Gospel Oak's first track, "This Is to Mother You," amounts to both a repentant self-explanation and an earnest, melodic lead into one of Sinéad O'Connor's best recordings. The humble, yet still defiant O'Connor doesn't bury her convictions on this 1997 EP as much as she employs empathy to explain herself and try to reinforce her tattered bonds with friends, fans, and with herself.
I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got became Sinéad O'Connor's popular breakthrough on the strength of the stunning Prince cover "Nothing Compares 2 U," which topped the pop charts for a month. But even its remarkable intimacy wasn't adequate preparation for the harrowing confessionals that composed the majority of the album…
The emergence of Chris Connor as a singer began when Stan Kenton engaged her as his featured orchestra vocalist in 1953. With her uncanny vocal resemblance to June Christy, she immediately burst onto the national scene. Tall, blonde Chris was becoming one of the select corps of younger girl vocalists, and in the fall of that year she left the bandleader and beganbuilding a reputation as a single on the eastern club circuit, soon signing an exclusive contract with the then-new Bethlehem Records label.
On the surface, Believe It! is standard-issue bar-band blues-rock, but it is distinguished by Joanna Connor's passion for the music. Connor believes in the music so much, it can't help but appear in the grooves every once in a while. In particular, her guitar playing is noteworthy – it's tough, greasy, and powerful. Believe It! suffers from a lack of memorable songs – she's still trying to develop a distinctive songwriting voice – but Connor's strong performances carry the album through any weak moments.