Thursday, 4 April 2013

Cassette experiment day 46 - Sinead O'Connor 'Universal mother'

We all know that the best way to keep out of trouble is to avoid wading in to the twin subjects of politics and religion. Somewhere down the line it seems that Sinead O’Connor didn’t receive that particular memo.
Sinead’s famous flirtations with both of these subjects are well documented elsewhere, so I won’t elaborate here. Sufficient to say, however that both are front and centre on today’s cassette, Sinead’s 1994 album ‘Universal mother’.
Many people find these aspects of Sinead’s beliefs annoying or off-putting, but they run the risk of missing out on some tremendous music if they do.
Opening with a speech by Germaine Greer (no, please, come back, it’s quite short!), the album then opens musically with the tremendous (although seriously grim of subject) ‘Fire on Babylon’.
Other tracks of note on side 1 include the heartfelt ‘My darling child’, Sinead’s interesting (but not particularly exceptional) version of ‘All apologies’ and ‘A perfect Indian’ which is a bit of a hidden gem as far as I’m concerned.
If possible side 2 takes on an even more serious tone than side 1 and includes a version of Phil Coulter’s ‘Scorn not his simplicity’ (with Phil himself guesting on piano), which is guaranteed to transform the hardest of souls into a quivering wreck, and “Famine” deliberately encapsulated within double quotation marks to portray Sinead’s message that there never really was a famine in Ireland. You probably need to give it a listen to get the full gist!
So, not many laughs (in fact probably none unless you count the ‘Me little ninja’ line in ‘My darling child’ which always makes me smile for probably the wrong reasons), some feminism, some religion, some politics, some child abuse. But all still fairly beautiful in its own way for around 85-90% of the time.
I can tell that some of you still aren’t convinced!
Label – Ensign
Year - 1994

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