Wednesday, April 23, 2008

why i love u2 (part II)

(Joshua Masayoshi Huff) Here's the second part of my u2 post. Before you u2 fans get all worked up and say "Where's 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' or 'Beautiful Day' or 'One' "--know that those are great songs that I feel are a) overrated b) beloved enough The following are songs that have stuck with me that I feel people need to acquaint themselves with.

"Where the Streets Have No Name"
The synth swells at the beginning send chills down my spine every time I listen to this song...and the closing lines are among my favorite ever committed to tape: "Where the streets have no name Where the streets have no name We're still building Then burning down love, Burning down love And when I go there I go there with you It's all I can do Our love turns to rust We're beaten and blown by the wind Blown by the wind Oh yes, in dust See our love turn to rust And we're beaten and blown by the wind Blown by the wind Oh, when I go there I go there with you It's all I can do" Bono has a way of sending out the softest, most poignant lines and just absolutely destroying everything around him (in a good way). The "it's all I can do" is so earth-jarringly destructive and lovelorn that all one can really do is sigh--and the Edge's delayed guitar is really the perfect backdrop for said destruction. And, if you want to read into it--the song is said to be about developing nations or heaven. Whichever. Bono is versatile, you know?


"Sweetest Thing"
Again, depending on who you believe, this song may or may not be a song for Bono's wife, written when he forgot her birthday. This is an incredibly beautiful song
And check out this cool lego version of the video.


"Stay (Faraway, So Close!)"
I feel that this is a great exercise in storytelling--less of a song and more of a vignette. And, the contradictions that Bono favors-- close--are apparent in the title itself. Bono's "ooohhhhhh" wailing also gives me the shivers every time this song gets played. And, the song's closing, with: " Three o'clock in the morning It's quiet and there's no one around Just the bang and the clatter As an angel runs to ground Just the bang and the clatter As an angel hits the ground" with the bang is just such a beautifully understated way to end such an unassumingly pretty song.


"With or Without You"
I feel that it's appropriate to end with this one, because it's among my favorite songs ever. I told my mom (at a young age) that I wanted this to be played at my wedding. I mean, it's not the most positive of songs, but it's just so moving. Again, the song is built on nothing more than light bass and the Edge playing an ebow (come on, you know Sigur Ros are huge u2 fans). I'd like to think Bono's singing for the girl he just can't live without (and, sometimes, can't live with), but others say it's a very religious piece. Again, whatever--that's what makes art great: it becomes whatever the beholder wants it to be and lends itself to that perfectly. Utada Hikaru did a really pretty version of this song as well.

And there you have it. Now, if you really didn't enjoy the songs (but actually listened to them), I'll have no problem if you completely write u2 off.
it's all i can do.