Turn That Noise Down - Sinead O'Connor

So many well-known albums turn 30 this year and Steve Taylor-Bryant and Susan Omand travel back to 1992 to revisit some of the sounds of their youth that made parents shout "Turn that noise down!" This week, Susan asks Am I Not Your Girl ...

It’s been seven hours and fifteen days… only it hasn’t been, because that was on her previous, mega-breakthrough album, I Do Not Want What I Have Not Got. An enormous amount of pressure to live up to, then, with this album, Am I Not Your Girl, being essentially the “difficult second album” [her debut album The Lion and The Cobra was a bit obscure – Ed] but, without Prince to give her a world-wide hit single to bank on this time out, what did the girl from Ireland do? Why, she went for a covers album. Jazz covers. As you do. That fact pretty much killed the album as far as global pop chart success was concerned and her mainstream pop-princess glory was even further shat upon when she sang a version of War by Bob Marley, shouting about the evils of the church and waving pictures of the Pope, instead of a performance of the scheduled album promotional track live on TV on Saturday Night Live [although this act did increase her rebel punk stature considerably – Ed].

However, back to the album itself. There are some absolute classic songs on here that everyone will instantly recognise, with Broadway hits Secret Love and Don’t Cry For Me Argentina mixed in with jazz standards like Why Don’t You Do Right and the song from which the album title comes, Success Has Made A Failure of Our Home. Her vocal gives an edge to the Marilyn Monroe hit, I Want To Be Loved By You and the slowed down Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered is just sumptuous. The rich dark blues of Black Coffee is coupled with the ethereal bleakness of “the famous Hungarian suicide song” Gloomy Sunday to make the album a real melancholy listen if you let it but the mood is lightened slightly [“lightened”? Really?! – Ed] with her version of Love Letters and a superb light bossa nova, How Insensitive.

But my favourite track on the album is the one that she SHOULD have been singing on that fateful SNL appearance; an incredible stripped back take on the Irish folk song Scarlet Ribbons that is guaranteed to have everyone in tears by the end of it.

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