Sinead O’Connor, Theology

Alan Light

By Alan Light

on 04.22.11 in Reviews


Sinead O'Connor
Pan-spiritual songstress returns with a genre-spanning double disc set.

It's been twenty years since Sinead O'Connor's dazzling debut, The Lion and the Cobra, and in some ways Theology serves as a summary of her interests and explorations since then. Divided into two discs with different arrangements of (mostly) the same songs — intimate and acoustic on “Dublin Sessions,” fleshed out with a band on “London Sessions” — the album covers Irish folk, roots reggae, classic pop and old-school soul, O'Connor's powerful, passionate voice having modulated over time to a more peaceful, gentle croon. Who but the pan-spiritual O'Connor would put a winning version of “I Don't Know How to Love Him” (from Jesus Christ Superstar) on the same album as a song titled “The Glory of Jah"? Theology would certainly be stronger boiled down to one disc (heavily weighted to the acoustic material), but it's a reminder that two decades on, Sinead O'Connor remains one of music's most fascinating works in progress.