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U2 – War

30 06 2012

Listened: Wednesday May 2

I’m sure Achtung Baby was my first U2 and Boy was the last of the historical albums I acquired. But in between I’ve lost track of how things shook out. I’m pretty sure War was early on though, due to its songs that were already classics when I was in high school: Sunday Bloody Sunday and New Year’s Day.

As the years have passed, the sound of this album definitely has aged. Two Hearts Beat as One in particular is extremely 80s sounding, and on some days it even sounds dated to me.

Further, while Boy and October were very personal, post-punk albums, something has definitely changed here. With War, the band became big, anthemic, sure of themselves, a voice for young people.

I love how the album is bookended by two very similar lyrics – in Sunday Bloody Sunday “How long must we sing this song?” and in 40 “How long to sing this song?” One question asked with righteous indignation, and one with earnest faith.

War is actually filled with many questions: There’s many lost, but tell me who has won? Where are you going to now? Exactly who are you? Is there nothing left? Is honesty what you want? How can you help me? Through these questions I can hear more of that voice of and for young people (the members of the band were only 22 or 23 when this album was recorded), always challenging authority and looking for answers to questions no one else wants to ask. They might be older, wiser, and have a different style these days, but that’s what U2 is still about.

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13 07 2012
U2 – Boy « Emily's Albums A to Z

[…] has two covers. The top one is the international cover (and the Boy is the same boy as on the later War album). The bottom one is the US cover. The story behind the change is that the record company […]

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