Some Days Are Better Than Others

U2 spent much of the 1990s trying to shed their over-earnest image, but the media only partially bought this. Part of this may have been that Achtung Baby itself was not a laugh-a-minute, despite the odd wry or amusing line, but those lambasting the band for Rattle and Hum should have been embracing a song like “Some Days Are Better Than Others” but instead thought it a pointless or off-focus addition to Zooropa. Granted, the song is not an utter classic, but it manages to be lighthearted without being flippant, which is no small achievement, especially given the dourist tendencies of modern popular music. So the real criticisms for this song? The title’s daft and unnecessarily Joshua Tree in its length and form, for one, and it can be argued to be lyrically a bit too much a flipside of sorts to “Numb”; turning the negative “don’t”s at the start of every line into realist “some”s. But most criticisms to truly fire at it are ultimately qualitative, about whether it inspires or transcends. Which, really, it doesn’t seem to even intend to.

Sonically it’s an oddity for U2, not least in being bass-heavy throughout, a genuine floor-shaker that does actually break through Zooropa‘s occasional muted feel (that’s partly the lack of dynamic range compression used in 1993, but also, I suspect, in the way a lot of early CD-age albums were somewhat deadened in production anyway). There’s also a scampering busyness to the treble range that presages Pop‘s opening three songs, and the element that is probably actually responsible for the critical scorn – an element of reggae. But this also seems unjust; this isn’t in the realms of the dubious “Don’t Take Your Guns To Town“, as the blasting, ludicrously fuzzed solo and twitching drum machine proves. As said before, not a classic destined to sprawl across thousands of radio stations for decades, but if there’s a reason for Zooropa‘s incredibly purple artwork, it’s songs like these.


~ by 4trak on August 2, 2008.

One Response to “Some Days Are Better Than Others”

  1. […] 3, 2008 Like “Some Days Are Better Than Others“, this isn’t exactly a song held in high regard on Zooropa, which makes the […]

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