Race Against Time

It’s hard to imagine how else this song would have been titled, given its steadily kinetic tone and minimal lyrics (two recitations of the title). The one common thread, naturally, is the hurrying bassline from Adam, sounding a lot more raw than a standard bass hum and as such much earthier; it’s perhaps a tone that U2 should utilise more. Edge’s guitar shifts about in tone throughout, and Larry occasionally ups the tempo with snare builds, but otherwise the song is quickly shifting from A to B – urgent enough, it would appear, to not adopt any kind of hard structure.

That’s not something that “Race Against Time” necessarily needs to do, but as it is, the song sounds like a precursor to the Passengers project rather than a Joshua Tree b-side; compare it, for example, with the similarly tribal “Theme from Let’s Go Native”. It’s hence no surprise that it was left off the album – there’s simply nowhere for it to go, being too busy charging across scenery to swoop across and survey it in the tone the Tree largely adopts. Overall, the song is solid enough, but in terms of mood, tempo and timbre it would have been horribly out of place on the album it was recorded for, and as such is more intriguing left off it.


~ by 4trak on May 18, 2008.

One Response to “Race Against Time”

  1. The observant will have spotted the trend over this last week, which is that all seven songs posted were the seven songs that would have ended up on the Joshua Tree had Bono gotten his way. This would’ve left an 18-song, 79-minute monster that probably wasn’t a wise idea. That said, these seven songs probably do make for a worthy EP, and in any event they’re available on the JT Deluxe Edition that was put out last year – given this age of cheaply available CD-Rs, we’re free to choose either way anyway, it seems.

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