I don’t know what the random number generator is doing this week, but it’s pulled up another great unknown. A few days ago it stopped on Holy Joe, which I said was good enough to be the second best song on Pop, if it had made the album. Today we get Disappearing Act, which I would have had as third or fourth best song on The Unforgettable Fire, if it had made it instead of waiting forever to get onto the Deluxe edition of the album.
Okay, so I go do some research and it turns out it wasn’t even finished until just a few years ago, during the 360 tour and for the deluxe Unforgettable Fire release. Maybe that’s why it sounds so good, although they kept the music from back then and just added the lyrics lately.
It starts with the basic guitar line from I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (interesting that it was created during the Unforgettable Fire sessions but held off, and not used until it was resurrected during the Joshua Tree). Then the rest of the band joins in and it starts rocking. This song really soars, it is pretty much exactly what I would describe if I was trying to describe the U2 sound overall. You have the drums thumping away, the bass is driving the song forward, the guitar is alternately quiet and chiming and really pulling away. Then add the lyrics, which are really interesting, and the whole thing is great. Perhaps the epitome of U2.
They get into the section that starts with “Alone,” and ends with “And you think that you can love,” and I just love it. I mean, this is one of the best sounds I think U2 ever created. I would, I could, and I have listened to just this part of the song over and over. They repeat it twice during the song, but in the best way possible, which is that there is the same sound, and some of the same words (I.e. the ones I just listed), but everything in between has the same rhythm but different lyrics. It works really well both times.
Okay, so now we get to my impression of the lyrics. I’m studying them and thinking about them, and here’s what I come up with. As always, your mileage may vary, and I may be way off the charts on this. I’m going to say that it’s about a relationship that has ended. The first part is about the guy (or girl I suppose, my natural way is to think of it as the guy since I am one), he’s been left, and he’s saying okay, that’s fine, I’m alone now and I’m happy about it. Probably a bad relationship for a while and he’s glad to be free. Then the second part he’s changed his tune, he’s talking about her, he’s saying that he misses her and wonders if she found what she was looking for (see what I did there?) when she left, or if she’s missing him too. Yes, no, maybe? Something else to add to my movie based on U2 songs (yeah, you’ll have to dig deep to find those references).
My rating for Disappearing Act: 8 / 10