the awesome/terrifying freedom

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bono vs. jesus

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where have i been? feeling uninspired. scribbling out the new blog ( shh!) listening to u2, and feeling inspired again.

loving the new album, which seems to be a development on the band's rediscovery of the 'music as religious experience' axiom from 'all that you can't leave behind' and their incredible incredible elevation tour. in the first listening, this album tops the last one primarily in melody. with some distance from 'atyclb', i've found that i'm not compelled to listen past the first half - which is a shame, because there are some great lyrics, especially in 'new york,' but the melodies are a tad overcomplicated and, (dare i say?), uninspired. 'atomic bomb' overall has more instantly memorable tunes than any u2 album since 'achtung baby,' and the lyrics, as always, are top notch. what this album also gets right is the placement of the songs - the more experimental and deliberately alienating tracks (at least to me, and they are few - 'love and peace,' 'all because of you,' 'one step closer') are spaced out and carry through to a melodious payoff in the following tracks. topping it all off is the anthemic, upbeat, simple, and really quite moving 'yahweh,' which invokes the name of god most directly, confirming the underlying christian themes throughout the album. it's a surprising and cathartic discovery. the album begins with the clever line 'girl with crimson nails/has jesus round her neck/swinging to the music' and ends with a divine conversation about free will and the role of personal pain in the pursuit of anything worthwhile.

who needs jesus when we have bono to take his greatest hits and remix them?

even bono seems to ask the question on 'miracle drug,' which may be my favorite tune - anthemic, with thoughtful, intelligent lyrics that seem to be about the mounting conflict between spirituality and science - do our deepest feelings lose significance as we discover the chemical triggers for love and divinity?

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  • 5: the man of genius

  • 4: blunders & absurdities

  • 3: conservative after dinner

  • 2: what lies below

  • 1: where there is no path

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