In 1992, a 25-year-old Dubliner tore up a picture of the pope on Saturday Night Live. In the decades since, Sinéad O’Connor’s outspokenness has been overshadowed only by her unique and potently vulnerable singing. Her voice has maintained its fierceness and grown fuller, richer, less crystalline.
During this week’s three sold-out shows, she supports her 10th release, I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss. On songs that encompass ballads, reggae, pop and symphonic rock, O’Connor continues to parse the many faces of womanhood and chronicle the lustful and lovelorn. Standout cut “Harbour” features “a broken 14-year-old girl” who “hasn’t been allowed to tell what happened in hell.” On the rousing “Take Me to Church,” O’Connor commits to “songs of loving and forgiving / songs of living / songs of calling in the night / the songs of light.”
Whether she’s blogging explicit wishes for a boyfriend or counseling Miley Cyrus about self-respect, O’Connor the individualist often gets the spotlight. Her City Winery sets will showcase O’Connor, the artist—and the soulfulness of songs both new and classic.—Kate Crane