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How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?


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Audio CD, February 21, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

There has never been mistaking Sinead O' Connor for anybody else. A voice born to break as many hearts as windows, as tender as it is lethal. The face, simultaneously that of ocean-wide-eyed angel and shaven-headed warrior queen. And the spirit, courageous in its conviction, undaunted by controversy and fortified with endless reserves of resilience. Sinead O' Connor is that rare thing in popular music: a complete one-off. From her first breakthrough hit, 1987's Mandinka , to the multi-platinum international success of 1990's I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got with its unforgettable number one version of Prince's Nothing Compares 2 U , from her fearless genre-crossing forays into Irish folk and roots reggae to her collaborations with artists as diverse as Peter Gabriel, Massive Attack and The Chieftans, O Connor has trodden a unique path to become the most iconic Irish female artist of the past 30 years. There is no one like Sinead O Connor. There is only Sinead O Connor.

Lest the world dare forget who Sinead O'Connor is, it s about to be reminded once more. 25 years after her debut, 1987's The Lion And The Cobra, she returns with How About I Be Me (And You Be You), her ninth studio album and as showstopping a performance as her silver jubilee deserves. Produced by long-term collaborator John Reynolds, its ten tracks play like an encyclopaedic definition of O' Connor's oeuvre: songs about love and loss, hope and regret, pain and redemption, anger and justice. 'I kind of realised I've spent a lot of my life as an artist being told what I should be,' says O' Connor of the title. 'Being told you should be this, you should do this, you shouldn t do that. You get to a certain age when you realise no, it's perfectly OK for me to be me, thank you very much, and you to be you. But it s very much an Irish thing. It s really a comment about Ireland and what it's like to be an Irish female artist, and particularly this Irish female artist.'

1. 4th and Vine
2. Reason With Me
3. Old Lady
4. Take Off Your Shoes
5. Back Where You Belong
6. The Wolf Is Getting Married
7. Queen of Denmark
8. Very Far From Home
9. I Had a Baby.
10. V.I.P.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 21, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: One Little Indian Us
  • ASIN: B006LEHOL2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,945 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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72 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Kochanski on February 21, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I have remained a Sinead O'Connor fan these decades, though the best of her work in at least the past ten years has been as a guest artist on other projects. Still, I dutifully purchase each new Sinead album and usually find at least a couple tracks to embrace. My expectations are low, and I certainly didn't have high ones for How About I Be Me. Have a look at the cover. In a career of really, really ugly album covers, she easily hits a new low with this one.

No one is more surprised then myself when I report how much I LOVE this album! This is her best since I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, and perhaps her most consistently "good" album ever. Her genre/covers albums have been good for what they are, but never as inspired as her original albums. I always felt Universal Mother a bit of hit-and-miss; Faith And Courage had some strong songs, but even those were buried in horrible pop production and resting among a songbag of clunkers; Theology had some inspired lyrics, and you could feel the passion in the project, but the religious subject matter and hymn-like qualities of most of the songs keep it out of heavy rotation on my headphones. How About I Be Me is simply a very good album - there is not a single song I want to skip, and I honestly can't say that about any one of her previous efforts. This may not be a masterpiece, but it is a classic.

In exchange, I cannot say that there is any one song that strikes exactly the same chord as my favorites from her past - Jerusalem, Fire on Babylon, Troy, Mandinka. Oh, but "Take Off Your Shoes," "I Had a Baby," and "Queen of Denmark" are very VERY close - the last is a cover, and I've never heard a cover that sounded more like it was written by or for the singer. These are classic Sinead songs.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A reader VINE VOICE on February 21, 2012
Format: Audio CD
As famous as she's been over the past 25 years for her incredible voice and confessional songwriting, Sinead has also made a name for herself by using the world stage as a therapist's couch. Some folks are content to resolve their dilemmas in private, but Sinead has acted them out all-too publicly. If you didn't know her music, you could easily dismiss Sinead as a publicity-grabbing nut with a big ego. But in point of fact, she's an artist of breathtaking power and originality, as demonstrated by HOW ABOUT I BE ME AND YOU BE YOU. There's too much wisdom, insight and humor in these new songs for me to disparage her character or focus on her extra-musical activities for very long.

HOW ABOUT I BE ME is an astonishing record -- honest, heartbreaking, scathing, hilarious and ultimately deeply compassionate. Its songs explores various facets of sexual and romantic obsession and delusion, drug addiction, hypocrisy and other "lightweight" topics that Sinead is famous for. Sinead has great lyrical command of vernacular, spoken language as well as uncanny psychological insight. The stories she tells throb with irony, profanity and pathos.

Using the first person, Sinead serves up her characters' ambivalent and messy lives for our consideration. They teeter between out-of-control desires, false hope and self-denial on one side, and guilty self-reproach and painful awareness on the other. There's the thoroughly untrustworthy junkie ("Reason with Me"), who admits to stealing your T.V.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Wanting a second chance on February 21, 2012
Format: MP3 Music
I passed over the NPR First Listen of this album thinking why listen to a crazy person based on press reports. Stupid me. As a regular viewer of Graham Norton, I was "forced" to sit through her singing a song from this album "The Wolf Is Getting Married". I publicly apologize to Sinead for my ignorance. Sinead you are a genius and a true gem on this earth.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gregg Hillier on May 5, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Sinead O'Connor has a one of the best most versatile voices ever: she can sweetly sing a warm love song and then spew bile with equal aplomb - sometimes in the same song, no less. While nearly all of Sinead's albums have their moments, she seems to put out a great one every ten years. Easily her best since 2000's "Faith and Courage," "How About I Be Me" allows Sinead to crucify the Catholic Church, Reality TV, and, best of all, an errant Lover. She also has gentler moments - especially in "The Wolf is Getting Married," one of the best songs on the album. The soaring backing vocals and Sinead's impeccable lead vocal recalls the excellent "Hold Back the Night" from "Faith and Courage." Even better is "Queen of Denmark," which Sinead turns into a 5 minute exorcism, complete with profanity and crashing guitar chords. Though this is a cover song, it was made to be sung by Sinead.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jason Stein VINE VOICE on March 23, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Sinead O'Connor. Likely one of the most reviled and revered pop stars of our time. It pains me to think of all the window shoppers who jumped on the "Nothing Compares 2 U" bandwagon back in 1990. That's not where my O'Connor journey began. You see I was a keen observer and in January 1988 I watched this video for "Mandinka" and that's when I became a fan. It did not faze me a bit that she did not want the American National Anthem played before her show (I mean she didn't have any country's national anthem played before her shows, so who cares, right?) It excited me to see her rip up a picture of the pope not because I had anything against the man, but religion is a coping crutch just like alcohol, drugs or anything else that assures people that their lives mean something. It is/was true that the Catholic church was harboring sex offenders, so her point was well made.

Her politics and antics aside, what has always resonated with me is her vocals and her lyrics. She is one of the rarest of artists who can strike a nerve with her ability to emote as evidenced on "Mandinka", "Three Babies", "Black Boys On Mopeds", "This Is To Mother You" and now "Queen Of Denmark". She exorcises herself when she is at her best, and she hasn't been this good since 2000's "Faith And Courage". Her last three albums being mostly mediocre covers and some originals.
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meaning of 4th & vine
BuarqueIsGod,

4th and Vine is the address of the church where the lady in the song is going to get married.
Mar 25, 2012 by W.H. |  See all 3 posts
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