If you've seen U2's first video off their latest album, Pop and you're
a U2 fan, you're probably asking yourself: what's going on here? You've
been waiting for four long years for a new U2 album and this is what
you get: the four boys (now in their thirties) wearing polyester pants,
tight T-shirts and sunglasses. In the last sequence, we see all four
wearing Village People uniforms, thrusting their pelvises in the same
direction. Lights blinking, different colours every half seconds,
glittering disco balls, a glittering guitar, a girl dancing wildly
over the guitarist (sprawled on his back). And the music? Guitar distortions
right and left, weird tech no sounds in the background, inane lyrics.
Is this a botched attempt by one of the world's leading rock bands
to look young?
'Hey man, relax!" you want to shout at me. All right, maybe you should.
I admit, the song does have a catchy tune but you should take into
consideration that I have been waiting four years for a "classic"
to come out. OK, back to the album; let's say that you've just bought
it. You run back home and pop it in your Bang & Olufsen CD player
(with Bose speakers)- I wish You skip over track one ( Discotheque).
Track #2 sounds OK: Bono talking to an imaginary lover/friend about
being loved; the music's not too bad. Track #3 is entitled "Mofo"
and is all techpo rhythms & drum'n bass. U2 have never done anything
like it before. It's new, interesting but quite artificial. '"ou can
definitely hear the influence of techno DO, Ilowle B, who helped record
and mix the album, here comes track #4: "If God will send his angels".
You close you eyes in dread of what you're going to hear next.., but
hey! this stuff actually sounds like vintage, classic, original 1J2.
Yes!!! this is it! We're back in business:' Track #5 "Staring at the
sun" starts off like a Santana tune and turns out pretty well, as
do the next two tracks "last night on liarth" and "Gone". Song #8
"Miami" is just plain strange, please believe me on this one... '-"he
l)layboy Mansion" is really excellent (I'm serious this time). Track
#-O "If you wear that Velvet Dress" Is slow, sensual and sometimes
jazzy; it even reminds me of Gershwin's "Summertime". The eleventh
song "Please" gives the impression that it was written/composed when
the author was on acid/alcohol; that's what actually makes it good.
The last song "Wake up dead Man" leaves a similar Impression except
that it sounds too vain: Bono pleading for the "dead man" to wake
up while referring to Jesus every other line. (By the way, the album
is replete with references to God and Jesus.)
OK, so it isn't as bad as It started out. I just think that the boys
are trying too hard to look/sound young and authentic.