Listening to the cd "From The Ground Up" I regard "Electrical Storm" as a stand-out track. I love how the subliminal tension of my favourite song slowly increases and culminates in an ecstatic roar full of passion and pure emotion. It´s just a fascinating example of U2´s talent to use archaic images in order to illustrate a whole palette of feelings such a rage, hope and love. This piece deals with a relationship of a couple possibly getting through some conflicts, but according to Bono it also captures people´s nervousity and unease after 9/11 (U2 BY U2, page 314). For me "Electrical Storm" also represents Bono´s preference to shine a light on a story from different perspectives. The first verse takes us to a maritime place, letting us observe those portentous surroundings from the angle of a passive viewer. Surprisingly, Bono abandons that distant position and brings those two lovers into a sort of conversation. An extraordinary move that feels like stepping into a video.
I frequently used to ask myself: Why does U2´s music touch us so deeply? I think our love for those songs goes further than just an uplifting sonic experience. As a writer, Bono has a remarkable sensitivity to put himself in people´s place, giving a sympathetic impression. Through his subtle choice of words he allows us to experience a special closeness to those characters. In that context we can explore more tracks from various albums: "Running To Stand Still" for instance was written from the perspective of a couple having to cope with heroin addiction on the north side of Dublin, an area near to Bono´s childhood home. This song shows the singer´s deep humanity and empathy for those whose company tends to get avoided in our society. "Sometimes You Can´t Make It On Your Own" is one of the most personal pieces demonstrating great courage to share innermost feelings with millions of fans around the globe. Bono´s words reflect all the inner fights going along with an intense relationship and finally he expresses deep gratitude and affection as he passionately sings: "You´re the reason why the opera is in me". One of the most heart-wrenching moments ever.
"Beautiful Day" is another gem centered around a person going through a dark time after some kind of misfortune or loss. At the same time Bono seems to send his messages directly to the listener. Once again, he succeeds to reach his audience on a very personal level, creating a connection that makes everyone feel like a part of the plot. In the refrain the language gets even more direct as he shouts: "Touch me, take me to that other place". That particular line can be interpreted as a plea adressed to a partner, friend or relative, but it also may include hints of Christian faith, probably revealing somebody´s inner need for some divine help. According to Greg Garrett´s book "We Get To Carry Each Other-The Gospel According To U2" prayer is an attempt to communicate on a spiritual level (page 28-32). Consequently, the line "How long to sing this song?" from "40" comes to mind. These lyrics-wholeheartedly repeated by fans in the very last minutes of numerous U2 concerts-express some disappointment because of God´s apparent refusal to act in a world overshadowed by absurd violence. With "Wake Up Dead Man" U2 go even one step further by delivering clear anger, but behind these cutting verses we can feel an urgency for communication and hope for a response. In contrast to that dark mood "Yahweh"-to a large extent sung in the imperative-comes across as an uplifting encouragement.
Oftentimes, I´m astonished by U2´s eagerness to cross borders and speak to us through their music. Untiringly, they leave their comfort zone to reach out and diminish the gap between artists and listeners. When we hear about "love and community " ("Get On Your Boots") we may get aware of something truly precious: The essence real life is about.
Edited by musicabona, 07 April 2013 - 02:37 PM.