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4.6 out of 5 stars
How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?
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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews (3 star)show all reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2012
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
This was her easily her most coherent, focused set in over a decade, and all things considered, the album is as good as her first two classics, 2000's criminally underrated 'Faith and Courage', and 1997's superb little 'Gospel Oak' EP. That's 6 very, very good studio albums (which I defy the vast majority of major artists to proffer 6 basically splendid albums). Her other 5 studio albums, not counting the She Who Dwells B-side offering, were mostly plonk (in my opinion). But this record is up there with her best as far as the overall quality of songs, wise production (John Reynolds) and arrangements. Beautiful record.

Sadly, 2 points subtracted because no amount of studio wizardry in the world can hide Sinead's shamefully cigarette-damaged voice at this point, and it IS dismaying and does detract from the impact of the tunes. Tunes like "4th & Vine" "Old Lady" "Wolf is Getting Married" "Back Where You Belong" and "Home" rank with the best stuff she has EVER written.

1/2 point subtracted for a truly hysterical album title, which has nothing to do with the prevailing tone of the record, and which was a last-minute petulant, reactionary bit of nonsense to respond to some tabloid foolishness she was involved with at the time, far removed from the music.

1/2 point deducted for a few really ghastly lyrics ("bunnies" in the screaming Vatican song) and the entirety of VIP, one of the most godawful rambling bits of crap ever known. It may be valid to call Bono and Geldoff to account for certain things, but you'd better bloody well write brilliantly if you're going to do it. Otherwise, this is a solid 4 star album.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I've followed Sinead's career since her 1987 debut, so I'm a devoted fan. I can admit when some of her work isn't that great or simply not that accessible (2007's Theology, with the exception of a few nice tracks, 2003's "Sean Nos Nua" is too specialized, 2000's "Faith and Courage" was spotty at best--very hit and miss).

But I'm happy to say, this new album is her most consistent, since 1994's underrated gem, "Universal Mother". Like that album, it's very personal, it has some brilliant moments, as well as some quieter less accessible tracks.

But "How about I be Me.." is a much more focused and upbeat album, if Sinead ever had an upbeat album.

The opening track "4th and Vine" is sweet and pleasant, but sounds more like a throwaway reggae ditty, unfortunately. Its simplicity is a little disappointing for an opening track. Sinead isn't at the top of her game here.
The next track "Reason With Me" is a nice departure for Sinead--deceptively simple lyrics and melody, with a surprisingly catchy hook/piano chords that Sinead normally doesn't employ in her songs.
"Old Lady" is a nice rocker, with a pop fusion. This is Sinead the rocker we love: it's fun and edgy at the same time.
"Take Off Your Shoes" is a solid old-school Sinead track. This should have been the album opener. It's intense, melodic, and cathartic. What we love about Sinead.
"Back Where We Belong" is one of the more heartfelt and softer tracks. Its greatest strength is the vocal delivery--Sinead does a beautiful job. It's another 'story' song as well.
"Wolf is Getting Married" is another highlight--it's vintage Sinead, with a new pop sensibility. It's endlessly catchy, while beautiful and meaningful. In a better world, this would be a hit on the pop charts. But it's not flashy enough for today's commercial audience.
"Queen of Denmark" is a great cover.. it's another good rocker. It takes a while to grow on me.
"Very Far From Home" is one of the weaker tracks. It feels like a throwaway b-side track. The sentiment and execution just don't have the resonance to carry the song.
"I Had a Baby" is the other weak track on the album overall--for the same reason. It's execution lacks urgency or potency.
"VIP" is surprisingly powerful, for a near acapella track. But if any singer can pull of acapella, it's Sinead and her pipes. This is a song where the execution does pay off. Sinead's lyrics and performance are just very focused and dynamic. That's what makes a song work.

So overall, this is Sinead's best album of original material, since 1994's "Universal Mother". It makes you wonder why it took so long? The songs seem to flow pretty effortlessly, save for a couple of minor weak tracks.

Keep it up, Sinead!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2013
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
O'Connor has some classic songs; this is a newer selection and her voice and songs are interesting and worth the listen.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2012
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
not too great but ok nothing i would recommend or keep. arrival on time good condition. sometimes i love her sometimes i don't
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Maybe I got my expectations up too high after reading reviews from both the industry critics and the rest of us, but this album has left me feeling a bit sort of, well, no different to how I was before I'd heard it.

A long time fan, I too love the raw, primal energy that Sinead O'Connor imbues into all her work. Whether it be her claustrophobic breathy whispering, or piercing pitch perfect angst/despair/rage, her voice has the ability to jettison you completely out of whoever or whatever else you are, and land you slap bang on your knees at the feet of her world.

Melodically speaking this album is suberb, and the voice; deeper, more controlled and resonating with maturity, is absolutely breath taking.

The problem is the lyrics.

Her cover of the Queen of Denmark is brilliant though.
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4 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2012
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
I am not sure why this album has garnered such great reviews. I have adored Sinead since her Lion & the Cobra, and nearly everything since. She is at her best when she reaches deep and lets her vocals fly, and this is not one of those albums. If you like the more "breathy" Sinead songs, then this is for you. Regrettably, this album will be more of background music while I'm cleaning than anything else.
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