Thursday, January 20, 2005

Quick, U2 fans!

Fellow blogger, midnitcafe needs our help!

"Speaking of U2 and MLK I'm working on a little essay and could use some help. Essentially the essay is on love and God in their lyrics. I'm looking specifically at the albums from Joshua Tree to Zooropa, but lyrics from other albums could be helpful. Basically I always found that there was a change in their lyrics concerning God between these albums similar to the change of musical styles that came in those albums. Any thoughts?"

Well, friends do you have any thoughts?

As for me, midnitcafe, anything I would say would just be stolen from this piece of musical exploration by Jeffrey Overstreet. Shocking, I know. Oh, and to get a sense of the context of each album, I find it's best to read the reviews from bottom to top. I hope it helps!


Anonymous said...

Thanks Knight! I have been wondering for years about the words and meanings of my favorite U2 songs. I wondered if they sang about religous things or if a true realization of Christ existed. I'm sure this helped midnitcafe as well. QM

midnitcafe said...

Thanks Mr. Knight. I appreciate the help. I'll give some more details of my essay. Between the Joshua Tree and Zooropa U2 underwent some major changes. The most obvious is the changes in musical styles. The contrast between JT and Actung Baby in music is massive.

What I am more interested in is their change lyics between these album. In the Joshua Tree bono sings about searching for meaning and faith amongst loss and addiction. On the album there is a great deal of religious, and specifically Christian imagery. (see Where the Streets Have No Name and I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For) I had read previously that 3 members of U2 were Christians and in fact used to hold devotionals on the bus in the old days.

In their next album Rattle and Hum it seems that the singers search for meaning have turned towards romantic love. There are straight love songs (hawkmoon) and desperate pleads for love (Love Rescue Me) some also contain veiled contempts for faith in God (When Love Comes to Town) There is even a sequel to John Lennon's God which contained such lyrics as "don't believe in jesus"

Actung Baby follows this trend. Most of the songs are about searchingn for love, trying to keep a failing relationship together, or love lost.

Zooropa seems to settle the argument over faith or love by its end. Lyrics to "The First Time" take very direct Biblical references and walk away from them.

Thoughts about these albums or any other U2 album are appreciated.