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Throw Down Your Arms

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Editors’ Notes

With all her notoriety, it’s easy to forget that Sinéad O’Connor is at heart a singer possessed with a singularly expressive voice, one that carries with it a sense of weeping in its tremulous brilliance. This is never more in evidence than with Throw Down Your Arms, her collection of roots reggae classics by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Lee “Scratch” Perry, and others. Recorded in Jamaica during the spring of 2005 with the legendary Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare producing, this album also features an all-star line-up of reggae greats lending instrumental expertise. Sly & Robbie bring out O’Connor’s emotive strengths, settling for minimal arrangements that allow her to reach that rare solemnity that informs her strongest work. O’Connor is, after all, that rare vocalist who can perform a cappella and still be completely captivating. The opening track, Winston Rodney’s “Jah Nuh Dead,” is nearly bare, while Perry’s “Curly Locks” is nicely accented with a sympathetic harmony vocal ensemble. A fine album, and especially welcome from an artist who’s already proclaimed her retirement more than once.

Customer Reviews

Irie roots music, glad to hear it.

Fans of Roots Reggae will be very satisfied with this album. Sinead's voice works great with reggae music. I was surprised to find so many Burning Spear songs covered and even more surprised at how much I enjoy listening to them! “Door Peep” and “He Prayed” are two of the highlights of this solid recording. There are no pop elements or orchestrations one might expect from a non-reggae artist. This is honest-to-Jah music and I look forward to a dub remix follow-up.

Welcome back Sinead

Few of Sinead’s recordings are this gentle and genuine. Sinead has sublimated the Drama Queen in favor of the dreadlock. The talent and voice are there, but so is the music, and it’s the balance between the two that will make this disc a quiet classic. Try Cut 9 to get an idea of this island affair. It’s background soul food with a squeeze of the lime, and as such is a welcome trip to Ireland’s lost tropics. The fact that these mostly gentle breezes are also anti-war songs is simply sauce for the curried goat. (full review @ my handle)

She's Always Controversial, but Always Amazing, too!

Now, granted, I consider myself a Sinead fanatic, so of course I purchased this album the day it came out, but to be honest I wasn't expecting much from "Throw Down Your Arms." I was sorely mistaken! This is a very strong album of great Jamacian/Reggae songs! Sinead's voice goes very well with Reggae, which might seem like an odd statement, but check out "Prophet Has Arise" and "Marcus Garvey." She also does a nice cover of Marley's "War." If you like Sinead, you'll probably purchase this anyway. However, if you want to hear some beautifully arranged, simple yet full-of-substance reggae, give it a listen. You won't be disappointed.


Born: December 8, 1966 in Dublin, Ireland

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Sinéad O'Connor ranked among the most distinctive and controversial pop music stars of the alternative era, the first and in many ways, the most influential of the numerous female performers whose music dominated airwaves throughout the last decade of the 20th century. Brash and outspoken -- her shaved head, angry visage, and shapeless wardrobe a direct challenge to popular culture's long-prevailing notions of femininity and sexuality -- O'Connor irrevocably altered the image of women in rock; railing...
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