By Mikael Wood
Updated February 24, 2012 at 05:00 AM EST

Lately, O’Connor has attracted less attention for her music than for her tumultuous personal life. (See page 51.) But the singer’s ninth studio album — dig that tabloid-target title — might be the one to shift the focus: Holding forth on marriage and motherhood over pan-global arrangements shaped in part by Adele’s sidemen, she taps the naked intensity of her early days without sacrificing hooks or humor. How About I Be Me (And You Be You)? is a welcome return. B+

Best Tracks:
African-grooved 4th & Vine
Stirring I Had a Baby