Moment Of Surrender

WARNING: As a still-current song, opinion may yet change and significant alterations to the post may occur as said opinion changes or new details emerge.

As it turns out, it’s taken fifteen and a half years and five albums for U2 to make a song that outlasts “Lemon”, and appropriately enough, just as “Lemon” came about in rapidly-recorded circumstances, so “Moment of Surrender” is one of four songs on NLOTH to have arisen out of the quickest circumstances of all – a single take. Besides the 7:24 running time, though, there’s an important other factor; one press quote from Bono suggested an attempt at “modern gospel”, which was odd, because few songs on the album overtly demonstrate this (if any has a spiritual epiphany as a result of “Boots”, however, do let us know), and “Moment of Surrender” is just about the only song to come closest to really, really amping Jesus up to 11, mostly with the lines We set ourselves on fire/Oh God, do not deny her. For the most part, though, the broken feeling perhaps more suggests another heroin song. This would be redundant, but “Bad”, terrific though it is, is more impressionistic than giving any real ideas, and “Running To Stand Still” is resolutely third person. Musically the song suggests something from Achtung Baby (probably not “One”, as I’ve heard from some journalistic quarters), so it’s only appropriate that we get Fire and Baby references straight from the start – I tied myself with wire/To let the horses run free.

Musically the song holds up – a weird, scrubbing percussion loop disappears (it’s hard to tell exactly when it ceases) into an organ, a drifting bassline that admittedly feels slightly familiar, and measured drums. All players on this track hold up reasonably well, but it’s vocals that form the key to this song – Bono starts each verse as if struck in the neck with a machete, which is surprisingly effective, even if lazy comparisons to “Stay” in the coda harmonies (you might think they’re one, but they’re definitely not the same) have abounded across the Internet. And whilst “Moment of Surrender”, a song that threatens a horrific abbreviation to “Moz”, may spawn various comparisons to around half a dozen other U2 songs, that’s only really a small detraction. It’s probably the weakest of the opening four songs, but that’s some heavy competition. Overall, “Moment of Surrender” isn’t a song that yields immediate meaning, and demands to be listened to repeatedly, but it would not be surprising if the band are still addicted to heroin* and it still turns out to be quite good for them.

*as a songwriting subject. Obviously.
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~ by 4trak on March 2, 2009.

2 Responses to “Moment Of Surrender”

  1. […] think is a great album and was misunderstood). Favorite tracks: No Line On The Horizon, Manificent, Moment Of Surrender, Breathe, Get On Your Boots, Cedars Of […]

  2. Just dropping by.Btw, you website have great content!

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