Sinead O’Connor — “No Man’s Woman”
(from Faith and Courage) — No Man's Woman - Faith and Courage

I always find it interesting when artists make decisions and/or arrange their choices in such a fashion that a toxic mythology forms around them, and the tale begins to supersede the talent. (Think Prince changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol, think Britney’s apeshit antics, think Michael’s difficult-to-justify fascination with minor male children, think Kanye’s hilariously blowsy hubris.) Nobody in the know has ever doubted Sinead’s abilities as a profound performer, but over time, regardless of whether or not she purposely set out to accomplish just this, the mention of her name has slowly become its own punchline: the starkly shaved head, the infamous ripping-up-the-Pope’s-photograph-on-live-television incident, deciding that she’s a lesbian, and then re-deciding she isn’t. The music has stayed fiercely compelling, but the impact of its message (not to mention, her credibility as an artist) has become so mangled and muddled by her herky-jerky insanity. And no fewer than one fan (me me me me me) feels that her catalog of material deserves a legacy properly befitting its rich, riveting brilliance.

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