(Top 101) #22. Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinead O’ Connor

June 30, 2011

Well, I’m back.  How’ve you all been?

As for me, I’ve dedicated the last several months of my life to being the best university teacher (I don’t feel comfortable calling myself a professor without a ph.D) that I can be.  Ultimately, I’m proud to say that I can call my first semester a fairly roaring success.  I got to look at my students’ evaluations this week, and they were quite splendid, if I can say so myself, and it made all the hard work worthwhile.  Now I get two months off (paid, oh yeah!) to recharge my batteries, get back to work on my novel-to-be, return to the gym, and just decompress all around.

And of course, I now have some time to return to my Countdown.  And today’s return entry takes us back to 1990, a time when an Irish lass with a shaved head crashed into the pop culture landscape in a big, incendiary way.  That lass is of course the one and only Sinead O’ Connor.

Armed with an emotion-packed voice and a penchant for confrontation (the “enemies” she took on ranged from MC Hammer to Frank Sinatra to the Pope!!!), she caused a lot of trouble and brought on a hailstorm of criticism upon herself.  But now twenty years have gone by, and what remains more than anything is her music.  And no matter what you may have thought of her back then, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got remains a timeless masterpiece, an album brimming with strength, pain, and intelligence, highlighted by “Nothing Compares 2 U,” a song that would have been kitschy by almost any other artist.  Miraculously, Sinead dug deep within her personal pain to turn Prince’s bordering-on-silly lyrics into a primal howl of pain.  It’s a song from a wounded animal, singing from a place of honesty where only those who have nothing left to lose roam.

I went to a doctor, and guess what he told me

He said, Girl you better try to have some fun

But he’s a fool

Cause nothing compares to you

22. Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinead O’Connor