Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Something that got stuck in my head...

I was driving home tonight when I flicked across a cover of U2's "Seconds" by Rogue Wave and I thought, "Wow, I haven't listened to WAR in forever!" My U2 consumption lately seems to be mostly the last two records and THE JOSHUA TREE (because that is all that is currently on my iPod). So when I sat down to re-ignite the blog with posts I dug out WAR and popped it in and was instantly reminded why this was my favorite record of theirs for a long time.

WAR has the mark of a band making the leap. In sports, the leap is when a good player ascends to greatness right in front of our eyes. I remember when I saw Kobe Bryant of the Lakers make the leap. It happened with my beloved LA Angels in 2002 (when they won the World Series) and WAR was when U2 made their leap. The songs had more bite and polish than BOY or OCTOBER. The lyrics now encompassed a more direct marriage of the spiritual and the political and The Edge found his signature guitar sound here. Most critics say that THE UNFORGETTABLE FIRE is the leap record because of the presence of Brian Eno but I argue that the images that came from WAR (The band in the snow for "New Year's Day", Bono and his white flag at Red Rocks on "Sunday, Bloody Sunday) are what most people remember from that era of the band.


The real secret of this record though are the album cuts. Unlike other 80's bands, U2 took their time crafting a whole album. Sure the singles are brilliant but "Like a Song..." and "The Refugee" hit the mark for their power and musicianship better than many other bands hits. Re-listening to the record as a whole it strikes me how each song seems to flow into the next, as if part of a larger plan all along. In essence, a band moving away from their established style into something new. In fact, WAR departure in sound from the first two records set the tone for the bands experimental nature (another thing most critics credit to FIRE, when in fact FIRE is more along the lines of OCTOBER than WAR ever was).


So, what does all this mean. It means it's a damn good record (although you probably already knew that) and one that should be included on your iPod just in case you need something that still kicks ass...



2 comments:

Toasted Skin said...

Sadly (not that I never wanted any, i do...) I don't own ANY U2.

Have you ever heard of a band called Sigur Ros? I have really gotten into them. They are from Ice Land and sing in Icelandic, BUT the music that they make is beautiful. I get lost in it. Its so calming.

JC said...

Strangely enough, while its the LP that propelled them to fame and fortune, its the one that the fans who were in there from the beginning often look back on with despair - you know who I mean, the sort of folk that want 'their' bands to be no more than a cult success.

Liked the Kobe Bryant comparison....!