And so here they are again, releasing a ballad as their second single. Which comes hot on the heels of the rockin’-it-up (as much as Top 40 Radio will allow at any rate) first single. It’s the same thing they did the last time – and the four or five times before that.
'Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own' isn't a terrible tune. It’s starts off softly with a delicately strummed acoustic guitar backed by a metronome. A couple of verses and then The Edge kicks in with his trademark Eno-esque guitar shimmer as Bono’s voice wafts up to grab the falsetto for the chorus. His softly intoned lyrics are either heartfelt sentiments or sappy enough to keep Amazon rubber-tappers in work for about a month, depending on which side of the divide you're sitting on. Repeat. Cue the big-chord bridge.
The real question is; who the hell is this review for, anyway? On the evidence of ticket sales for their latest tour, U2* are still arguably the biggest band on the planet with a fanbase is as loyal as it is gargantuan. On the other hand, I know there are an equal number of people out there who share *Henry Rollins’ opinion that this band has been "milking the same bass line and the same guitar trick for about five albums, and the world just kisses their ass, and it’s the biggest pile of shite I’ve ever heard!"
So if you’re undecided you must be one of the six people in the world currently sitting on the fence. Is it as awful as 'Elevation' or 'Please'? No, but then, few things are. Is it as brilliant as 'With Or Without You' or 'The Fly'? No, but then again, only a handful of songs are. I guess the clincher would be to stop comparing new U2 to old U2, and instead to compare it to what else has been released this month – and just a cursory glance should tell you that there’s a stack of new music far more deserving of your attention and cash. And it’s not like you’re going to see this lot down the job centre any time soon.
5Nick Cowen's Score