Saturday, 8 October 2011

Random Review #115 U2 - Boy

C6S7CD6 When I started writing this review I started to think about the ups and downs my relationship with U2 had been through since this their debut in 1980. From then up to and including Achtung Baby in 1991, it was one of those full never look at another woman kind of relationships where you think nothing could ever break you up, everything was perfect, I’d even been blind to the flaws of Rattle and Hum and then Zooropa came along and changed my relationship forever. We broke up badly and although still drawn back for the odd ‘one night stand’ (All That You can’t Leave Behind and How To Dismantle an Automatic Bomb) it finally came to that point where you can’t stand the sight of each other with No Line On The Horizon and the performance at  Glastonbury 2011. Once I have fallen out of love with a band I find it very hard to go back. I was a big fan of Jack Johnson until I saw him live (I use the term loosely) in 2009. I have never bought or played an album since the lifeless performance that made me want to run up and hit him with a surf board just to liven things up. Call me fickle but that’s how it is with me. So I have to say it was with some intrepidation that  I revisited this passed love. How would I feel?

Well it’s clunky, naive, at times repetitive, and slightly pretentious (they would get a lot worse) but I still love as I did 30 years ago. This is why I loved U2 although they didn’t have a clue what they were talking about they sounded like they wanted to change the world and hit us with everything they had. The opening I will Follow sets the pace, with The Edge’s guitar sounding like a police siren in the intro, Larry seems to want to batter the living daylights out of his drum kick and doesn’t stop until the closing Shadows And Tall Trees. It slows at times, Into The Heart which is nearly all instrumental until the closing of the song, a pattern they replicate on the title tune of their next album October. Other stand out tracks for me are Out Of Control, Another Time Another Place and The Electric Co. Which have a pace and intensity that would become their trademark for many years.

I’m glad this process has made me listen to this album again as after their performance at Glastonbury this year I questioned what I had been doing hanging round with U2 for all those years but this reminds me of all the good things about my early relationship with U2 glorious, anthems that demand to be played delivered with an innocent of youth that belied their youth. It was good while it lasted.

Mark 8/10 

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