"I wanna be a real, full woman," Sinéad O’Connor sings on "How About I Be Me," whose title references her previous album, 2012’s How About I Be Me (And You Be You?). Unfortunately, O’Connor’s music doesn’t reflect the independence she aspires to: Ten albums into her career, she’s single-mindedly obsessed with the joys and sorrows of romantic partnership, expressed best on the laconic, strummy "The Vishnu Room," where she sings vulnerably about her hopes and desires. But this kind of love can be exhausting. On "Take Me to Church," she sings, "What have I been writing love songs for?/I don’t want to write them anymore." On this album, it can be hard to tell.
From The Archives Issue 1215: August 14, 2014