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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Why U2

Then I was thinking, it's not good enough to say that I "like" U2 or I "love" some of their work.  Don't I have to explain "why?"

OK here goes... it's actually pretty simple, and it explains why so many of their albums work for me. They have a basic template with infinite variations.

Edge's shimmering guitar work creates a sonic environment that envelops you and bathes you in bold, sustaining notes.  This is exhilarating. It works on me every time. There are no blues licks, no guitar god cliches, just lots and lots of shimmer. Then add Adam Clayton's big, loping bass lines and you have an amazing sonic bed. Larry Mullen Jr. then backs it all up with inventive drumming. He never gets in the way, he always adds simple, strong embellishment.

Then riding up above that great sonic landscape add in Bono's voice and lyrics.  Bono doesn't have the greatest voice in the world, but he has found his niche and I am a fan of his falsetto when he uses it. And his lyrics are always interesting to me. Bono is smart, engaged and he's constantly searching and questioning.

And that all makes for some great music. Simple.

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