There are two versions of Boomerang, obviously called I and II. They were released as b sides to Pride, variously on different editions and sometimes on the same one. Boomerang I was an instrumental, although I didn’t mention it a couple of weeks ago when I covered instrumentals, because I was saving it for this review, just because it went with version II. Boomerang II had lyrics, which make it better than I, but not better enough to make it worth much.
My untrained ear can’t tell much about version I. I hear a loop of about four seconds, maybe even not that long, repeated over and over. Slowly during the song other little bits are added here and there, a wah-wah-wah comes in and out, and a high pitched jingle-jingle joins and sticks around. So overall it’s basically additive, each bit that gets added in staying for most if not all of the rest of the song. Doesn’t make for particularly compelling music, in fact I guess you could tune in for the last four seconds of the song and you would have heard all of it, right? Well, maybe a little more than that, because the end kind of dies away. But you could listen to the time from thirty seconds left to twenty seconds left and you’d have it all. I also keep imagining I’m about to hear Bono pop in and start wailing at any time, which suggests I’ve listened to version II too much.
Version II adds a couple of minutes, which may tell you all you need to know about Bono. Oh, I kid, you know I do. Singing pops up around 30 seconds in. The lyrics follow throughout, but really kind of indistinct. I have to go read the lyrics to be able to follow them completely. And they turn out to be fairly disappointing, the repetitive “soul wind blow” isn’t very exciting. The most exciting part is the “in the drift” section, repeated a couple of times, which actually brings up a little bit of excitement. Not much though, and like the rest of the song just not enough to be of long lasting interest. There are obvious reasons why this is a b side. And there are also obvious reasons why it is a b side on The Unforgettable Fire, this is a song that was tailor made for Brian Eno, or perhaps by Brian Eno. It’s one of those that are the soundtrack of his life.
I can’t really hear the music in the second version well enough to tell if it does the same stuff as the first. It does build the same, at least in the early stages, but I can’t tell if it just continues with the same from that two minute mark to the end. There are a couple of spots where it changes slightly, but not that much.
Great show tonight, the last one in Boston. Really wish I was heading to New York.
My rating for Boomerang I / II: 3 / 10