My minimal knowledge of Sinead O’Connor is her appearance on Saturday Night Live where she tore up a picture of the Pope. I often think of the line she sang at the time, “we are confident in the triumph of good over evil.” It may be the thing she is most famous for, it is in my mind. I actually had to go read her Wikipedia page to find out the songs she is famous for, and learn that the only one I really remember is “Nothing Compares 2 U,” which isn’t even her own song.
So it came as some surprise to me as I read the page that she has had several involvements with U2 over the years. She has done soundtracks with both Edge and Bono (separate ones, that is), including the In The Name Of The Father soundtrack, which I did know Bono was part of. And then she did this song with U2, I’m Not Your Baby, for the soundtrack of a Wim Wenders movie, End Of The Violence, which I’ve never heard of.
It starts with a bunch of seagulls, or at least seagull-like sounds, for reasons I am not at all aware of, but maybe part of the movie? The noises in the back of the song make it sound like it is being sung in front of a live audience, but I don’t think it really is, just some interesting effects. Bono is singing the first part, and then you start to hear Sinead joining in. It’s hard to hear at first, she sings very softly, softly enough that you’re not sure if she’s even singing, but as time goes by she gets louder and clearer, and all of a sudden they’ve switched positions, she’s the dominant one and Bono is sitting in the background for a while. It’s a really interesting way of doing things, I think it sounds good that way, rather than the more sappy kind of “you sing a line, then I’ll sing a line” duets that you usually get. They’re much more involved with each other in the song this way.
Is it a great song? No. Good, yes, but not great. There’s really a lot in it that I suspect I haven’t gotten anywhere near the layers that will be found in it. The music is good but nothing really stands out, although the really noticeable part is the title, which is repeated so many times as to be irritating. But is there a point to the song? If I was to say anything, it would be to say to speak straight to someone, to not couch your language with them. The obvious part is again the title line, “I’m not your baby,” which I think is being said by a person to their significant other, after being called baby by them. One of the verses is clearly about that, anyway. But as I keep reading I think it’s more about relationships, and maybe the idea of getting close to someone and getting a little freaked out about that. But again, what do I know?
My rating for I’m Not Your Baby: 4 / 10