Thursday, December 15, 2011

U2: "Near the Island"

U2 - Near The Island (Instrumental) from Spiros Papadatos on Vimeo.

Excerpt from "Like a Song" column at atu2:


As the quiet instrumental “Near The Island” filled the house, I felt like I was being transported out of my toy-filled living room and brought to some sort of tropical getaway or exclusive spa retreat. The peacefulness of this song felt out of place compared with all its Achtung Baby-era siblings. The piano and guitar seduced me in a way I didn’t expect. While the guitar provides the backbone, the piano presents an exploration of mood: steady, hushed, dance-like, stern (especially at the 1:08 mark), but mostly gentle. “Near The Island” has challenged me in ways I didn’t expect in that I realized that simplicity is underrated. Don’t get me wrong, as a U2 fan I do miss Adam and Larry’s touch in the song. Bono’s a great lyricist, but sometimes there’s more said when you say nothing at all.
After a day of loud toys and screaming children, I long for a change of pace. However, I know when this stage passes, I’ll long for the days of scattered Tinkertoys and puzzle pieces. “Near The Island” has allowed me to recognize that life passes quickly, and while it’s important to take a timeout to rejuvenate the soul, it’s important to cherish the precious moments each stage of life brings.
“Near The Island” has reinvigorated me as a U2 fan and has me very curious about the tracks that could make up Songs Of Ascent. The softer side of U2 is just as relevant, and as I’ve come to discover, it’s just as challenging as the punk side of the band. They continue to reinvent themselves to push the envelope more artistically. In a box set filled with rock ’n’ roll, club remixes, ballads, punk and electronica, a song like this may not be like the others, but it certainly does belong. As do the Legos on my kitchen table. c)@U2/Lawrence, 2011, link

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