Just the title Angels Too Tied To The Ground makes me think of Wings Of Desire, with the angels flying around. Of course they’re not at all related, Angels Too Tied To The Ground was done during the War album sessions, but only completed and released a few years ago when they did the anniversary War album. It was re-recorded apparently, Bono’s voice is definitely much more modern, but it’s hard to tell about the rest of it, the music itself, whether it is old or modern, if they recorded that fresh too.
Angels Too Tied To The Ground has piano and bass leading it off, and the bass sounds really good throughout the song. I don’t know if I’ve ever decided on when peak bass happened for Adam, I don’t know if I could decide that, but I think that War is when everything began coming together. It is when the band had several years of experience, which gave them more confidence in what they were doing and meant they would try more risky ideas here and there. Some of them paid off handsomely, and of course got them to where they are today. In Angels Too Tied To The Ground I think the bass is the standout.
You have the drums which sound fairly similar to the rest of the drums off War, slightly militaristic, a little heavy on the snare, a little loud compared to the rest of the music, nothing wrong with them just needing a little toning down, moving to the background somewhat. The piano is there throughout, but mostly does disappear into the background, that may be because Edge is playing and switching back and forth from guitar to piano, which means when he’s playing guitar the piano is of course gone and forgotten.
Lyrically we see what I have said all year long, that the early songs were much more basic than they are now. Angels Too Tied To The Ground follows that same feeling, you can take half the lyrics away because they are just a repeat of the title, and what you are left with is pretty simple. Essentially just a few sentences beginning with “what is it” that somehow end up about being stopped from love, I think. Either some kind of block from the person you love, or certainly at the end talking about surrender with the white flag. A little obscure, I think, it is mostly just the feeling there. I can’t say it is good or bad, just that it is. Like many of the songs from the early albums, the thoughts behind them are not really coherent, just a display of feelings.
I don’t think I have listened to this song enough to like it, and I’m not sure if I ever will. The one part I do like - the part where he sings the title quite quickly - stands out, but the rest of the song isn’t enough to sustain it.
My rating for Angels Too Tied To The Ground: 3 / 10