Anyone who knows me and reads my blog, probably knows that I have been a huge U2 fan for a very long time (1987 cough, cough).
I went to my first U2 concert (Joshua Tree tour) in 1988. I've seen them play in several cities here in the states and Dublin, Ireland.
(Croke Park - Dublin Ireland)When the new album showed up for free on itunes a lot of friends and family were calling, texting and emailing me to let me know. I knew, but I appreciated that people know how much I love this band and they didn't want me to miss out.
I thought it was interesting that several people also told me "well, of course you love their new album. You love U2."
Well, not necessarily. Yes, I love U2, but I am not blind to their faults. And I don't just love all their music because they are my favorite band in the world. In fact, there is at least one song on each album I skip on a regular basis.
That said, I do love the new album although it took me several listens to get on board.
Like I said in this post Here, I was a little underwhelmed at first. But my standards and expectations for U2 are a little high. Higher than most. Although, I am finding that this may be true of all bands I currently love and eagerly await new music. Alt-J's new album took a couple of listens for me to fall in love as well.
As for U2, the concept behind the new album is brilliant in my opinion. The songs basically cover their youth and how they came to be. And what better way for an album to open then with a tribute to the Ramones (another favorite band of mine) who really inspired U2 to become what they are today.
Here is a list on some of my thoughts about the release and U2 in general right now:
1. The Miracle (of Joey Ramone) - I really do like this song. I think it's a great opener as far as a timeline for the album. Does it have the punch of other opening songs like No Line on the Horizon, Beautiful Day, Vertigo or Zoo Station. No not really. But it's good enough.
2. My two favorite songs on the album are absolutely "Every Breaking Wave" and "This is Where You Can Reach Me Now". The latter being Erin's favorite song. My daughter who has always been very vocal about her "non-love" of all things U2 now has a favorite U2 song. And when it comes on, she runs from wherever she is and starts dancing! Well, played U2. You finally won her over. ;)
3. There is some amazing guitar work done on this album by The Edge. Some of my favorite ever.
4. Iris (Hold Me Close) has the ability to make me tear up. It's a song written about Bono's mom who died when he was only 14. At the end he sings about some of the few memories he has of her. Memories that make me think of my relationship with my son. Yeah, it's a good one.
5. A lot of people were aggravated that the album appeared on their itunes account for free. I can understand it. I do. But seriously, it was free. And just delete it.
6. Not everyone likes U2. In fact, I have met quite a few people who are vehement about their hate for U2 and like to share that with me. That's ok as well. It doesn't change the fact that this band has meant a lot to me. I've connected with people over our mutual love of U2. Mike and I danced to a U2 song at our wedding. I had the courage to get on a plane, fly over the ocean, leaving my kids for a week (all not easy) to see them live in concert in Ireland. That was a huge, wonderful experience for me, and I am glad Mike and I went despite the obstacles. It's a memory we will never, ever forget.
7. Bono and I don't always see eye to eye on his lyrics. In fact, there are a few songs where I have thought, wth is he talking about. Songs on the new album where this occurs... "Sleep Like a Baby Tonight" and "Raised by Wolves". But there are parts of the songs I really like despite the less than stellar lyrics. Another song that I felt this way about was "Get On Your Boots" from No Line on the Horizon.
8. This is a band that is constantly changing. Each album is a complete surprise and that doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. I know there are fans that complain about how much they miss the "old" U2. And while I am the first to admit that change is not always something I am psyched about, I don't mind it in my music. This band has been around for over 35 years. Of course there is going to be change. Sorry, but Bono just would not be able to pull off his Achtung Baby days or even the War days on a live stage. People change and grow and mature. Priorities change. Stories they want to share change. It is true of musicians as it is true of any artist. Even scrapbookers. :)
9. And last but not least, the tour cannot come soon enough for me! I hope they come to St. Louis, but if not I know we will go see them anywhere they are close by. And maybe one other not so close location :)
Evan is just as excited as us about the tour, so he will definitely be joining us for at least one show.
Loved having him with us in St. Louis for that show back in 2011. I always tell him he is so absolutely spoiled when it comes to U2. I was 40 years old...
Yep, Evan is a pretty lucky kid :)
And I feel pretty lucky and blessed to share my love of this band with my husband and son. To have been places I might never have visited to see them play. And to have been inspired by their lyrics to create scrapbook layouts.
As long as they keep the music coming (and yes, there is a rumored second release coming soon...Songs of Experience), I am happy!