Chosen by Mick
INTRO (from Wiki)
The Lion and the Cobra is the debut album by Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor, released on 4 November 1987 by Ensign and Chrysalis Records. O’Connor recorded the album while heavily pregnant with her first child. The title of the album is from Psalm 91:13 “you will tread upon the lion and cobra”, and the track “Never Get Old” opens with an Irish language recital of Psalm 91 by singer Enya. The photograph of O’Connor on the album cover was taken by Haysi Fantayzee member Kate Garner. The covers of the United States and Canada issues differed from the European release, as it was decided a more subdued pose would present a “softer” image of O’Connor.
E.P. – “Loved the album. Lots on there to like. Good opener which plays to the power of her voice. Always loved Mandinka, favourite song of hers. Jerusalem is excellent too. I loved Troy as well with the violins. Drink Before the War very much get the Fever Ray vibe off that one.
Wasn’t too pushed on I Want Your (Hands on Me), sounds very 80’s, which I know the album is, but just sounds dated to me now. Also thought Just Call Me Joe was pretty forgettable.
Overall great album though. She’s brilliant, just that’s she as mad as a bag of hammers.”
Ice – “Only knowing two of Sinéad’s songs I was interested in listening to this one. It kicked off with Jackie, and I liked injection of sternness in her voice and guitar in the background. With Mandinka I can see how this is so well known as it is more of a commercial tune. Great hit, I remember this from yeas ago like everything about it.
Jerusalem was funky but a bit of a weird tune, not really for me. Just Like U Said It Would B is an interesting song, the accordion is cool! I liked the addition of different instruments and paces verse by verse. Strong finish, great tune!
Never Get Old – Love the eerie feeling of this song, has a Celtic feel to it with the drum in the background getting under my skin, then OHH-OHH-OHHHHH! BOOOOOM, YEAH! She smashes the vocal out of the park! Super! Gets 2nd spot for me.
Troy gets 1st spot. I like the backing music at the start, then the addition of orchestra was a great touch. I loved it growing in intensity into a super tune lyrically & musically.
I Want Your (Hands on Me) started well but then the rap came along which ruined it for me, shame. Drink Before the War was easy listening, good chorus, decent lyrics. She said Just Call Me Joe. No, I won’t call you Joe cause you ended with this song which I thought was prob the worst on the album.
Overall thanks for the nomination, I didn’t mention her vocals on each song as I think she is an amazing vocalist throughout. She showcased her range across different sound types very well. I really enjoyed this album and have saved Never Get Old and Troy to my playlist. Cheers!”
Spud – “Really enjoyed listening to this during the week. It’s a great pop album, but with an edge.
Mandinka is the only song I knew. Even though it’s quite poppy, it’s still a great tune! It kinda reminded a bit of the B-52’s or something with the 80’s feel.
Jerusalem is brilliant and probably my favourite song. Starts off slow and gentle and then you get hit with the funk and the attitude in her voice – love it! I think this and I Want Your (Hands On Me), which I also liked, had a little Prince inspiration.
Never Get Old was a bit too ‘churchy’ for me in the beginning but I did like the strong finish. Similarly, Troy takes a long time to get going but those last 2 minutes are quality! The strings and repetitive tambourine work brilliantly with more of those edgy vocals.
Her voice is so good, it made me like the songs I thought I didn’t like. You just keep getting drawn back in. And ending on Just Call Me Joe just made me want to listen more.”
Sol – “Glad you put this one up for all of us. I’ve always been a fan of hers and have gone through a lot of her stuff over the years. She is incredibly talented, albeit as crazy as fuck! But in hindsight, she stood up against church ruling (later to become a nun though) and for women’s rights. Too outspoken for the commercial side, she could have been a global superstar.
Anyways, back to the album, not one tune I felt I had to definitely skip by. I’ll start with Jackie: great intro to the album – her haunting voice along with the building guitar in the background.
Mandinka: classic 80’s tune that will never grow old, simple pop song with a catchy chorus.
Jerusalem: love the 80’s style keyboards, and I have to be honest I found myself mimicking the Jerrrruuuussssalem bit out loud!
Just Like U Said It Would B: I could see how this style of hers would have influenced The Cranberries, it wouldn’t be my one of my favourite songs in the album though.
Never Get Old: didn’t enjoy this one as much, however, it really shows of her range plus her ‘sean-nós’ style ability. The first time I listened to it, it scared the gick outta me on the bus into work when she raised her voice!
Troy: what a gem, 100% my favourite song on this album, the violins and her voice are made for each other. I love her passion throughout this one, someone really pissed this bitch off!
Agree with Pynser about I Want Your (Hands on Me) – very 80’s but not aged as well as Mandinka, too repetitive also. I would have preferred some similar to follow on from Troy.
Drink Before the War: prefer this style of hers, back to the haunting melodies, probably my 2nd fav on the album.
Just Call Me Joe: a bit forgettable, the guitar actually overpowered her voice considering it’s not one she belts out.
All in all really enjoyed the album. One thing I’d mark against it is the arrangement of songs on it, but I know it’s a debut album so we’ll forgive her.”
Molly – “I liked this a lot. Lots of good songs. Her voice is amazing! Like a few of you, Mandinka is my favorite tune! Classic stuff!
I liked I Want Your (Hands on Me) – reminded me a bit of Steve Windwood! Jackie is a great opening tune, really shows the power in her voice. Overall impressed but not something I’d go back to over and over again but well worth the listen. I’d say 7 out of 10.”
Clarkey – “Jackie: loved the 80’s guitar sound. The raw slow sound with great effects. Really reminds me of Aslan’s album Goodbye Charlie Moorhead. Check this out if you like this kinda sound. Her voice is amazing obviously.
Mandinka: has always been my favourite Sinéad song. The drums and guitar work really well together in this and then the little bit of piano that only comes in to emphasise the chorus is class. The height she gets on her voice in the chorus is deadly. If you haven’t seen her do it live on YouTube from the Grammy’s, you need to check it out. Pure shivers.
Jerusalem: again like the first song Jackie, great 80’s sound from it. Absolutely love the guitar effects in this one. The lyrics are pretty cool but like Mandinka and a lot of her songs, she’s having a good protest! The instruments coming in so strong for certain words demonstrating her views.
Just Like U Said It Would B: song is decent, she is having a great rant in this one for sure. Still not a bad song and I like the strings she has in it.
Never Gets Old: actually really like this song. Lyrics are amazing – story of life for almost everyone in many aspects. It has a mythical kinda ending which I think is signifying the ending of life. Didn’t realise she did a song with Enya. Two great voices!
Troy: her voice in this is again excellent and the instruments emphasise the lyrics very well again. The start is a bit slow but is obviously needed for the impact crescendoing thing it does for the last verse. Dunno if crescendoing is a word but there ya go.
I Want Your (Hands on Me): could see Axel Foley rocking around to this in Beverley Hills Cop. Not my favourite song on the album.
Drink Before the War: lyrically very strong and love the meaning. Many people fall down dark roads and it speaks very well about the battle. Especially her, you can see she could see it coming so quite sad
Just Call Me Joe: not a fan of this one.
Overall: obviously her voice is amazing and never going to let you down. I loved the 80’s sound to a lot of it and the guitar with it. The meanings behind some of the lyrics that I interpreted anyway I thought was amazing. Some very similar songs which was disappointing but overall for me a strong album. I’ll give it a good 8/10.”
★ Agree/disagree? Let us know in the comments below ★
SONGS ADDED TO THE MUSIC NIGHTS SPOTIFY PLAYLIST:
How To Be A Human Being by Glass Animals
Listen along with us for the week and check out our reviews next Sunday!