Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Getting older, getting better

I was quite pleased to discover that the new U2 album is excellent, probably their best since "Achtung Baby." Actually, I think the band has been on a steady upswing this decade, such that U(No Line on the Horizon) > U(How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb) > U(All that You Can't Leave Behind). I don't begrudge them their "Pop" period in the 90s. They were already one of the greatest rock bands in history; they were allowed to try something stupid. But the fact that they could come back from that and produce music that actually rivals their earlier work without reliving it is truly impressive.

I would also add that Springsteen appears to be on an upswing, as well. "Working on a Dream" is probably better than anything else he did this decade. One of the tracks that particularly caught my ear is "Queen of the Supermarket," which is, if anything, a song about having a crush on a girl. Thematically, that seems so innocent and youthful and reminiscent of stuff from the 70s like "She's the One." But, of course, we don't stop having crushes on girls when we leave our 20s; we just stop talking about it. Not the Boss.

Here's one of my favs from the new U2. Play it loud.

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