Sinead O'Connor Talks About Sex
BY Diane Anderson-Minshall
March 15 2012 2:00 AM ET
With her doe eyes, close-cropped hair, and perennially otherworldly appearance, Sinéad O'Connor today looks very much the woman she was at 23, when her fearless rendering of Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U" lit up MTV for months in 1990. She looks the same, save for a few wrinkles and a couple of pounds, all doubtless the result of raising four kids, enduring three divorces, and speaking out earnestly for more than two decades under the harshest media spotlight.
But when O'Connor begins to sing, "If I love someone / I might lose someone," as she does in "Reason With Me," a track from her new album, it is as if time melts away. Sure, she's made headlines by talking of suicide, bashing politicos, and searching for marijuana on the night of her most recent wedding, but ironically, when she belts out that sparse and haunting song about addiction, O'Connor seems like a woman who finally has it all together. The song, she says, isn't about her. It's about someone she knows or, rather, an amalgamation of people she knows.
This record's slightly different," she says of the album, How About I Be Me (And You Be You)? The album varies from her previous recordings, not in melody (in fact, one of the standouts, "Take Off Your Shoes," has the fire and clarity of one of her best early songs, "Mandinka") but lyrically, in that much of the music was not based on her own experiences. "I don't know why it happened, it's pure accident. I think it's because maybe I've dumped off a lot emotionally already, singing all over the world for 20-something years. So I got to a point where I had to write songs from a different place inside myself. Once I finished having to write songs for the purpose of healing myself necessarily, I began to be able to write songs about other shit, other people."