Fading in like a satellite signal from deep space, “Slug” is ludicrously, amped-up-to-11, so to speak, ethereal. Reverbing treble notes sparkle, and bass wobbles in a gloopy, liquid manner, with Achtung Baby keyboards all the while playing. It all hangs in a relatively static manner, like the protagonist is staying in some sort of limbo – and in fact, one said protagonist in the film of the same name is actually a female cashier who ends up held in jail after a complex set of arrangements go wrong (no such film exists, mind, but it’s all part of the mythology of the album).

Lyrically, Bono employs an appropriate list method – the sort you see at the end of “Bad” or “Walk On”, for example – to seemingly capture the thoughts of what the characters are thinking at the moment the song would emerge – a kind of unspoken script, as it were. The song seems pitched just before the film’s finale, the prison-break scene, seemingly indicated by a sudden gathering of energies and hardening of beat in the dying moments. Ultimately, it’s the sound of an individual holding back, thinking through their personal manifesto, and then wanting to act, which in a strange roundabout way makes it very U2 in spirit. At four and a half minutes, “Slug” wouldn’t have worked as an instrumental, and wouldn’t have worked if it was any longer – it just reaches success as it is.


~ by 4trak on June 12, 2008.

One Response to “Slug”

  1. […] effect, we’re dealing with a scenario not unlike “Slug” – but where in that song the protagonist was seeing time slow down in order for him to […]

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