Thursday, February 24, 2005
Ah, U2. Spiritual uncles to the Manic Street Preachers. Another band that can't walk past a rabble-rousing riff the size of Texas, another group that fell in love with the Big Idea, the Grand Gesture. And however many millions of us loved them for it. This song is probably best remembered in the context of U2's messianic effort at Live Aid, when Bono-As-Jesus wrapped us all up in his loving eyes-screwed-shut-with-the-intensity-of-it embrace. Hell, I can't even be nasty about them. They have The Knack, the same joyous ability to lift whatever they perform into the realm of the ethereal. This one is driven by a soft but insistent patter of drums and The Edge's patented clear-as-a-bell guitar, while Bono just riffs over the top. The words don't really matter here, though they're well-chosen for that stadium anthem touch. It's a Big Song with a Big Heart.