u2

Content tagged as u2.

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Coldplay: Viva la Vida or Death And All Her Friends (EMI)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Coldplay: Viva la Vida or Death And All Her Friends (EMI)

One advantage of not listening to commercial radio is that you don't start going off songs or bands through over-familiarity. Which might explain why I quite like this new album by a band which seems to annoy most right-thinking people and serious music writers.But I hear so little of them -- I rarely play the albums I have -- that this one...

U2: No Line on the Horizon (Universal)

U2: No Line on the Horizon (Universal)

Just a thought: would U2 be better without Bono? That isn't a comment on his ego and political activities -- which I have no issue with, everyone has an ego and I think he's done some decent political work. Nope, it is more on the bombastic delivery he too often brings to U2 when they can be at their most musically interesting. As here, an...

Radiohead: The Bends (1995)

Radiohead: The Bends (1995)

There is an easy and convincing case to be made for Radiohead's more obvious OK Computer of '97 -- or the even more edgy Kid A of 2000 -- as an Essential Elsewhere album. But The Bends was their turning point. This was the album which took them from the pop culture hit Creep (which appeared in the teen comedy Clueless where the main...

Chris Isaak: Always Got Tonight (Reprise)

Chris Isaak: Always Got Tonight (Reprise)

The composed and moody Isaak isn't a guy you'd credit with a sense of humour but his TV show, sort of sitcom-cum-real life, was so self-deprecating he's going to get a fairer hearing round my way from now on. That said, little has changed since his last album four years ago — the humour injection notwithstanding — and...

2am Orchestra: Impermanence (DJK)

2am Orchestra: Impermanence (DJK)

You'd be wise to put aside any preconceptions of what this music might sound like if you simply guessed from the band's name (dark, slow, ambient?), because David Kelley who is the mainman here aims (with a lot of help from his friends) to be nothing less than Arcade Fire with hints of mid-period Radiohead. This is dramatic music full...

Christy Moore: The story teller and me

Christy Moore: The story teller and me

Car dealers certainly. Lawyers and politicians of course, when it best suits them. But musicians? I know they gild the truth or embellish it for some self-aggradisement, but I never really expect them to fib directly, and in this case so convincingly. The great Irish Republican singer-songwriter Christy Moore was in wet Wellington...

A Mountain of One: Institute of Joy (Pod)

A Mountain of One: Institute of Joy (Pod)

After a couple of much sought after EPs the London duo of Zeben Jameson and Mo Morris here (with a lot of help from their friends) unveiled their much anticipated debut album last year. And quite some cosmic trip it was. Their often very lovely and certainly astral-aimed psychedelic sound owed debts to the likes of Pink Floyd (the Meddle...

The Doves: The Places Between; The Best of the Doves (EMI CD/DVD)

The Doves: The Places Between; The Best of the Doves (EMI CD/DVD)

This alt.rock English outfit -- here wrapping up their first decade with a double CD and DVD set -- are one of those bands which people feel passionately about (one of my sons) or just let go right on by. They were nominated for the Mercury Award for both of their first two albums (Lost Souls in 2000, the even better The Last Broadcast two...

The National: High Violet (4AD)

The National: High Violet (4AD)

Frankly, I want to like the National more, but their almost willfully/arty obscurantism is often off-putting. The DVD which came with their extended EP A Skin/A Night, The Virginia EP seemed like an attempt at creating depth in something which was inherently ordinary. And I feel a little the same about this album: the all-in production...

THE BARGAIN BUY: Radiohead; OK Computer (EMI)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Radiohead; OK Computer (EMI)

Just as Achtung Baby and Zooropa represented a watershed period for U2, so The Bends of '95 and especially OK Computer of two years later marked a turning point in Radiohead's still-young career. On reflection it is hard to believe that on just their second album (The Bends) that a band could make such a daring, sideways career move -- and...

U2: Mysterious Ways (The Perfecto Remix, 1991)

U2: Mysterious Ways (The Perfecto Remix, 1991)

U2 may have reverted to musical type with stadium anthems and those long chiming chords which roll towards singalong or bellicose choruses, but around the time of Achtung Baby and Zooropa they were a genuinely innovative band. And much of the music of that period lent itself to remixing and mashing.  Their fan magazine Propaganda issued...

AMMP: From the Back of the Sun (ampp.co.nz)

AMMP: From the Back of the Sun (ampp.co.nz)

You have to admire -- and be something in awe of -- this four-piece from Wellington. They set their controls at "epic: stadium width" and manage to write and deliver material which matches that enormous ambition. Living rooms feel far too small for their industrial strength, well-crafted U2-like sound so it's no surprise their new...

The War on Drugs: Slave Ambient (Secretly Canadian)

The War on Drugs: Slave Ambient (Secretly Canadian)

From the amusing band name (yep, the bad guys won that particular war, bro) through their swooning post-REM pop-rock, this fine and play-loud album so adeptly juggles Tom Petty/Byrds, slacker alt rock and post-grunge 90s pop (Evan Dando/Buffalo Tom) you can't help but like it. And Philadelphian songwriter Adam Granduciel's has seriously...

U2, ACHTUNG BABY TURNS 20 (2011): The handbrake turn

U2, ACHTUNG BABY TURNS 20 (2011): The handbrake turn

In Dublin, at the end of the final U2 concert on the Lovetown tour in 1989 -- broadcast to 200 million in a live radio link up -- Bono said they would now “go away and dream it all up again”. From a scrappy post-punk band at the start of the decade they had delivered half a dozen albums which connected them with a global...

U23D CONCERT MOVIE: Even Better Than the Real Thing?

U23D CONCERT MOVIE: Even Better Than the Real Thing?

From where I hear it, the last couple of U2 albums have been a musical retreat from their innovative albums of the early 90s such as Achtung Baby and Zooropa, the only albums by them I have ever taken seriously. Prior to that I thought they were pompous, Bono’s messianic stage attitudes irritating when they weren’t plain...

U2: Songs of Innocence (iTunes)

U2: Songs of Innocence (iTunes)

Because there's often a rush to judgement about U2 -- many hate them so passionately they don't feel the need to listen to them before dismissing an album as rubbish -- I've sat back on this new album released free through iTunes. I will declare my prejudices immediately: I liked very, very little of their work before Achtung Baby (I can be...

U2: My unforgettable fire

U2: My unforgettable fire

It was quite a few years ago now but I'll never forget it. U2 damn near killed me. Them, the Arizona sun, a famous architect and tequila actually. It was during their Pop-Mart tour -- the one with the giant Spinal Tap-like lemon -- and I happened to be driving around America. They were scheduled to play at the huge Sun Devil Stadium in...

Mick Jones of the Clash: Career Opportunities

Mick Jones of the Clash: Career Opportunities

Years later someone brought it to my attention: in Marcus Gray's book about the Clash, Last Gang in Town, there is mention of -- and a quote from -- my December 93 interview with Mick Jones. By the time I got to Mick the Clash was well behind him and he was in Melbourne with his band Big Audio Dynamite II opening for U2. It was a good...

THE OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST DVD REVIEWED (2007)

THE OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST DVD REVIEWED (2007)

If you want to capture the essence of the 70s in a word it's "hair". At the start of the decade there were Afros and cascades of curls halfway down backs (that's the men) and the long straight stuff with fringes (the women -- and Noddy Holder from Slade). By mid-decade there were dreadlocks, moustaches and big sideburns...

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