NEW Combo BLUWAVS CD and FLAC FILE
To quote her fellow Irishman, poet William Butler Yeats, when Sinead O’Connor’s debut, The Lion and the Cobra, was released, a terrible beauty was born. O’Connor has a haunting voice as dark as the Irish bogs, and her unwavering delivery simultaneously inflames and chills. She sings in two ranges: her soprano (“Never Get Old,” “Jackie”) is a nearly monastic chant that’s angular and breathy like a pan flute or a tin whistle, while her alto, reigning in “I Want Your (Hands on Me)” and “Mandinka,” is a suspended, forceful spoken-word tone that never quite yells. By switching back and forth between these two vocal modes, she yanks the listener into her turmoil, giving you no choice but to empathize. She was only 20 years old during this recording, and her difficult relationships with lovers, motherhood, her parents, and the Catholic Church were traumatic and fresh. But rather than mellow with maturity, she gained notoriety with publicly unfavorable political antics that would accompany and often overshadow her equally astounding follow-up, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got. –Beth Bessmer
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