[sic] Magazine

Nothing compares and nothing needs comparing.

Nothing compares and nothing needs comparing. – remembering Sinéad O’Connor my way.

A bit of a two-parter, this_

When news broke of the untimely death of Sinéad O’Connor last week, the music industry, fans and the wider public in general were left shocked and stunned. Tributes poured out to a ‘wildly talented’ but ‘troubled’ artist. Hit songs were played morning, noon and night. Obituaries were penned and tears doubtless shed.

Then things took a turn.

What followed was a kind of media tug of war comprising moralising, mansplaining and one-upmanship. She wasn’t “fearless” she was “vulnerable”, said one person. She wasn’t “troubled” she was ….(insert observation of choice), said someone else, yearning to look clever. As if we all knew Sinéads life in intimate detail.

Some of course did know Sinéad. Others took the opportunity to take to their own soapboxes. Morrisseys passionate (but seemingly rushed) blog suggests that we should have celebrated Sinéad thus while she still lived. Those tributes, eulogies and all round words of kindness should have been presented to the singer when she needed them the most. Not after her death.

Moz has a point, don’t you think? Except …..not really. Can you honestly imagine a similarly heartfelt tribute to an artist who is very much still with us?

‘Oh, I just wanted you to hear it now. Not wait until ….you know….afterwards.’

Imagine how sinister that would be.

I understand Morrisseys’ wider point. I do. I get it. However, kindness shouldn’t simply be a binary proposition.

Should we show kindness, a) in life or b) after death? Tick one only.

Erm, what? How about all of the time!

Actually what Morrissey is really doing is projecting. He is trying to equate his own experiences with those of O’Connor. (Don’t try to make it about you Stephen!) Plus he is choosing to overlook a little something called normal human behaviour. It is normal for media outlets to publish something when someone famous passes. It is human for such articles to be both praiseworthy and sensitive to the truths around that persons life. None of this is “insultingly stupid” when you really think about it. The Guardian isn’t suddenly going to rip into Sinéads reggae period (a made up example) is it. Neither are other celebrities. Not on the day after she passes away. They are, after all, human…

… and they need to be loved. Just like anybody else.

A fuller picture will emerge. There’s a natural order to such dissemination. So why try to turn a celebrity death into some kind of a competition?

‘Oh I knew Sinéad better than you.’

‘Good for you. Perhaps you were able to help her then?’

We live in the era of social media. That’s why this is happening. We live in a moment where extreme viewpoints are favoured over reasoned, moderate thought. Their algorithms encourage outrage over reasonable discussion which will, of course, sink like a stone. Thus, praising Sinéad will garner ‘likes’, ‘comments’ and ‘shares’ on whatever dismal platform you happen to favour. Being the most extreme or famous exponent of this will get you the most interactions of all. Likewise, the opposite. Condemn her (or someone else) savagely and watch those reactions fly! Any publicity is good publicity, right? Whereas thoughtful, considered, balanced content will gain no traction whatsoever.

The biggest turds will always float to the top. All that eventually remains, all that is visible to your regular Joe, using FaceSpace, Twatter (or whatever), is this absurd polarising.

Team love or team hate? Make your choice, folks.

I cannot be the only one who finds this frustrating. Nobody listens anymore. We need to listen to each other. People are simply waiting to argue back. This is one of the main drawbacks of this social media age, – the death of conversation and the burial of reason. The fact that we ended up with both Trump and Brexit is due in large part to social media.

We aren’t going to do any of that here. Search elsewhere if you haven’t already done so. There are some good articles out there. We don’t typically do obituaries anyway. Those often feel a bit like coat tailing. Where’s the added value in [sic] Magazine adding one more obituary?

What we will do is shine a light on some of her music. That’s our real value proposition. Sinéad O’Connor was brilliant but there was a lot more to her than Nothing Compares 2 U. After all, you don’t get to work with Massive Attack without a distinctive and authentic voice. Please don’t get me wrong here. Nothing Compares 2 U is a great song. Or perhaps I should say, a perfectly serviceable Prince song elevated to a whole other level by Sinéads vocal performance. It’s how she goes from a coo to a yelp that does it for me. However, she has sung plenty of better songs than Nothing Compares…. So, on the off chance that you’re here for something different, let’s give you exactly that.

Here are six songs that showcase Sinéad O’Connor perfectly. I could easily put sixty six but if you’re feeling it with these you’ll go discover plenty more, I’m certain.

Please remember Sinéad in however fashion you see fit. Don’t be guilt/shamed out of that by anybody, however high profile.

I hope you enjoy something here.