SOUNDTRACK: SINÉAD O’CONNOR-The Lion and the Cobra (1987).
I was tempted to say that this album came before all of the controversy. But then, she’s always had controversy around her. Just the fact that she had her head shaved was enough to incite some people to alarm (not to mention, we never received this more fierce looking album cover).
But before all of the success of “Nothing Compared 2 U,” she released this amazing, empassioned debut album.
I’ve no idea what the first track is about, but there’s something about her voice on the “oh’s” in particular that still gives me chills. “Mandinka” has a great guitar sound (seemingly destined for hit radio) that seems very out of place on this disc (again, I’m lost on the lyrics here, too).
The album comes into its own with the really odd but delightful “Jerusalem.” Musically it’s got a sort of funk base which resolves itself into a very winning chorus. And, once again, her voice sounds otherworldly. It’s followed by the largely acoustic “Just Like U Said it Would B” (Prince fan much?). It’s a fairly simple song (with interesting arrangement–I like the flute) that builds to a strong climax.
“Never Get Old” opens with some spoken Irish (and features future star Enya), but it’s “Troy” that is the absolute breakthrough on this disc. From the occasionall string swells, to the eerie silences to the incredible heights that she reaches (and the notes that she can hold) it’s really tremendous.
“I Want Your Hands on Me” seems like another grab for a single. The single version featured a bizarre little rap from MC Lyte. In the pantheon of silly rap lyrics, I’ve alwys kept this near the top: “I’m not the kind of girl to put on a show coz when I say no, yo I mean no.” Sentiment and good intentions aside, it’s very clumsy. Not my favoite track.
The final two, “Drink Before the War” and “Just Call Me Joe” are interesting denouements after the pop of “Hands.” “Drink is a slow paced, somewhat quiet track, until the chorus really blasts off. And “Joe” sounds like a demo: a raw electric guitar, cranked way up (but mixed quietly) accompanying Sinéad’s instructions to just call her Joe.
In some ways this album is less subtle, and by that reckoning, less sophisticated, than the bajillion-selling follow up, but I find the naked passion on this disc to be even more amazing.
[READ: Week of August 30, 2010] Ulysses: Episodes 18
The final chapter of Ulysses is all about Molly. It enters her head and doesn’t leave. It doesn’t even pause for punctuation (there’s none in the entire chapter except for the final period). There are paragraph breaks, which means that there are eight sentences in total.
The Episode is crass and sexual, beautiful and moving, personal and insightful and it seems incredibly forward thinking coming from a male writer. And although it gets a lot more press as a stream of consciouness piece, it’s not that far removed from Stephen’s or Bloom’s pieces, [except that she doesn’t actually intearct with anyone to interrupt her thoughts].
The Epsiode reflects upon what we’ve learned in the day. It inadvenrtanetly corrects some misperceptions (regarding Molly’s past infidelities–she didn’t have any–), but it also shows some pretty poor judgments on Molly’s part (mostly regarding Stephen). And there’s just so much going on in the episode that it’s hard to catalog it all. But it is certainly full of a lot of sexual thoughts. (more…)
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