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Universal Mother Import

4.5 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, September 13, 1994
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 13, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Chrysalis / EMI Records
  • ASIN: B000003JCR
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,389 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
By the time "Univeral Mother" came out, Sinead had become high on my list of favorite female artists - solely because of "Lion and the Cobra" and "I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got". Being objective, this CD has some beautiful arrangements, but only about half of the songs really grabbed me, but when they grabbed me, they REALLY grabbed me. I enjoyed "Red Football" because of its message and I love how the song ends on a very angry, retaliatory way. I also was touched by "Scorn Not His Simplicity", which is a beautifully touching song about a mother whose child is 'not like all the others' and deals powerfully with a mother's feelings of 'what did I do wrong to deserve this' and 'why was my child born this way'. It is just an incredibly powerful song and very well written. I was surprised how much I loved "All Apologies" and I honestly think I like her version better than Kurt Cobain's, but I do like Kurt's as well.
But, my all-time favorite Sinead song is "Perfect Indian". This is one of those songs that if it was possible to wear out a CD from playing a song too much, it would be this one. Since I dabble a little on the piano, I was very much pulled in by the music. I have to say it is one of the most perfectly beautiful piano pieces I have ever heard in my life! And, Sinead's very moving vocals make this song a beautiful gem. I would have gladly paid $15 just for this one song, but I was glad I did like a few more. I have never known any artist to put so much intensity into her songs, whether it's angst or understated, she commands her songs and pulls the listener into her world of lyrics and you come away feeling like you just had a very deep conversation with a very close friend.
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Format: Audio CD
"Universal Mother" is a voyage into bitterness, betrayal and, ultimately, redemption. The inclusion of Germaine Greer's sound bite on track one was a little over the top, in my opinion, but when the horns start to blow on "Fire On Babylon," the listener is blasted into a very eloquent tapestry of rage. "Babylon" is one of Sinead's best songs simply by virtue of its experimental quality. The rage here is heartbreaking, even shocking. The fact that this is followed by "John I Love You/My Darling Child" is even more stunning. Now the fallout from Babylon's rage has come to earth and we are faced with an uplifting ode to the tenderness of loving relationships and between adults and the sheer joy brought into the adult world by the presence of a child. Sinead pulls it off with admirable ease and the genuine quality of her songwriting is so evident here. I don't think I've ever listened to an album that has been so perfectly recorded to be listened to "as a whole"--Sinead even urges that her fans listen to it in this manner (via the liner notes). This record is really like one continuous orchestral piece rather than a number of different songs. Mystifying and marvelous. The standout for me was "Thank You For Hearing Me." I absolutely lost it when I heard this song for the first time. It's beautiful, it's crushing, its triumphant, it's gorgeous. It's %^&&#ing religious! The only track I found to be out of place on this CD was "Scorn Not His Simplicity." While this is a lovely song(penned by Phil Coulter) and Sinead did a great job, it didn't seem to fit the thread of album overall. Otherwise, buy this CD. It will grow on you like no other.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Oh, how soon they forget. O'Connor was already a major, Grammy-nominated "star" with a multi-platinum album ('Lion & Cobra') and a slew of international Modern Rock hit singles even before her freakishly mesmerizing crossover success with the Prince "cover" (Nothing Compares 2 U) in 1990.

Then, she protested institutional child-abuse in the RC Church in 1992 by "shredding" a little piece of paper on SNL, and two years later she gave "birth" (one would think literally) to this album, which cracked the Billboard Top 40 and made critics & fans churn with praise. The disc went-on to shift a couple of million units, and it's easy to see why O'Connor retained such a huge audience even after enormous controversy and boycott.

Like the gorgeous, ineffable Joni Mitchell, O'Connor steadfastly bucked every "standard" and did so brilliantly with this little "number." This album is the quintessential definition of an "album." 'Universal Mother' is a song-cycle of great pretension and bombast and harrowing vulnerability, but only a singer-songwriter like O'Connor (or perhaps the divine Mitchell, for that matter) could have pulled something like this "off."

Her opener, 'Fire on Babylon' is still one of the most scorchingly weird pieces of "protest-brilliance" ever committed to record. You've got loads of Sinead-ammunition with nuances of Peter Gabriel, some Kate Bush, some Joni, and SERIOUS funk-fusions that *nobody* was doing at the time. Forget boundaries; this chick was so outside-the-box that she created her own box. And it worked. The song still gives anyone with a soul the heebie-jeebies (or ought to). Then, O'Connor (after dropping the musical equivalent of a nuke), starts dusting and doing a 'Mother Teresa' amid the fallout with "John I Love U"--a waltz!!! Up next?
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