By Will Hermes
Updated October 11, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

Sinead O’Connor’s had an odd run — from alt-rock goddess and prime-time Pope shredder to freelancing electro-diva (Moby, Conjure One, etc.) and now neo-folkie. Sean-Nos Nua combines gorgeous traditional songs and top players with some powerful singing. Even when ambient-dub arrangements suggest a ganja-smoking Enya, O’Connor’s soaring, slightly parched voice generally cuts through the haze. And between the women-addressed love ballads and the Jamaican/Irish post-colonial subtext, she even pushes political buttons — just like the old days.

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