Stranger In A Strange Land

Inspired by a meeting with a German border guard during the touring for Boy, and Bono’s attempt to connect with the man, “Stranger In A Strange Land” is lyrically clunky to say the least. He looked at me like I was the one who should run/I watched as he watched us get back on the bus/I watched the way it was is not a sequence that can carry a great deal of profundity to it, and indeed it doesn’t. It sounds like Bono is, throughout the four minutes, trying to describe a startling insight into a human moment of seperation, but ultimately the event itself doesn’t really sound too significant – he’s stopped by a guard, the guard performs checks, the band move on. As such, the song isn’t enough on a lyrical scale to provoke, and apart from the odd drift into falsetto, there isn’t a great twist in the vocal to redeem it.

Musically the song starts off in a punchy manner, militaristic drums and strings hailing some kind of steady charge into battle. Here, the theme is solid but again unsurprising; not an October (or career) worst from U2 as a whole, but not the best either. Instead, the song is stranded within the last third of the album, most of which is, unfortunately, a bit unremarkable.

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~ by 4trak on May 25, 2008.

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