With A Shout (Jerusalem)

“I would quite happily never hear a song called “Jerusalem” from the October album again. It’s not that it isn’t without any merit, it’s just so over the top”
The Edge interviewed in 2002.

If I’m totally honest, the above quote actually transpires to be quite an accurate and succinct review from the Edge, albeit revealing in that he only remembers half the song title. It isn’t that the song is a total waste of time; the percussive intro actually has a really energetic and genuinely engaging quality. Unfortunately, it declines fairly sharply from then on; Edge’s own contribution isn’t too remarkable, the bassline through the verses is somewhat flat and not terribly driving, and the drumming becomes somewhat unspectacular. Bono’s opening lyrics actually become slightly ironic –

Oh, and where do we go
Where do we go from here
Where to go

…and, indeed, the song doesn’t particularly go anywhere. The lyrics speak with great enthusiasm of “going back” to the titular city, but the music doesn’t really encourage any desire to join the band there. There’s a possibly sly Biblical reference with a brief and distant horn appearance, but ultimately, the song is sadly forgettable for all but those opening 16 seconds.

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~ by 4trak on April 9, 2008.

2 Responses to “With A Shout (Jerusalem)”

  1. […] Now, however, thanks to modern science, we can actually listen to this otherwise-sucked-into-the-ether song. It transpires that stylistically, it’s got the slightly preachy religious themes of October, and the guitar style of October, but a kind of stomping, surefooted march to it and a slightly toned-down severity to it that prefaces War. This isn’t to say that it’s a lost classic, although it’s not exactly that much more dire than, say, the also band-repudiated With a Shout (Jerusalem). […]

  2. I must be a glutton for punishment… all the most maligned songs on U2’s records are the ones I gravitate towards. Something about the howling vocals, which make it an almost tribal experience. Stock for the period, no doubt… it’s got that militant Irish energy that came so strong with “October” and “War,” never again revisited by the band. And besides those opening 16 seconds of inspiration, what say ye about the horn near to close? It sounds like the trumpet of Joshua’s minions!

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