Sunday, 8 February 2015

Songs of Innocence - a review of sorts

If you have read much of my Blog over the past few years you will note that there is not a lot of love for U2 around here. In fact it would not be a stretch to say that for all the ying goodness I am so happy to discuss for bands and artists I like, the yang is mostly reserved for U2.

I do not wish to imply that , by bringing in concepts of ying and yang , that there is some sort of balance to this. Balance implies a certain premeditated desire to attribute an even distribution of good and bad so that the end result is not weighted in one way or the other. it can also mean that there is some sort of rationality to the whole thing.

There isn't. To be a fan of music you need no rationality nor should you be concerned in any way if you are not able to find it in your decision making. You like what you like. That is why I am always perfectly comfortable in declaring my unending admiration for the diversity of music I hope that you find on this site.

It also explains away quite succinctly the rest of this post.

U2 have a new album out. you may have heard about how well it went? smirk.

As a long time detractor of that band it has given me a great deal of joy to see that not only have the band stripped bare their festering rancid corporate soul, but that some of the biggest outcries were from people who did no know who they were. Which is fantastic, whilst not exactly bringing hope to the world that people are so devoid of knowledge about the history of music, at least they are yet to be defiled.

I had been asked by a couple of friends what I thought about the album and so I thought I would do a first listen review. Much the same as I did for Justin Beiber - for those of you who want to know how that went please read HERE.

Before I get to the actual album, I want to rant about the Ad that was shown in London.

So, the band and their Corporate sponsor think it is appropriate to put images of The Clash, The Ramones and Patti Smyth in black and white inside the image of the band players. It is an interesting visual effect. offering a juxtaposition against the colorful images on the white back ground. Seriously though, some of the punk protagonists put there as an image for U2 and Apple? How punk, how very alternative and anti establishment they really are. . . it is truly a fucking disgrace and the owners of those images should be ashamed of themselves for selling themselves out.

As for the edge smashing his guitar at the end in an attempt to imitate Joe Strummer, it is laughable how contrived and how out of touch he is to think that we would fall for that. I subsequently learn that the song is called The Miracle (of Joey Ramone) and wonder therefore what the smashing of the guitar has got to do with the Ramones? or Joey?

Just as point as well. Bono keeps losing his guitar throughout the clip. he has it, he loses it completely, he gets it back. its gone again. Great editing and continuity  . . . .

So what is the album actually like?

Well, the first song is apparently a tribute to Joey Ramone. It is extremely hard to tell if it is the writers view point or supposedly Joey's. The Chorus is clearly from the song writers and it is about the waking up moment of hearing a beautiful sound. The song is catchy. Not good, but catchy. As per most U2 stuff it has a wall of noise quiet loud quiet loud idea. Where the singer comes in at a quiet point, and there is a large amount of woo's and waa's and ohh's during the loud chorus bits. It is pretty forgettable stuff frankly. perhaps aimed at the singing into a hairbrush teens than the actual U2 audience.

The next song is called every breaking wave, and it is undoubtedly U2 - so derivative. Actually I think it sounds like a Coldplay song, maybe, I don't know much of their stuff, but it seems very naff. lyrics comparing people to the ocean. The music is a bit like everything and nothing at the same time. Like a sped up version of with or without you, but with some melodies added.

I have had to take a break, actually the break lasted for a few months as you can probably tell from now how much the U2 album has become part of all of our lives. . . or not as I quite happily note. In all serious though, I knew I had this still to write for a while and I am a little disappointed in myself that I only lasted for two songs. I hope that I never have to endure a torture situation as i have decreasingly feeble hopes for lasting it out without providing information.

The truly distressing part is that I have 9 songs to go. Next Song, California (There is no end to love) , not much to write, lots of whoahwooawhoahs and quite loud type of stuff again.
Song for someone - a new try at the heart felt ballad.
Iris (hold me Close) - this has almost the exact same guitar riff as Where the streets have no name. Really it does, I think that the more I listen to The Edge's playing ids that he is very keen on the chugging type of guitar riff. I think this is what gives U2 their signature sound. It is an interesting effect. I think I write before that it provides a song with movement. Lots of notes repeated and put together in close time signatures. i.e. not held for more than a beat, but repeated.

I cant do it guys. I am sorry , I tried, but I write this as a man defeated. Every time a new song comes on I think of songs I would rather be listening to. Mainly this actually.

Search good music people. The interesting stuff does not come from a combined Apple U2 launch and it never will. Deep down you knew this already . .

Appreciate any thoughts you may have.