Electrical Storm

There’s one obvious point to be made about “Electrical Storm”, and that’s the choice of producer. William Orbit? In many respects there’s not much here that says it’s not an Eno/Lanois job; in many respects, the surely-Orbit-produced track of U2’s career is “Mofo”, but it isn’t. In any event, “Electrical Storm” sounds like it could have been on ALTYCLB, and for a time a younger me thought it actually was, clearly confusing the chronology of that album and the second Best Of. Maybe it’s that Orbit was slightly too reverent, somehow, but even so it’s not like there’s a bad song here, just a very U2ish song, a pattering drum beat and a bass that shifts from note to note steadily, along with guitar riffs that ring nicely and ethereal keyboards, and a lyric that suggests the pain of 9/11 without explicitly mentioning it.

What all of this means is that, whilst the song does come off as a bit standard, it also comes off as competent too, and it’s not like the personal/political intertwining isn’t a neat device either. Yet there is quite simply very little to write about here that’s good or bad. Overall, coming almost exactly between ATYCLB and HTDAAB, it stands as the most typical U2 song of the 2000s. There’s also the interesting fact that no real chorus arrives until well over two minutes in, which gives the song a sense of gradual progression. Not a classic, but then it’s possibly acceptable enough as a stopgap, and likable enough considering its role as the shameless extra-song-on-the-compilation piece.

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~ by 4trak on July 29, 2008.

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