Sinead O’Connor is back with an album that she has been “dying to make all [of her] life.”
I can’t really see why.
Sean-Nos Nua is an album of traditional Irish songs she says she learned from her father, her schoolmates and “wandering around the universe.”
The result is a compilation that this bastard son of the Irish Republican movement can barely recognize.
I also learned many of these songs at my father’s side, but I don’t recall them being universally dirge-like, as O’Connor has made them.
The song “I’ll Tell Me Ma,” usually a boisterous tune about the fairest maid in all of Belfast, has been transformed into a lament.
“My Lagan Love” throws in synthesized sounds and a gospel choir of sorts for good measure.
While some love O’Connor for her beautiful voice, in this case it does not add much to these sorrowfully interpreted songs.
Perhaps this album will please folks whose idea of good Irish music ends with U2 and Van Morrison.
Whatever O’Connor discovered wandering around the universe has clearly made her forget that sorrow is only half of the Irish soul and that joy is just as important.
Why else would the good Lord have created Guinness?
– Brian White
JS: What’s with Christina’s new look? She looks a lot like a desperate groupie.
NS: This new chapter in Agulera’s career is all about self-discovery. Christina’s finally realized she’s infallible. Take the song “Beautiful,” for example. “I am beautiful no matter what they say,” she says, which apparently includes this trailer trash look. Then again, maybe she just realized she’ll always live in Britney’s shadow and decided to drown her sorrows in a new pair of breasts?
JS: “Beautiful?” Oh, I thought that song was a Mariah Carey guest appearance. I mean, aside from the music, she just looks so skanky. Super skanky, even. And the songs are crappy and derivative. At least before, she just recorded mindless commercial pap. Now it’s mindless commercial pap about being a trashy whore.
NS: Hey, it’s not a total loss though. My brother loves the “Dirty” video as long as the mute’s on. And, she got yet another chance to include a now-typical Latino track and continue the exploitation of her Irish-Ecuadorian heritage. At the very least she’ll be able to use the sale of this CD as funding for a second cutesy holiday album. Title track? “Ho Ho Ho.”
JS: See, but you’ve hit all of my major points. It’s all style and no substance. Well, if you consider looking like a crack-addicted prostitute to be stylish.
– Jeremy Smith and Nadia Stadnycki
It’s hard to look at Nirvana’s greatest hits effort and not see a cheap compromise among the parties that argued and wrestled over the material for the last few years.
The lingering problem with this disc is that it’s difficult to compile Nirvana’s best material into one disc because they didn’t have many singles or a career that spanned decades.
They recorded together for five years and put out three full studio albums that varied greatly in tone and personality.
The explosive “You Know You’re Right,” the last song the group ever recorded, highlights the 14-track release.
The new pain-laced track fits comfortably in line with the rest of the band’s other noted tracks, but doesn’t foreshadow any new directions that the band may have been heading.
The rest of the disc pulls from the band’s three-studio albums, the rarities compilation disc Insecticide and their acoustic MTV Unplugged performance.
The disc touches on all the hits and many of the radio favorites, but that’s all that it does.
There is so much other material that could have been included.
Tracks like “Drain You,” “Lounge Act” and “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” deserve a home on this disc, not exclusive import versions that cost $40.
This audio anthology could have been a much stronger and more definitive offering from one of the most influential bands of the last decade.
Put simply, Kurt Cobain was the John Lennon for this generation and the inspiration for many of the bands dominating radio airwaves today.
And this incomplete single-disc anthology does not give his death the slightest hint of a healthy legacy.
– Chris Powell
Ms. Jade, the latest protégé to the notorious rap producer Timbaland, is a tough-talking, weed-smoking, bad ass bitch from Philly, who doesn’t take shit from anybody.
Her debut Girl Interrupted brings a little street recognition to Timbaland’s new label Beat Club Records.
Ms. Jade talks a lot of shit, but she comes off as a sort of Lil’ Eve, never really ripping off anything memorable.
The Nicetown-native’s album is filled with tired concepts and weak verses, discrediting Timbaland’s brilliance on the boards.
The disc does have several highlights though.
“Ching Ching” is a recorded quarrel between two lovers (Jade and Timberland) with Nelly Furtado serving as the relationship counselor.
Timbaland stretches the boundaries of beats with jams like “Big Head” and “Feel the Girl.”
But he doesn’t carry the record like other great producers can.
Too much of it sounds familiar, hooks in “Step Up” and “Ching Ching pt. II” were both lifted from older hip-hop records.
The album is loaded with club songs that will get chicks on the dance floor, but it’s nothing particularly groundbreaking.
– Robert Sumner