Wednesday, 5 February 2014

U2 - Invisible

In all honesty I wasn't expecting much from this song. I've been a big disillusioned with U2 for generally putting out good, safe songs. The latest example of that was Ordinary Love. Yes, it was for the soundtrack of the recent Mandela film, but it really wasn't anything special - it was good, safe U2 and it didn't excite me. And that's what I've been missing, the excitement U2 could bring with the music, the buzz.

So I downloaded the song and right away realised this was a bit different, it was looser, with a hint of rawness, electronica, it sounded modern yet was also pure U2 - in the best sense. It has a touch of Mercy about it, and I love Edge's guitar throughout.  I'll admit I don't really know much about Danger Mouses's work, but I like what he has done with this U2 song, they sound freer somehow, I was tired of over-produced songs we had been getting.

I love the lyrics, Bono is back to his best here. It is one of those U2 songs that lyrically can refer to more than one thing. Bono has said it refers to when he was first in London in the late 70's and he felt invisible amongst all the crowds and cool punks. It could equally refer to anyone disadvantaged and ignored in our society or far away in Africa, anyone from a broken relationship, anyone who feels isolated.  The words feel both personal and universal, each listener will find their own meaning.

By time the song finished I had a daft grin on my face, always a sign I love a song! I had that wonderful buzz again and that felt good. I could visualise singing along to the chorus at a gig (whenever that might be but that's another subject!)  Is it a great, classic song? Probably not, but I love it and it is a move in the right direction, a move away from the U2 norm of recent years. I hope it this is a sign of things to come for the new album.

And, just to finish, so far the song has raised over $3 million for (RED) The Global to Fight Against AIDS, TB and Malaria. No matter what you think of the song, that's pretty remarkable in itself.

Below is a promo video for the song, a full video is coming soon and I will upload that when it is available.


  1. Sadly, I have to say that the new material doesn't do anything for me. All I hear is just plain old U2, competently pieced together and executed, but without the youthful recklessness and inspiration that made them so special in the 80s and early 90s. U2 may be better musicians now, but their music has become predictable and formulaic, there is no vision, no hunger, no real need to express themselves in a unique manner behind their corporate music-making machine. And to make things worse, Bono has become an insufferable poser, I truly loathe his on-stage rockstar antics at age 53! I type this with a sad expression on my face, because I was and still am a great fan of U2 up to "Achtung Baby". That album was their zenith, but from then on it was a slow downward spiral. Perhaps it's time for them to call it quits. They are very close to mutating into those same "boring old farts" they stood up against when they were young. - So I fear, we have to agree to disagree on this one, Sue. :-)

  2. Yes Andy, we'll have to agree to disagree on this one :) I see this song as a step in the right direction, whether the album will be the same old stuff or something more vital time will tell. I don't expect them to be great again like in the AB days, they are different people, as we all are, but I would like them to show they still have some magic, not sure if they have that, but this song, for me, has a touch of that.

    1. I'm glad that you like the song, Sue, and I would never try to dispute that feeling away from you. :-) Maybe it's just that U2 are no longer that important to me and that generally I've moved on to other kinds of music. As you say, we all change, and what once was the soundtrack of my live is now only a faint echo of days gone by. If I happen to listen to a U2 song it never fails to evoke fond memories; but I seldom listen to U2 nowadays, haven't put on a U2 CD for years.

  3. Yes, we often do move on for lots of reasons, but as long as we still get enjoyment from music (whoever creates it) our world is enriched :)