2 Comments on “Kafé MiR – 16/05/04”

  1. Words can’t describe how much I agree with this how biuetufally put! I also have always considered Achtung Baby my favorite U2 album, and have vehemently disagreed with those critics who would dismiss Zooropa and Pop as U2 losing their sound. To me, it’s the darkness that pervades all three albums, the melancholy, the desperation, that I find so much more fascinating than their happier stuff. And it’s the descent into those darker places, the struggling to get out, the moments of (false) hope before the final, exhausted denouement in Wake Up Dead Man, and then the resurrection of Beautiful Day. I also think these albums, and especially Achtung Baby, represent the best lyrics U2 have produced; through this journey, which you have articulated here so very well, Bono really had something to say about the human experience without having to get all bombastic and holier than thou. Don’t get me wrong, I love some of the more political tracks of War or How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, and obviously a more overtly political subtext is present in songs from Pop like Please, although maybe it’s not a coincidence that this song is the penultimate track on the album before succumbing to the final capitulation of Wake Up Dead Man (it’s a plea, not a command). But to me the band is at its best when they write songs stripped of self-importance and heavy-handed messages and just focus on real, complex emotions stemming from real, complex relationships, whether its with one’s father, lover, or God. And nowhere do they do this better than Achtung Baby.And on Achtung Baby the music is used so deftly to amplify, to shield, to distort the lyrics in ways that challenge the listener to push deeper into the songs and the entire album to try to figure it all out. The driving opening riff of “Zoo Station” announces you’re in for a ride, you’re ready for what’s next ; the infectious beat of “Even Better” suckers you into thinking this album won’t be that heavy; the simplicity of “One”’s three chord progression provides comforting structure from which to express the highly complex emotions pouring out of the singer; the pleading tone of the line oh come on, baby, baby, baby light my way is masked by the major chord progression which dominates the song; the aching guitar riffs in Love is Blindness belie the distance Bono tries to put between himself and his emotions in that song, exposing the true depth of his crisis in the process. A masterful album in every sense of the word, one that I’m sure will always be my favorite.

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