Friday, 12 December 2014

My Top Ten Albums of 2014 - #8

8. Sinéad O'Connor - I'm Not Bossy, I'm The Boss

Sinéad O'Connor always scared the hell out of me. On the lead single from her tenth album, however, she appears to be quite scared herself - perhaps as the result of some kind of mad mid-life crisis...

I don't wanna love the way I loved before
I don't wanna love that way no more
What have I been writing love songs for?
I don't want to write them anymore
I don't wanna sing from where I sang before
I don't wanna sing that way no more
What've I've been singing love songs for?
I don't wanna sing them anymore,
I don't wanna be that girl no more
Hearing this song on the radio, it quickly became one of my favourite tracks of the year... and the accompanying video, in which Sinéad goes Shania (as implausible as that may sound), sealed the deal. That moment two minutes in where she tears off the red wig might well be the sexiest thing I've seen in a music video all year. And when you consider that 75% of music videos these days are pretty much softcore porn in disguise (and not very good disguises in a lot of cases)... well, like I keep saying, I'm getting old.

Anyway, Take Me To Church set up certain expectations of I'm Not Bossy, I'm The Boss... not least that it would be an album devoid of love songs. Imagine my surprise then when I finally got to hear it... only to discover it's an album all about love... and passion... and sex... and infidelity... and kinky stuff. Kinda like Sinéad's own 50 Shades, only well written, and with the woman calling the shots.

Turns out that Ms. O'C is in love. And getting a damned good seeing to in the process. (That's pretty much how she puts it.) As a result, she decided it might be fun to sex up her image for the first time in her career, all of which led to the latex dress album cover, the short red dress video, and having to learn how to walk in high heels for the first time in her life... from her manager! She explains all this in the amusingly candid liner notes, and also why she's decided to put away the Warrior Woman routine that's defined so much of her career and reinvent herself with added raunch. It's a bold, empowering move that results in her best collection of songs to date, from the cheeky Kisses Like Mine...
"You see, I'm Special Forces: 
They call me in after divorces" the proud-yet-self-deprecating and necessarily funky James Brown...
"I know I may look a little square, 
I know I look like a wooden chair, 
But I got... oh YEAH! 
And in the words of James Brown, 
I'm sorry but I came to get down, 
I'm sorry but I... oh YEAH!"
 ...from the terrifying Where Have You Been?...
"What does it mean when a man's eyes turn black
When you're making love?
Where have you been?
Where have you been?
Eyes more frightening I've never seen..." the playfully submissive How Nice A Woman Can Be...
"Please, baby, let me be your slave
Please let me clean your house all day
Please let me try to bake your bread
And tuck your sweet babies into bed."
Of course, there's nothing here as lushly romantic as the song that made her world famous (also referenced in the video below) - how could there be? - but still, you can't help feeling Prince would be proud. Plus she's still got the voice of an angel...

...and yes, she still scares the hell out of me.

Next up, at #7... a reborn band led by a Millennium man.(Yes, it's Take Tha... no, it's not. Robbie's left again.)


  1. For some reason, learning that Sinead O'Conner is still going strong makes me inordinately happy.

  2. I stood next to her for a few minutes at a Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy gig in the early '90s (she sang with the support band). I seem to remember her being tiny.


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