Friday, January 30, 2009

A Defense of "Get On Your Boots"

Let me preface this track review with this caveat: I'm not saying this as a U2 fan. I am a U2 fan, but I genuinely think "Get On Your Boots" is a pretty decent song. That said, is it a great song? Does it have the fire and immediacy of the first five tracks of The Joshua Tree? No. It is not a great U2 work, and I'll admit the hook is essentially a reworking of the hook of "City of Blinding Lights."

Whereas U2's last album was almost buffoonishly mediocre; it was a showcase of terrible songwriting and meandering song structures. It was defiantly unhooky and the best track probably belonged on a Christian contemporary album.

Expecting a renaissance of Joshua Tree U2 is dumb, because if someone rerecords the same album over and over again we give them shit for being uncreative. "Get On Your Boots" is essentially a nice pop single: it's not going to save your soul, but it's got a nice bluesy riff and and alright rock-driving hook. The songwriting is already exponentially better than it was on How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, and if you listen close you can hear some latent guitar work akin to the noodlings on Boy and October. Sure, making the pre-hook "Sexy boots, get on your boots" is dumb, and the verses seem to be completely irrelevant to the chorus. But the music is tight; U2's whole sonic aesthetic is about being one unit. The rhythm section is pretty cohesive, and the Edge is doing something that doesn't involve a lot of delay for a change. It's as dancy as anything since "Discotheque," and Bono sounds like he's at least been doing vocal warmups or something.

Since users on Stereogum are probably empirically dudes who listened to Crooked Rain Crooked Rain and the rest of that shit, I'm not going to hold their opinions in huge esteem. Is that single-minded? Perhaps: but if I wrote off a pretty solid band based on a single I wouldn't listen to music. I'm confident about No Line on the Horizon.

All this said the new Springsteen album is pretty meh.

1 comment:

  1. I am definitely counting "Get On Your Boots" as a marketing aberration, and praying No Line on the Horizon is as good as it is rumored to potentially be.