Thoughts on U2’s “Get On Your Boots”

What is a blog concerned with electronic music doing talking about U2? Well, the band have actually earned a page in the history of electronic music with their electro-influenced trilogy, Achtung Baby, Zooropa and Pop, the latter two of which were sorely underrated.

Truth be told I never held out any hope that the band would head back in that direction, and they may as yet not, but what’s interesting about “Get On Your Boots” is they are showing a willingness to experiment again and that’s a potentially exciting thing. Say what you will about All That You Can’t Leave Behind and How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb(no matter how awesome “Vertigo” may have been) is they were anything but experimental. They were good ‘ol U2, doing their trad U2 thing, Bono being pretentious, the rest of them faithfully banging out solid pop-rock, but experimental they were not.

“Get On Your Boots”, on the other hand (as well as the two other tracks from the album I’ve seruptitiously heard) show the band mixing it up. Using electronics again, albeit sparingly, and risking “being a little weird”. Most people I’ve talked to about the track, including McNutt, are iffy at best, hostile on the outer plains. But the more I listen to it, the more I like the track, with it’s broken melody, eastern influences and playfulness (not to mention their willingness to mess about with their well-trod formula). It’s made me hopeful about a new U2 release for the first time since the days of Pop (and come on, I know the album is oft-shit-upon, but “Discotheque” was a bang-up track – if nothing else I’m grateful to it because it was oldest son’s favourite song when he was a tiny infant and dancing to it was the only thing that could calm him down). We’ll see what else they have up their sleeves…

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