Theme From Let’s Go Native

The Passengers project was only really intended to soundtrack four films with five of the tracks on the resulting album, Original Soundtracks 1. The other nine were just there to make the album, in themselves no more intended to soundtrack a film or TV programme than anything else U2 had previously done. Yet many of those nine ‘redundant’ tracks, and indeed the other five, have ended up in a self-fulfilling prophecy, and the one track out of fourteen that, in particular, the TV industry seems to angle for in spades is OS1‘s closer, “Theme From Let’s Go Native”. And who can blame them? It’s incredibly simple in its repetition, which makes it easy to edit and ensures that it doesn’t detract from the program.

Functional issues aside, the track also evokes something foreign, “exotic”, a vague idea of “world music” (not a likable term, but unfortunately the best one to hand), whilst still remaining very much Western, and indeed very much U2. Compare, for instance, the guitar riff that’s relatively midgrounded in the mix to “Ultraviolet“, and compare the timbre of the drums to “Zoo Station”. Actually, it’s oddly fitting that comparisons to “Zoo Station” are possible here – as the very last track on the very last release that can plausibly be regarded as being in the ZooTV era, it’s like the band is hinting at a full circle, an enclosed, self-referential period. “Let’s Go Native” may well be somewhat Eno-dominated in its form, and may well in its aesthetic refer slightly to one of Eno’s other major producer role of the 1980s, but U2 add a feel to it that Eno on his own couldn’t hope to, Bono able to evoke remarkable feeling with minimal lyrics (Heart/In your heart). The band hasn’t done anything too similar before or since, although their visit to Morocco in 2007 may yet show a change of heart.


~ by 4trak on July 30, 2008.

One Response to “Theme From Let’s Go Native”

  1. I always thought this sounded like one of the early tracks from the “Salome” sessions in Berlin. The rhythm, especially, sounds very U2. When I think of a Passengers song that is Eno-dominated, that would be “Theme from the Swan.” Are the members of U2 even on that one at all?

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