Sinead O’Connor – The Lion and the Cobra – Our Shootout Winner from 2014

xxxxx

A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

Big and lively on both sides, and that’s the sound you want. All her early records are hard to find in clean condition these days. 

Side Two

A++, big, open and clear, with breathy vocals. So spacious! A little more weight would have earned this one a White Hot Stamper grade!

Side One

A+ to A++, big and lively, but a bit of smear and congestion compared to side two.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Jackie
Mandinka
Jerusalem
Just Like U Said It Would B
Never Get Old

Side Two

Troy
I Want Your (Hands on Me)
Drink Before the War
Just Call Me Joe

AMG  Review

Sinéad O’Connor’s debut, The Lion and the Cobra, was a sensation upon its 1987 release, and it remains a distinctive record, finding a major talent striving to achieve her own voice. Like many debuts, it’s entirely possible to hear her influences, from Peter Gabriel to Prince and contemporary rap, but what’s striking about the record is how she synthesizes these into her own sound — an eerie, expansive sound heavy on atmosphere and tortured passion.

If the album occasionally sinks into its own atmospheric murk a little too often, she pulls everything back into focus with songs as bracing as the hard-rocking “Mandinka” or the sexy hip-hop of “I Want Your (Hands on Me).” Still, those ethereal soundscapes are every bit as enticing as the direct material, since “Troy,” “Jackie,” and “Jerusalem” are compelling because of their hushed, quiet intensity.

It’s not a perfect album, since it can succumb to uneven pacing, but it’s a thoroughly impressive debut — and it’s all the more impressive when you realize she only topped it with its immediate successor, before losing all focus.