With her Pope-pic-ripping days but a memory, Sinead O'Connor now delivers one of her finest albums to date—and she's done it by going back to her cultural roots.

With her Pope-pic-ripping days but a memory, Sinead O'Connor now delivers one of her finest albums to date—and she's done it by going back to her cultural roots. This collection of traditional Irish songs, which she aimed to "sexy up" (the album title translates to "old style but new"), is, simply, soul- touching. From the plaintively beautiful opener "Peggy Gordon" to the agonized song of war "Paddy's Lament"—featuring the singer's soaring elegiac wails—to the gentle Oirish jig "I'll Tell Me Ma" (which closes the disc with the winking line "Please won't you tell me, who is she?"), O'Connor has understandably never sounded so comfortable and at home. Sean-Nós Nua may not propel O'Connor back to the superstar ranks, but after the lean times that followed the success of I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, it will likely re-affirm her status as an important and talented artist.—AZ