Label: Island Records
This album has been released to very mixed reactions. Some have
heralded it as the band's best effort yet, while others have dismissed
it as further evidence that U2 has become too popular and institutionalized
for its own good. Having liked a couple of the singles released from
the album, though, I expected to enjoy it. And I certainly did.
The sounds used vary widely, and there is a large distance between
this and some of U2's earlier albums. Larry Mullen's programming, drums,
and percussion bring in elements of trip-hop and the diverse electronica
scene over the Edge's guitar, Adam Clayton's bass, and Bono's impassioned
vocals. Those vocals are in fine form, and the lyrics seem to speak
fairly openly of Bono's spiritual position. The music does still
retain elements of earlier U2 work, but has a freshness and a cohesiveness
all its own, from the cynical disco/electronica of "Discotheque" to the
country-tinged "Staring At The Sun."
"If God Will Send His Angels" seems to look at social issues, while
utilizing imagery that many Christians will relate to, in a manner that
might concern them:
God has got his phone off the hook babe would he even pick up
if he could?
it's been a while since we saw that child hangin' round this
see His mother dealing in a doorway see Father Christmas with
a begging bowl
Jesus sister's eyes are a blister... THE HIGH STREET never looked
Jesus never let me down you know Jesus used to show me the score
or from the final track, "Wake Up Dead Man":
then they put Jesus in show business now it's hard to get in
Jesus, I'm waiting here boss
These and other lyrics suggest to me that while Bono might not
be what I'd call an evangelical, he does have a faith in Christ.
As a relative newcomer to the music of U2, I have found this album enjoyable
for the music and interesting for its thoughtful lyrics. There are
places where the music needs more development (which isn't surprising seeing
its experimental nature), but there is much to explore here.
I know you're looking out for us
but maybe your hands aren't free
your Father, he made the world in seven
He's in charge of heaven
will you put a word in for me
By: James Stewart