Love Is Such a Strong Word

Regardless of all my criticisms of this band, particularly in recent times, they have clearly had an incredible impact on my musical history. I don't know anyone who didn't fall in love with "Joshua Tree" immediately. In fact, I would hazard to say it *had* to be all down hill from there. OK, so "Achtung Baby" was pretty good, too. But there will never be another moment like the beginning of "Where the Streets Have No Name"--that magical building anticipation. It doesn't hurt that the video is set in L.A., making it almost iconic of the city. Who is not stunned by the aching ardor in "With or Without You"? Even this many years out, I am enthralled by this song.

While I don't hold "Achtung" in as high regard as "Joshua Tree", nonetheless, the songs hearken back to my wretched high school existence. Of my longing for girls too cool and too hot for someone like me. I get transported 15 years back when I hear "Whose Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses?" And while I'm not so into other songs like "Trying to Throw Your Arms Around the World" , "Mysterious Ways", and "Even Better than the Real Thing", I probably heard them at least once or twice a day, and their melodies and lyrics are burned into my brain.

But the best song on that album never got much air time. I'm talking about "Ultraviolet." For some reason, it makes me think of a high-tech Diogenes, carrying an ultraviolet laser still searching through space and time for the last honest man--or woman.

I sort of lost track of U2 afterwards. I do have "Stay (Faraway, So Close)" from "Zooropa" lodged in my mind, because I heard it ad nauseam one lonely night when I was burning the midnight oil typing out an A.P. U.S. History paper, and hearing the first opening notes always reminds of the cold in my room at 4am, and the jitteriness of being caffeine-saturated but still tired.

"All that You Can't Leave Behind" was like a flashback in more ways than one. "Beautiful Day" always made me smile until I grew numb to it. (I once found a mash-up of U2's "Beautiful Day" and A-Ha's "The Sun Always Shines on TV" which I thought was awesome.) "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of" and "Walk On" and "When I Look at the World" were hilariously appropriate at the time, as I found myself longing for a romance that would never be, as I found my ex-girlfriend who cheated on me trying to seduce me, and as I found someone who I could actually hang-out with, and who went for my friend instead. (Why is this such a recurring theme in my life?)

So where do they go from here? I hope they bow out gracefully, before they start becoming parodies of themselves.
victorious victorious
26-30, M
May 1, 2007