Ed Power is a music reviewer and, over the years, he’s had a few testy run-ins with musicians who took issues with some of his reviews of their work, he writes in an amusing essay for Slate. But none of them compare to a phone call he received from Sinead O’Connor last year. He was jogging when his phone buzzed, he writes, and when he answered, the singer was on the other end of the line. She was calling to give him a piece of her mind about some articles Power had written about her latest album. What was surprising to him, though, was that he’d given her a good review. As she went on, O’Connor explained that the favorable review had implied that much of her previous work wasn’t up to snuff. So, the eccentric singer, who’s recently clashed with Rolling Stone and once got herself banned from SNL for tearing up a photo of the pope on live TV, challenged Power to go back and listen to her entire music catalogue. If, after some careful listening, his mind was changed about her previous work, she proposed, he would owe her a Happy Meal from McDonald’s. Intrigued by the unusual offer, Power threw himself into all of O’Connor’s 128 studio tracks.
Read the full story and find out who won the bet at Slate.