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Sinead O'Connor - Collaborations
(Capitol Records)
4 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Sept. 28, 2005
Sinead O'Connor

Review by Andy Argyrakis

She may possess an incredibly unique vocal range, but Sinead O'Connor is most remembered in the mainstream for a slew of controversial statements and actions. The bald headed entertainer made waves on several occasions, from withdrawing herself from a Grammy Award show (despite being nominated) to saying she wouldn't sing at a particular concert if "The National Anthem" was played to even pissing of the legendary Frank Sinatra as a result of that comment. And who could forget the late night television incident when she ripped up a picture of Pope John Paul II and then was booed offstage at an area concert a few weeks later?
But antics aside, O'Connor's musical legacy can best be traced in her groundbreaking I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got album, known for the hit Prince cover "Nothing Compares 2 U." Between her expansive range, pointed songwriting and vivacious personality, the singer/songwriter spent the remainder of the 1990s recording and touring with support from a cult following and continued to craft some of the best records of her career. Though the new Collaborations features material most fans have heard before, it culls together all of her duets and guest appearances on one disc. And despite the variety of genres represented throughout tag teams with Massive Attack, The The and Afro Celt Sound System, Sinead still belts out her signature vibrato and captivates with her candidness. One of the project's most alluring outings is with U2 on "I'm Not Your Baby," tipped with electronic distortion and pitted against vocals from the unmistakable Bono. Her contributions to Peter Gaberiel's soft-spoken "Blood of Eden" are also to be applauded, as are her wails with Moby for the chilled out dance of "Harbour."
U2 diehards will also be particularly pleased with O'Connor and The Edge on the ethereal "Heroine," originally the theme from Captive. The world music undertones of "Visions of You" (with Jan Wobble's Invaders of the Heart) is also alluring and further demonstrates the songstress' diversity in partners. Though these are all worthwhile, there are some unfortunate throwaways on the otherwise generous 17-track disc. When joining The Colourfield on "Monkey In Winter," O'Connor sounds more like she's trying to be Kate Bush than build off her own strengths, while The Blockheads paring "Wake Up and Make Love With Me" is a cheesy, blissful love song. Skimming these few duds off the surface would've given Collaborations a much tighter flow, but even so, it represents O'Connor's value and wealth of contributions to memorable material.

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