Love And Peace Or Else

All that you can’t leave behind, indeed. Ironic humour within the title, the odd dubious line here and there, and a highly teched-up intro not only betray this as a definite U2 song, but also one that could not have been written in the 20th century. In any event, it’s a break not only from the previous two ballads, but also from the band’s PR that Bomb was a “return to the spirit of Boy“. Even so, the opening is impressive – fuzzing bass, filtered vocals drifting in and out, submerged hi-hats and beats, synths squeaking, the odd bit of static, before the whole thing finally breaks out of its vaguely The Fragile-era Nine Inch Nails mode and suddenly leaps back to 70s glam-rock. Having spent numerous attempts on the right riff, Edge finds something ambiguous yet sinister, the tone warning and the bass underneath fuzzing. And then, four minutes gone, the guitar solo spirals upward, reaching for escape that’s only amplified by the filter suddenly ripping wide open halfway through. Sonically, this may be the most impressive track on Bomb. And it wasn’t a single. Crazy.

Of course, the guitar isn’t really the point of this song – the band knows this, and the fans know it, which is why the band focused on this on live performances. The huge drum sound on the studio version comes from it being in the control room, something not easily replicated in a stadium or arena, which lead to this variation of simply having more drums. Well, you can never have enough.

I said there were some dubious lyrics, and unfortunately most of them are at the end; namely, it’s that point where Bono has built up an interesting situation of a couple argument over a muted television, which is showing Middle Eastern conflict (one of the few political moments on Bomb, although it’s more acknowledgement of a situation rather than commentary or polemic), but then pulls out the line Where is the love? I mean, really – where is the love? Isn’t that taken from the Black Eyed Peas, of all people? It doesn’t detract too much from what is otherwise an excellent song, but it is proof that sometimes U2’s music should draw more attention instead of lyrics.

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~ by 4trak on September 8, 2008.

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