One of the uncomfortable truths of being an artist working in any media is that many times, you have an "expired by" date on your work, whether you like it or not.  It is far more common for someone to have a brief period where they are productive and part of the larger cultural conversation and then that period ends and they drop off the face of the earth than it is for someone to have a career that lasts for decades and decades and decades with them always successfully producing work and reaching their audience.

When Sinead O'Connor released her first few albums, I was as onboard as a person could be.  I still think "The Lion and the Cobra" and "I Do Not What What I Haven't Got" are two of the best records from my teenage years, and I've worn out or lost more copies of both than I can count.  There was a time when I was far more attuned to what was going on in music, and I've had to make my peace with never going to see live music in LA because I have a mortgage and am not prepared to pay scalper prices for every single thing I want to see.  Back in the '90s, I saw Sinead play a few times, and she was always impressive live, with pipes that were as good as they were on her albums if not better.

Lately, she's been better known for her appearances in the tabloid press than her music, but the release of her new album this week should balance that.  It's a return to form for her as an artist, with some of her best confessional writing on display, and with her voice in fine form.  She has always had a way with the lacerating lyric, and there is no one she has turned it on more times than herself.  I've listened to the new one a few times now, and there are several songs that stood out for me, but one in particular that has worked its way deep into my head.  I am gutted that I didn't think to look into live shows until today, only to find that she literally played Los Angeles days ago, and to a fair amount of acclaim.

The new album's got a perfect Sinead title, "How About I Be Me (And You Be You)," loaded with attitude, and today, the one thing I love is the song "Queen Of Denmark," which isn't just a great piece of writing, but also a great piece of production by John Reynolds.  She's always favored a stripped down approach to her sonic backdrops for her songs, and in this case, the music is just as savage and angry as her vocal performance.  And since one of her albums was nothing but covers, and she's had her biggest hit with a cover of a Prince song, it's appropriate that this track, which feels like it could be a page right out of her diary, is actually a cover for a song hat I was unfamiliar with until now by a guy named John Grant.

Here are the lyrics, as well as a live performance of the song from an appearance she made last year:

"I wanted to change the world
But I could not even change my underwear
And when the shit got really really out of hand
I had it all the way up to my hairline
Which keeps receding like my self-confidence
As if I ever had any of that stuff anyway
I hope I didn't destroy your celebration
Or your Bar Mitzvah, birthday party or your Christmas
You put me in this cage and threw away the key
It was this 'us and them' shit that did me in
You tell me that my life is based up on a lie
I casually mention that I pissed in your coffee
I hope you know that all I want from you is sex
To be with someone that looks smashing in athletic wear
And if your haircut isn't right you'll be dismissed
Get your walking papers and you can leave now

Don't know what to want from this world
I really don't know what to want from this world
I don't know what it is you wouldn't want from me
You have no right to want anything from me at all
Why don't you take it out on somebody else?
Why don't you tell somebody else that they're selfish?
Weepy coward and pathetic…

Who's gonna be the one to save me from myself?
You'd better bring a stun gun and perhaps a crowbar
You'd better pack a lunch and get up really early
And you should probably get down on your knees and pray
It's really fun to look embarrassed all the time
Like you could never cut the mustard with the big boys
I really don't know who the fuck you think you are
Can I please see your license and your registration?

Don't know what to want from this world
I really don't know what to want from this world
I don't know what it is you wouldn't want from me
You have no right to want anything from me at all
Why don't you take it out on somebody else?
Why don't you tell somebody else that they're selfish?
Weepy coward and pathetic…

So Jesus hasn't come in here to pick you up
You'll still be sitting here ten years from now
You're just a sucker but we'll see who gets the last laugh
Who knows, maybe you'll be the next queen of Denmark"


Ahhhh, Sinead.  It's been too long, and now that you've confirmed that you can still land your big punches, I hope it's not long before your next album.

ONE THING I LOVE TODAY appears here every day.  Yep.  Every day.