Release Date: 09.09.03
Record label: Vanguard Records
by: clint poole
She Who Dwells in the Secret Place of the Most High Shall Abide Under the Shadow of the Almighty.
Whew! I just thought I would get that mouthful out of the way so we could move on. Frankly, the title to Sinead O’Connor’s farewell (the singer announced she is retiring from music) double-disk album had me awaiting the type of contrived, pretentious music one might unfairly perceive her for. Be honest, when you think Sinead you will forever have that image of an angry alt-rocker, on-stage with shaven-head and oversized sunglasses, tearing up a picture of the Pope.
However, She Who Dwells..(see, I cleverly shortened the title for you) reminds us of who Sinead the artist really was: a talented singer-songwriter who called upon her ancestry to write some of the most bone-baringly honest and emotional music of the past decade.
The album is actually a tale of two albums: one being a live-recording of ballads and traditional Irish songs, and the other a collection of unreleased studio tracks that highlight her creative flexibility. The live album was recorded during a 2002 Dublin concert and features some traditional Gaelic favorites as well as her emotional and powerful relationship songs “Nothing Compares 2 U” and “This is the Last Day of Our Acquaintance”. All are beautifully sung with a voice one can hardly believe befits our image of Sinead.
The studio album is a compilation of edgy covers interpreted by an Irish muse and some of the singers’ own material. The album features an interesting remix of the B-52’s "Ain't It a Shame" as well as O’Connor’s own "This Is a Rebel Song" and "Emma's Song". Of course, she goes a little too far with some traditional Gaelic readings, but I guess you have to always give credit to someone who is consistent to their personality.
All in all, a solid set of mystical Celtic and modern emotional music powerfully sung to perfection. Now if we can only get the Pope to forgive her. 10-Mar-2004 12:10 PM