How Big How Blue How Beautiful
It's a jubilee year – and not for just any old dusty institution. It's 25 years since Sinead O'Connor first came at us, all raging skinhead anger.
The quarter century since has mellowed her, but only slightly. O'Connor has done some quixotic promotion for her ninth studio album, including bowling up on Twitter as some potty-mouthed comedian and getting married within seconds of meeting her new beau. Just the kind of thing record labels love.
On the other hand her label – One Little Indian – will have been happy they had this one in the can. How About I Be Me (And You Be You)? is way stronger than you'd expect at this stage, an ambitious and exploratory haul of songs that pour out O'Connor's heart and aim a few tasty barbs too. You wouldn't want to be a celeb getting it in the neck on quiet, sharp-tongued rant V.I.P.
She's at her best stamping on the rock pedal, appropriating a bit of mid-period Blur on Old Lady and giving it some welly over the spidery guitar of single The Wolf Is Getting Married, but equally effective on the more hesitant trip hop of Reason With Me or a bolshy, schizophrenic cover of John Grant's Queen Of Denmark. A sterling silver anniversary.