Monday, August 2, 2010

Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinead O’Connor

Two single tears falling down the face of an angel.

Sinead O’Connor in the music video for “Northing Compares 2 U” is one of the most striking, powerful and unforgettable images in popular music.



This video features a close-up of O’Conner’s face singing with only a couple interjections of her walking around Paris.  There’s no gimmicks her just Sinead. When she looks into the camera it’s like she’s looking straight at you and as the intensity builds and when she cries (4:00 in) you feel like she is in the room with you breaking down.

“Nothing Compares 2 U” was originally written by Prince and it makes perfect sense when you hear him perform it.



This song features Prince’s soulful melodies and characteristically quirky but personal lyrics. People argue about which version is better and while this debate is interesting both artists have very different approaches. Prince takes this more as gospel song and an expression of love while Sinead makes it a more personal expression of anguish.

As much as Sinead’s striking beauty attracted people to her music video, it was her voice that was truly remarkable. Everything about the production puts the focus squarely on the voice of Sinead O’Conner. While there are subtle and interesting nuances in the organic and gently progression of the harmony the washed out musical landscape never draws attention to itself.

There are bluesy notes that Sinead almost gnarls through and there are also angelic high notes that she floats up to. She does it all using different colors and shades in her tone.  While this performance was rehearsed and practiced it comes across simply as effortless expression.

Almost thirty years after it’s original release Sinead O’Connor performed “Nothing Compares 2 U” in Belgium.



O’Connor said that she didn’t want to be successful because of her beauty which is why she originally cut her hair short. Well, she was still a beauty even without hair in 1990 when released “Northing Compares 2 U.”

No longer the young girl with the angelic face and the teardrops, Sinead now gets her wish and proves to all of us what a great artist without any of those things. And while it may seems a trite way to conclude, it’s true, nothing really compares Sinead O’Connor.

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