Last month saw the release of the newest and tenth overall studio album by Irish songstress and politically-inclined musician, Sinead O’Connor. I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss follows 2012’s release, How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?. The newest album peaked at #83 in the US Billboard 200, becoming her highest charting album since 2000. This new album has become her first number-one record in Ireland, and charted in many European markets.
I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got is still her most successful album, thanks to the number-one single “Nothing Compares 2 U”, a Prince cover.
O’Connor is currently touring Europe and will perform in Chicago and New York City. For tickets and dates, [[click here]].
Bossy is eclectic, sassy, sad and broken, just like it could be expected. Sinead, who has discussed her sexuality, being exploited as a female in music (when receiving her first contract at seventeen), and shaving her head, is no stranger to dishing it outwardly as well as to herself. The lyrical and musical gift in her grasp is the ability to take the dark and still thrive. The last track of the standard album does just that, ending on a lyric which says ‘For there’s no safety to be acquired/ Riding streetcars named desire’.
The new album begins with “How About I Be Me”, where she shares ‘Always gotta be the lioness/ Taking care of everybody else/ A woman like me needs love/ A woman like me needs a man to be/ Stronger than herself’. The track has a very interesting introduction, with a hint of nineties radio-friendly hits, like “Compares”. The track, with her signature belts and whispers, is nostalgic and heartfelt.
The queer artist puts her soul into her lyrics as she does not shy away from using gender as a lyrical tool. After describing herself in an interview as a lesbian in the early 2000s, she told Entertainment Weekly in 2005 ‘I’m three-quarters heterosexual, a quarter gay. I lean a bit more towards the hairy blokes’.
“Denser Water Depper Down” is a country-esque track with beautiful harmonies, certainly expected from Sinead. “Kisses Like Mine” is another rhythmic track, heavy in percussion.
“Your Green Jacket” has an instrumental which is soothing and radio-friendly. It tells a story of longing and vulnerability. She utters ‘You’re so gentle and so soft/ I like you ’cause it looks to me like you are caught/ Between two or three worlds, I am too/ Is it OK to say I see some of myself in you?’.
“The Vishnu Room” is an instrumental ride of calm and meditative sounds. Lyrically, it describes the desire to be guided back to one’s core. Vishnu, a Hindi deity, is believed to lead oneself to a realm of eternal bliss.
“The Voice of My Doctor” is a rockier tale of duality, recognition and distraction. “Harbour”, gentle in contrast, is sordid, somber and wrapped in the depth of longing and sorrow.
“James Brown”, featuring Sean Kuti, is a bouncy tale of thrill and wanting to ‘get down’.
“8 Good Reasons” is probably the most honest and genuine of the set. The track discusses suicide and the pressure of life ‘If I could have gone/ Without it hurting anyone’. Whether the music business ‘You know I love to make music/ But my head got wrecked by the business’; or otherwise ‘You know I’m not from this place/ I’m from a different time, different space/ And it’s real uncomfortable/ To be stuck somewhere you just don’t belong’.
“Take Me To Church”, whose music video sees O’Connor performing the track with a projected video of her face from the “Compares” video, discusses the pressure of being the same person to most people, despite growing and changing.
‘I’m gonna sing songs of loving and forgiving/ Songs of eating and of drinking, songs of living, songs of calling in the night/ ’cause songs are like a bolt of light/ And love’s the only love you should invite/ Songs of long and spiteful fails
songs that don’t let you sit still/ Songs that mend your broken bones/ and that don’t leave you alone/ So get me down from this here tree, take the rope from off of me/ sit me on the floor, I’m the only one I should adore!’
“Where Have You Been” plays as an interlude between two track who are strong, heartfelt and empowering. “Streetcars” deals with the idea that we are our own strength and salvation.
‘I have chosen, I have chosen/ To become the love I’m longing/ Love was never something beyond me/ Underneath me or above me.’
Films: Kumu Hina (documentary) : Southern Baptist Sissies, the movie : OFIR (documentary) : Ne Te Retourne Pas (short) : Halina (short) : EK (short) : Despite The Gods (documentary) : Materica (short) : Lawrence and Hollowman, the movie : No Strangers (documentary) : Meth Head, the movie : Echoes (short) : Titans of Newark (short) : A Cure (short) : Precious, the movie : This Is It (documentary)
Music: LP’s Forever For Now : Jason Mraz’s YES! : Austra’s Habitat : Birdy’s Fire Within : Melanie Martinez’s The Dollhouse : Peter Aristone’s 19 Days in Tetbury : Lykke Li’s I Never Learn : Neon Trees’ Pop Psychology : Rufus Wainwright’s Rufus Wainwright: Live from the Artists Den : Lily Allen’s Sheezus : Ingrid Michaelson’s Lights Out : Kelis’ Food : The Sounds’ Weekend : Austra’s Olympia : KENN’s We Killed KENN : VV Brown’s Samson & Delilah : Sammy Crawford’s Reality Sets In : Melanie C’s Stages : Madonna’s MDNA : Nelly Furtado’s Spirit Indestructible : CocoRosie’s “We Are On Fire” : Stephan Nance’s A Troubled Piece of Fruit
Videos: KENN’s “Still Pretty” : Christina Aguilera’s “Your Body” : Tom Goss’ “It’s All Over” : Eric Himan’s “Dust” : Scissor Sisters’ “Only The Horses”
Concerts: Passenger : Ellie Goulding : The Sounds with Blondfire & Strange Talk : Natasha Bedingfield : Andy Grammer : Kate Voegele
Stand Up: Kevin J Thornton
Books: Out of the Past, by Jeffrey Ballam