U2: Songs of Surrender Album Review

Similarly, the exercise of changing “Bad,” the band’s 1984 song written about a friend’s struggle with drug abuse, from third person to first person is disrespectful of the original intent of the song. . What made that song, about watching friends go through literal life and death situations, one of U2’s best was how well it emotionally communicated people’s devastation, loss, regret and sadness. Bono manifested in the performance. Altering the lyrics now to get into the story doesn’t help or clarify or improve it, because he was already there. Just because he still feels really lucky despite all the years that have passed doesn’t mean he should rewrite “Bad.” It just means that he should write some new songs.

These kinds of unnecessary alterations affect pretty much everything else in the registry. None of these “re-imaginings” in surrender songs Fundamentally transform any of the 40 tracks. The great songs are still great, the rewritten lines are interesting suggestions but, in most cases, nothing more than jarring distractions, and the less-than-great songs (some of which the band has only released in the last decade, like “Every Breaking Wave” or “Invisible”) are still exactly what they were before this project.

Then there’s the case of “Walk On,” an anthem from the 2000s. Everything you can’t leave behind. Upon its release, the band dedicated it to Aung San Suu Kyi, who was a political prisoner in Myanmar at the time. Earlier this year, Bono opened up about being “disappointed” by her alleged human rights violations and decided to give the song to someone else. In surrender songs, they brought the song back, retitled it “Walk On (Ukraine)” and rewrote it with references to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (the song now begins with the line “If the comic takes the stage and no one laughs”). But “Walk On” was already an inspiring and uplifting anthem about hope and perseverance that exists regardless of what association it was given. They could have dedicated it to the people of Ukraine without changing a word.

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The record’s most delicious moments begin with The Edge’s jaw-dropping falsetto version of “Desire,” turning it into a futuristic, Motown-tinged romp that wouldn’t have been out of place on attention baby. “Dirty Day”, an underrated track from 1993 zoo it subtracts the electronics of the original for cello and a vocal delivery by Waits-ian that doesn’t update it so much but makes it fit better with the context of the album. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” cements his reputation as eternally unwavering, “Until the End of the World” turns into a very proper country gospel tune, and both “All I Want Is You” and ” Stay (Faraway, So Close!)” remain heartbreaking even in their revamped states. Elsewhere, Bono delivers some phenomenal performances, pushing his voice to the limit, as he does as he soars through “Beautiful Day” and “A Sometimes you can’t do it on your own.

But all of these highlights could have been manifested in a concert or other live performance and released as a B-side or fan club single; nothing here is unforgettable or in danger of replacing its original. The arrangements are formulaic, throwing back to the stripped-down, candlelit era of the original MTV. unplugged. Worst, surrender songs it is an excess. At best, it’s a pleasant interlude. But it’s not something that’s going to alter their legacy or the trajectory of their art in any direction, and U2 have always made it clear that we should expect more from them than that.

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U2: Surrender Songs

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