All Because of You

At 2:47 in this song we have, quite possibly, the most unexpected moment on HTDAAB, when Bono lets rip with a pure rock’n’roll Waaaaaah! It’s quite a moment, and it’s also a primal glimpse into what Bomb was initially meant to be. A song effectively recorded in 2002 in Monaco, it’s one of the hardest, heaviest songs on the album, and coming off the back of “Love And Peace or Else” and “City of Blinding Lights” completes the strongest quarter of the album too. What’s smartest about “All Because of You”, however, is the Edge’s method of inverting his usual delay tactics; usually it’s a shimmer, or a ripple, or an ethereal twinkling; here, those intro notes before the bashing riff sound piercing, shrill and aggressive. The solo, too, has the usual tendency of rising notes, but here there’s a sense of insane abandon, something that can, depending on mood, read as either cheesy or brilliant.

I focus on the Edge because, quite simply, he’s the obvious focus here, even as Bono pulls out bizarre imagery and lines – an intellectual tortoise, for example, seemingly there to fit a rhyme, and I like the sound of my own voice seemingly there in its self-deprecating slyness to provoke a response from critics. Seemingly Bomb’s “Elevation”, the central themes of the album comes through to a degree (the chorus a dedication to Bono’s father, and the last verse particularly focusing on the reverse-Boy idea of wanting a return to a state of innocence and childlike wonder), but really the key point is rampaging guitars and wild abandon, quite possibly meant, in fact, to be the key to acquiring that desire in the last verse. Not quite as extreme as “Elevation”, and thus probably not as successful as a result, but a highlight of the album at any rate. “This is our first rock’n’roll album”, Bono said of Bomb, and whilst that’s not entirely accurate (too many ballads, and “Desire” shows Rattle and Hum to have similar claims), this is still one of the songs that suggests U2 can still push forward, however slightly.

Incidentally, detail I almost missed entirely: the use of a tambourine for a louder-sounding beat. Very Motown.

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~ by 4trak on August 15, 2008.

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