Saturday, May 2, 2009

U2 Week Wrap Up + Cover Song Saturday Night

Fear not, Skog Blog Readers, I did not kill myself on Day 4 of SuperU2 Me. Thursday night Wheels and I went to see Wicked and last night I was just too darn sleepy to put together a coherent thought. I know what you are thinking... how is that any different from any other night? The Skog Blog isn't exactly a home for profound writings and hard hitting journalism, but let's just say that last night's entry would have been even more brutal to read than normal. Let's move on. In order to make up for the lost days, tonight's post will have news, whimsy, confessions and cover songs. Let's get to it.



U2 - All That You Can't Leave Behind

Confession Number 1. This is U2's best album. Better than Rattle. Better than Achtung and even better than Joshua. Finally they have an album that I don't feel like I need to skip a single song. Sure there are a few songs that aren't as good as others but none that make me leap towards the skip button. Perhaps it's the fact that I'm old or a father but these songs really resonated with me. Most of them are about hope, being happy with what you have and although released in 2000 I can see why many of these songs became anthems to help people heal after 9/11. I always liked Beautiful Day but I found a new love for Elevation, a song that didn't do much for me during its initial radio play. Other lesser known songs to me that I enjoyed are Stuck In A Moment That You Can't Get Out Of and Walk On. Finally a U2 album that should crack the KG rotation. Good stuff.



U2 - How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb

This album should have had the secondary title of 'How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb' because even though I was at possibly my highest level of U2 intolerance when it was released, I was a huge closet fan of Vertigo. Everytime it came on that iPod commercial or the radio I found myself secretly pleased. I am so ashamed. Although to this day I can't understand why Bono starts off the song by screaming "unos, dos, tres, catorce!" First off, even a three year old watching Sesame Street knows that it's 'uno' but let's pretend that he says 'uno,' and then proceeds to count - 'one, two, three, FOURTEEN!' I just did some quick research and apparently when asked about this in a Rolling Stone article Bono said, "there may have been some alcohol involved." Makes sense. Just another tidbit from your pal, KG. All in all this was another solid effort, I would rank it number four on their all time list. Other songs that were great but that I was shocked to read were their singles from this album since I wasn't familiar with them, were City of Blinding Lights and All Because of You. I'm assuming the reason I never heard these songs is because this was around the time that I finally got a mp3 player and I didn't listen to the radio that frequently. Anyway, another unknown quality number was Original of the Species.



U2 - No Line On the Horizon

Maybe it was because the two previous albums were so good but for some reason I didn't connect with this album much at all. In all fairness, this was the only album that didn't get a complete listen with my headphones. I only heard it while sitting at my desk which is not how I like to hear things for the first time. It either should be in your car with the volume cranked or preferably through headphones. Because of this I don't even have a song to share as proof of whether or not this album was good. Perhaps in a month or two once my U2 hangover is gone I'll return and review this one on a Monday night.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Did I learn anything from this project? Yes. I learned that I actually do like U2 somewhat. They definitely deserve to be in the discussion for THE band of my generation whether or not they are MY band. They have been putting out music for nearly 30 years, 12 albums and multiple other compilations and projects with really only one stinker and have the frontman who would be considered the iconic Rock Star of anyone between the ages of 25 and 40. They are legends. With that said, although The Skog Blog does not promote violence on animals, I will continue to beat a dead horse. I was a bit disappointed with the quantity of good songs per album. The quality was there and when U2 is good - they are fantastic - it's just that out of 12 albums I would hope that I could listen to more than 2 or 3 of them straight through without wanting to skip several tracks. Even the greatest albums of all time will occasionally have a bad track or two but most of U2's albums were half filler. To use one of the worst cliches ever, I want all Killer no Filler. However, at least when I get in a discussion with someone about U2 I can do so in an intelligent manner with an opinion that is based upon actual listening rather than the thoughts of a 5th grader and I can understand somewhat why someone loves U2 the way they do. Big step for me. Alright, I'm going to wrap this up so I can go listen to REM.

RANDOM STORY THAT UPON FURTHER REVIEW ISN'T REALLY THAT WHIMSICAL

The first time I heard the Song of the Day was on a bus in the nether regions of Chile. The song blew me away (probably because I wasn't exactly hip on the music scene at the time) and my companion (huge U2 fan and REM hater) laughed when he told me it was U2. I was shocked and horrified but it did allow us to pass the next hour of the bus ride in a heated U2/REM debate. Good times.

COVERS

As promised, since it is Saturday Night here are some covers - U2 Edition.

First up, by request, the greatest cover that anyone has ever done of Unchained Melody.



Next up an underrated band from the UK, Starsailor, paying tribute to one of their inspirations.



An awesome tribute to U2's music by The Roots.



Keane doing With or Without You.



Finally, this is possibly the first repeat cover song as I posted it on the first Saturday Night, but it needs to be here the close out U2 Week on The Skog Blog. U2/REM performing, in my opinion, the greatest U2 song ever, One.


6 comments:

brohammas said...

Roots!
Philly represents!!!!!!!

the are A band of our generation but of course not THE band....
We all know thats the Chili Peppers.

Robyn said...

I'm sorry, I just read that went to Wicked and then skipped the rest.
Can you even STAND how good that was?????????? Yesterday was one of my best days so far because of it.
Maybe Wheels is the one I should be talking with about it, although even the guys I know who went, loved.
OK, now I will go back and read the rest.

Corbie said...

Great summation...great theme for the week...great songs and video clips. Next up, 'Country week'?

Anonymous said...
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KG said...

Brohammas - keep your crazed Red Hot theories to yourself... I kid.

Robyn - please see my week in review for my Wicked review. And you think you should be talking to Wheels? When it comes to musicals I am barely straight so I am the man with whom to speak.

Corbie - 'Country Week?' When I read that comment to Wheels her reply was 'does Corbie want us to get divorced?' My reply to Wheels' reply, 'Divorce? Country week might cause a murder suicide.'

Corbie said...

Of course I want you two divorced. I've been trying to steal Wheels for months.