Thursday, 21 November 2013

Track Review: U2 - Ordinary Love

U2, Irish rockers; responsible for some hilarious gags on South Park, and a top 100 album of all time in The Joshua Tree. Realistically, U2 need no introduction. Their career spans five decades, 12 albums, and an ever increasing million dollar bank account. They will be releasing their 13th album in 2014, with a release date to be announced at the Super Bowl in February - yes, that's how big U2 are, the Super Bowl. It's a pity U2 never returned to the Brian Eno produced form of 1987, but they've come close on occasion. Eno worked with U2 on the following album Achtung Baby, and the pop praised Zooropa. This trio of albums was undoubtedly U2's best period as a band, but can they rekindle the fire with producer Danger Mouse for their 13th album? Well, perhaps, but with "Ordinary Love", they seem to be taking a simpler, and less original direction.

Because U2 have been surpassing Darwin's expectation of life in five decades, it's no surprise their output has been lacklustre lately. No Line on the Horizon was sub-par and its predecessor (though winning nine pointless Grammy's) How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb wasn't the album the success made it out to be. "Ordinary Love" is in retrospect, not a comeback single. It's taken from the upcoming film Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. It will more than likely be on U2's upcoming album, but won't be surprised if it's left off. There are always questions surrounding how Bono and his entourage will compose, and write for an upcoming album. U2 actually excite their listeners with this sort of hype, which fellow five decader's fail to achieve. 

On the ear, "Ordinary Love" is a simple, refreshing song with a clear Bono vocal. But that's The Joshua Tree fan in me writing, the decades of averageness knowledge inside me notices the flaws on "Ordinary Love". U2 take up a soft rock, stadium-esque vibe with "Ordinary Love". It's not alternative rock, as U2 so easily fit in to. Edge's guitar isn't soaring because of a similarity the quartet must have picked up on. This is because U2 have taken the drop down version of four basic chords: D, A, C, and G, or - The Chevin's "Champion". Yes, U2's "Ordinary Love" seemingly takes influence, or simply the progression, of "Champion", just far slower in tempo. It's not the end of the world, but I’m sure you'll hear it, and The Chevin will hear it too (take a guess who one of their influences might be...) U2 also take a page out of Coldplay's book by using a simplistic piano riff mirroring the guitar and bass riffs. It's all too simple, but it does put Bono in the light (as you would expect these days.) But that's actually a strong point to "Ordinary Love", by Bono taking the pressure off the overall sound and creative structure, "Ordinary Love" comes across as a remarkable song. Sure, U2 are lacking originality and are maybe playing to a specific soft following audience with this, but it's the song-writing behind the lines that grab the listener, and put them in the position of Bono writing them. 
~Eddie Gibson

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