16th of June, 9.05, doorbell rings, man at the door says if I want to stay alive a bit longer…
I have a system for liking U2 songs. It goes like this: listen to the song/album the first time, and dislike it (mostly because I don’t know the songs yet). Listen to it again and again, and slowly things will start hitting me and the songs will grow on me. Sooner or later they will have become second nature and I will like them. What I have found is that it can sometimes take me a long time to know and like a song, and sometimes it takes a long time and I still don’t like it that much. But there are certain songs that I like the first or second time I listen to them, and those songs tend to become the ones that are the biggest hits and amongst my favorites. It doesn’t mean I can’t love a song if I don’t like it straight away, just that if I do it’s going to be with me forever. Breathe hits that category, a song that I loved the moment I heard it and a song that I rate really highly today.
I haven’t read any James Joyce, let alone Ulysses, the book that the song seems to be based on. I read the Wikipedia page once, that’s a good way to look smart without having to read all that junk, but then I’ve forgotten most of it anyway so more fool me. But basically the story is a day in the life of some dude, and it happens to be the 16th of June and that happens to be the day I’m posting this. There’s a show tonight in Montreal, I wonder if they’ll play Breathe (I don’t think they’ve played it yet on the Innocence + Experience tour), but maybe they’ll think of the day and do it. And then hopefully they’ll remember it next week when I’m seeing them in Chicago (although there seem to be a lot of songs I want to have in Chicago, not sure if they’ll have room for them all).
The song is a great lead song, it led off almost every show on the 360 tour, and I actually debate myself over whether I would prefer Breathe or Streets as the opening song to my ideal U2 show. Both of them start somewhat slow, building up until the point they take off. Both sound really good in doing so.
I’m not going to go through the whole song, there are so many parts that I could pick apart and point out how good they are. I’ll just pick on one line though, “The roar that lies on the other side of silence, the forest fire that is fear so deny it,” these are absolutely fabulous lines. Extremely poetic. The song almost seems to take a pause to highlight these lines, definitely a centerpiece. The first part is from George Eliot, yet another piece of literature I haven’t read (haven’t even done the Wikipedia page), the second I think is a Bono original, and somehow fits together really well with the first. This is what I talk about when I talk about the depth of the band and their music. Wonderful.
My rating for Breathe: 9 /10