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.'