Sinead O’Connor: I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss

sinead o'connor

Iconic, Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter, Sinead O’Connor, is back with her tenth studio album. But is it any good? Let’s find out:

It’s been more than seven hours and fifteen days since I’ve truly sat down to listen to Sinead O’Connor, but I am glad I made the decision, because it is dredging up all kinds of nostalgia for the 1990s and early 2000s. Yes – a time where I’d be sitting in the back of my mum’s second hand BMW with my brother as she, recently divorced, would drive around to those heart-churning ballads that I now fondly associate with single mothers and their happy-go-lucky attitude towards their new sense of freedom.

The entry title “How About I Be Me” reminds me a little of a late 90s slow driving empowerment ballad: you know, the one you play when you’re dreading going to work so have to lull yourself into a false sense of happiness as you illegally fang it along in the transit lane, humming and pouring out all your feelings into the stale, slightly musky air of your car.

Furthermore, there is something very ‘rocking around the kitchen in the morning in your pencil skirt with a slice of toast in your mouth as you dash out the door’ about the album. A friend perfectly summed up the feel of the new release with this image: “Soft, but still quite ‘rock’. Like a vibrating silk glove over an iron fist.” And she is absolutely right. It’s sugar-coated real-talk (how much more of an oxymoron can that be?): an ode, even, to ongoing feminine attitudes of love and life. It has gumption and experience behind it, and I quite like the honest and dynamic approach that O’Connor reveals as the album continues on in rises and falls.

I feel as though if Dido, Macy Gray, Heather Small and Toni Childs got together and talked after a night of drinking cocktails and dancing in a community centre in North Melbourne, and finally ending up at a kebab shop, sharing a large Diet Coke with multiple straws and talking about their feelings, the result would be this album. And I’m not even mad. Not one bit.

I’ve thrown you a whole lot of analogies and quips, but I’m going to leave you with one last pointer: you need to walk into the situation of listening to I’m not Bossy, I’m the Boss without prejudice against music that isn’t along the limb-bending antics of Alt-J or Yeasayer. It has strong, punchy melodies, and is just all round, no-frills, good tunes. So cut off your shirt sleeves, shave your head, jump in your dual cab ute with your two kids in the back and go for a drive to O’Connor’s with no regrets. Nothing will compare to it, I promise.

“I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss” is out now via Nettwerk / Inertia.

ruth hodge


Review by Ruth Hodge