's fourth album, released in 1994
. Dedicated to the Goddess
, this is Sinead's most straightforward "protest album". It opens with a snippet of a 1970 speech by Germaine Greer
, and proceeds to take on the subjects of child abuse, the Irish Famine
, the abandonment of the Goddess, and cruelty to retarded children (this is my interpretation, if anybody knows differently I'll be happy to hear it). While not all the songs are explicitly songs of protest, they are all tinged with grief and outrage.
While a couple of the songs on 'Universal Mother' are some of Sinead's best ever, this is not the first album to buy for your collection. It's rather slow, minor music, and there are a couple of very annoying tracks. Sinead's voice is in top form, and it is by no means a bad album, just not quite as good as her other ones.
- Germaine - recording of a speech by Germaine Greer. Thankfully it isn't too long.
- Fire on Babylon - one of the best songs on the album. A scream with a dub beat. When Sinead screams, it isn't noise. It's music.
- John I Love You - Pick up those dancing shoes, kick off those wedding blues... (Dancing shoes and lessons seem to be big things for S.)
- My Darling Child Me little ninja, me little dancer, me little streetfighter, me little chancer...
- Am I a Human? - you can easily program the CD player to skip this ego trip. This song is sung by her three-year-old son Jake. Gah. (At least she didn't name him Moon Unit!)
- Red Football - watch the volume on this one, after about two minutes Sinead starts shouting "La La La La La La La" at the top of her lungs. Another great song about child abuse and the crocodile at the Dublin Zoo. Yeah.
- All Apologies - a cover of a great Kurt Cobain song. Sinead's soft vocals make this very much her own version, although I like the original as well.
- A Perfect Indian - a daydream. Quiet, solid song. Too long have I been feeling like Lir's children, and there's only one way to be free...
- Scorn Not His Simplicity - written by Phil Coulter, this is a song about "different children". It's beautiful but not exactly Top of the Pops subject matter.
- All Babies - All babies are born saying God's name...
- In This Heart - In this heart lies for you a lark born only for you... (No, I don't know what she's on about either.)
- Tiny Grief Song - a haunting a-capella lament.
- Famine - Best song on the album. Sinead raps about the sad state of Ireland, going back to the Potato Famine (see, the truth is, there never really was one...)
- Thank You for Hearing Me