Monday, August 8, 2011

#139 All That You Can't Leave Behind - U2

When I played this album bright and early Sunday morning it brought me straight back to the 9th grade.  It brought me back to my bathroom mirror getting "ready for school" and my adolescent morning rituals of listening to our local music stations "The Beach 96.5" and "The Planet 102.3" while applying make- up and taking it off because I felt too weird wearing it.  Awkward.  Glad I'm 11 years older now and suffering through my quarter life crisis and sounding like a real blogger by bitching about how terrible it is to be turning 25 on Sunday.  boo-hoo.  Not that you care.

Anyway, I loved "Beautiful Day" for the first month it was overplayed.  Then it was overplayed some more.  then it was overplayed more than that "Closing Time" song by Semisonic the year before.  Or Mambo #5.  And in case you forgot about Mambo #5 this song did actually happen; and the only reason I remember it is because of the line "little bit of Monica" and this was a year after our president taught all we *innocent* 7th graders what a blow job was.  Great man, that Bill.  He alone allowed us to ask our Social Studies teachers what "Oral Sex" was over and over and over and over.  Uncomfortable.  Anywho back to U2.

 "Beautiful Day" was so overplayed I STOPPED listening to the radio and graduated to napster like everyone else.  I'm always a bit behind on the music uptake if you haven't noticed so far.  And now nobody listens to the radio.  But around Christmas time, I used to call The Beach or The Planet and say:  "Hey, 'Beautiful Day' was awesome until you played it for the 3rd time this morning.  I can't apply and take off mascara to this."  and i'd get responses like "shut the f*ck up, you're 14.  You don't understand the epic awesomeness of Bono."

And I sort of didn't until now.

I really enjoyed this album.  After having not heard "Beautiful Day" and some of the other songs on there for many years it was great to hear them with fresher (albeit older) ears.  The album is upbeat, positive, and sends a message I found eerily similar to the one in Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side of the Moon" even though- U2 spins it and makes the world sunny and bright instead of "moony?" and "cratery?"  I could be totally pulling this out of my ass, but "Walk on" and "Eclipse" provoked similar feelings in me.  I can't tell if there are similarities, I mean, golly, it's a tough call:

The end of "Walk On" by U2:
Leave it behind
You got to leave it behind
All that you fashion
All that you make
All that you build
All that you break
All that you measure
All that you feel
All this you can leave behind
All that you reason
All that you sense
All that you speak
All you dress-up
All that you scheme...

A Portion "Eclipse" by PF:
All that you touch
And all that you see
All that you taste
All you feel
And all that you love
And all that you hate
All you distrust
All you save
And all that you give
And all that you deal
And all that you buy
Beg, borrow or steal
And all you create
And all you destroy
And all that you do
And all that you say
And all that you eat
And everyone you meet
And all that you slight 

But, I mean, who would borrow or steal from Pink Floyd?  Isn't that like a sin?  So clearly they were both tapping into the lyrical genius in the collective consciousness.  Which now after hearing both bands, is totally possible.  Are you picking up on the sarcasm and the celebration of EPIC AWESOMENESS at the same time?  I hope so, because I'm laying both down pretty hard. And that's kind of a hard thing to process if you're not a fledgling music snob like myself. (I don't want angry emails, I kid.  and recognize that i made almost no real connection between the two bands.)

Some say that U2 is too generic or formulaic.  Others say that they are the best band of the last 20 years or so.  I have friends in both categories, and I think both have some truth in them.  At least in this album because "All That You Can't Leave Behind" provokes happiness that can't be ignored.  Kinda like what those people who listen to serious christian music look like they feel.  if you're in to that creepy sort of thing.

I liked it; And I'll save it for a day when I feel like I have just reached the Dark Side of the Moon.

Bono, I know that the Matrix was King in 1999, but you and your little band didn't have to go and steal Morpheus and Neo's outfits too.

"Our best work has been in our thirties," Bono told Rolling Stone in 2000. "We did some good work in our twenties, but it's getting better." U2's tenth album proved him right. Their previous effort, 1997's Pop, was under-realized; All That You Can't Leave Behind brought things back to essentials. The songs grapple with mortality — particularly the gospel-soul ballad "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of" — and take on new resonance after September 11th. U2 bravely embraced those resonances the following October with a U.S. tour full of ecstasy, mourning and release.

No comments:

Post a Comment