-relationships. There is also a message about how she can help people, but don’t expect it to be more than that. “See I’m Special Forces. They call me in after divorces. To lift you up. You thought you weren’t much. And I’ll mean every word. But I’m gone with the birds. Baby I just can’t be yours”. The XX are seemingly honoured on next track ‘Your Green Jacket’, the track just buzzes you can feel a very passionate emotion in this album, there is a theme of love and care throughout these tracks and it is set to continue.
‘The Vishnu Room’ was almost the title for the album; the track is bringing us to a ballad section. This sound brings me to the more heart-driven tracks from Sinead’s younger days and it sticks. This is where her voice works best, it’s the emotion and there is a slight Irish twang to the instrument arrangement (whether on purpose or not, it sounds brilliant). Next we have ‘The Voice Of My Doctor’, this is pop orientated yet again and sees Sinead as she pushes her vocals out on some of them notes. This could be influenced by her personal life and the treatment she has received, but I am not too concerned about that as I am seeing a great storyteller using some great ideas. ‘Harbour’ is another great tune where Sinead is letting her voice really take centre stage. It starts rather calm, similar to the music we are used to from the Irish singer. But then, an explosion of rock takes control and that world famous voice is then leading a heavy-hitting tune. This is indeed the best song on the album so far, someone knows how to captivate (and surprise) her listener and I feel more hooked from this point. ‘James Brown’ features a guitar piece and beat which is grooving to another avenue of music which amazes me with how Sinead O’Connor can continue to switch between music genres but still manage to vocally impress. The pace is definitely picking up again.
The beat then mellows again for ‘8 Good Reasons’. “Don’t know if I should quite sing this song. Don’t know if it maybe might be wrong. But then again it maybe might be right. To tell you ’bout the bullet and the red light’” and you are enticed yet again. The love theme is prominent again, stating the person she is singing to will make the good reasons become “maybe nine now”. ‘Take Me To Church’ is the first song I heard on this album, Sinead wants to break from singing love songs (though after nine tracks of using love in her tracks) and now wants to be taken to church because “I’ve done so many bad things that hurt” and signals the resurrection of Sinead O’Connor as she wants to be something more. This song, which gives a rock twist to what could have been pop ballad and the church lyrics really make this stand out and feel more personal than anything I have ever heard from the singer/songwriter from County Dublin. ‘Where Have You Been?’ starts with asking what it means when a man’s eyes turn black while taking part in a certain activity that is especially popular between a man and a woman who love each other very much (or just say sex!). Saying how it frightens her but wants to know why it happens. The last track ‘Streetcars’ talks about loving one self, she says about how she will do her best to love herself and she is ultimately asking for protection in life during this rather timid and fragile version of Sinead O’Connor who makes the greatest impact in bringing her listeners down after an album which has mostly been fun, fist pumping and a chance to get up and be heard. We end not with a bang, but with a whimper (or maybe the perfect wind down after an album which has mostly been up and up).
Yes this has been a long review, but Sinead O’Connor has created something which I feel is a career best record for her. I could listen to this album over and over and I think I will. If you look at the album cover, you may almost think it’s one of the popstars who have taken the airwaves over the past few years. Sinead O’Connor deserves success and this album is crammed with it, more of the same will be welcomed!
Final Rating: 10/10
Written By Jonjo Cosgrove
Also, I should point out it’s been nearly 25 years since Sinead O’Connor recorded ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’. No, I don’t believe it’s been that long either!