A Man and a Woman

Ah. Possibly the one dud on HTDAAB, hence perhaps we’d better dispatch it now. Perhaps the biggest issue is that lyrically and musically it’s streamlined to be as tasteful as possible – there’s a difference between tight songwriting and smoothing out every last kink and quirk in a piece. And you’re the one/There’s no-one else/That makes me want to lose myself/In the mysterious distance/Between a man and a woman is, frankly, hideously MOR, and an arrangement of flamenco(ish) guitar and syrupy strings don’t help. Edge (presumably) chiming in on falsetto at one point is perhaps the final damnation.

It’s not totally bad, of course; the first verse making referencing to taking heat from the sun is an interesting idea, as well as the woman of the song being told that “everything is not OK”. This also crops up later, when it turns out that not only is she now gone, but “so is God”. Yet this potential tension isn’t really expanded upon, which makes for a missed opportunity and an otherwise fairly cringeworthy song.

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~ by 4trak on April 15, 2008.

2 Responses to “A Man and a Woman”

  1. Thanks for starting this blog, I was hoping someone would after the REM one Matthew started. I’m not as extensively knowledgable of U2’s back catalogue as I am of REM’s, but am looking forward to your writing of some of the post-Josshua Tree stuff I know a little more about.

  2. I’ve actually always liked this one, although it seems the collective thought of most U2 fans is that this is the weakest track on HTDAAB. This reminds me of UF era U2 for some reason.

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