Monday, March 3, 2014

Sinead O’Connor - Faith and Courage (2000)

Not her Best but still worth a listen.

Let's face it. Most of us were fans of the Irish singer Sinead O'Conner. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was also once a big fan of her and I still believe that her first two albums rank among the 100 best releases of the ‘90s. Songs like "Troy" and "The Last Day of Our Acquaintance" prove that O’Connor has tremendous talent, or at least had it once upon a time. 

After her first two albums, though, Sinead completely lost me and most of her other fans. "Am I Not Your Girl" was a complete snooze-fest, and "Universal Mother" was a lifeless compilation that lacked any semblance of passion or melody except a few stellar tracks. To make matters worse, Sinead’s lackluster music was completely overshadowed by the circus of her public life – she shredded a photo of the Pope, was ordained as a priest, and then "converted" to lesbianism or something on those lines.

Ok, the only thing that should matter with Sinead O’Connor is the music, though, so I was encouraged that her 5th album "Faith and Courage" was hailed as the "return" of Sinead O’Connor. The album opens with the pleasant "The Healing Room," but it really gets started with "No Man’s Woman." On this track, O’Connor reveals the amount of pain caused by the men in her life, and she vows to focus on her work instead of her relationships with men. This spirited track has become an anthem for feminists everywhere, and rightfully so. It’s one of the highlights of this album in both lyrical content and musical presentation. 

Other highlights include "Jealous," "Daddy I’m Fine" and "’Til I Whisper U Something," all of which O’Connor co-wrote with Dave Stewart (of Eurythmics fame). With Stewart, O’Connor finally found a collaborator that could bring out her best again. Unfortunately, the non-Stewart tracks on the album suffer in comparison. Faith and Courage falls well short of O’Connor’s first two albums, but the album is much stronger than anything O’Connor had done since those first two releases. There must be a reason why popular online mag - Slant still considers it one of the best albums of the 2000s.


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