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Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Nothing Compares 2 U"

Sinéad O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U (1989)

I remember being told that this song was about her mother, or her son, after their death. It was written by Prince and it's about post break-up depression.

Alright, starting with the backing track rather than the vocals. This sounds like somebody using a Casio keyboard on the 'strings' setting. Try to ignore the drum track, just focus on the string part. It is completely in unison, only changes on the one or the three, and the three only rarely. The personnel listing includes a conductor, and a line for string arraignments, and no keyboard player so I guess I should give them the benefit of the doubt and say it's a string section, but I just can't. That's a keyboard, and I know I shouldn't care, but I do, it doesn't sound good. The piano part is subtle and rarely used, just like the choir, I like it. I wish I could say the same about the drum part. I swear someone recorded 8 bars and the producer just said 'OK loop it". It's so boring and monotonous. I like the effect of giving this big sweeping almost church-like song a little swing, but let the drums breath man. There is a very brief violin part just before 3:00. It gives us all a break between verses, and we need it, I like it.

Vocally, I've got nothing negative to say. How can you? This woman could sing. She felt this song. More importantly, she makes you feel this song over 20 years later. We need that break around 3:00 because she has given us everything, and we need to breath, but just when we think we can... She gets a little mad, she gets a little crazy, she gets a little accepting, she gets a whole lot of sad in. I can't watch the video, I had to link to something with just the lyrics, her face... You just want to pick her up and hold her. Not that she ever wanted protection, but here, before the storm was unleashed, before Sinatra and Madonna and a Madison Square Garden full of people told her to go to hell, you just want to say 'I remember this, and thank you'.

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