Wandering through the middle of Pop is an adventure in randomness and a series of not very good songs. Sorry to say it but it’s true, Pop is one of the worst albums, and it’s best songs are at the end. The middle and perhaps the early part of the album are weak to terrible. Gone, being right in there, qualifies the same way. It feels like a song that maybe could have something in it, like much of the rest of the album it feels undercooked. U2 have said that the problem with the album is that they set a release date before it was finished, and thus never really got to finish many of the songs before they had to let it go.
The music is typically Pop, in some ways typical of the bad songs that U2 have released. A lot of drums - no offense Larry, but I think it’s pretty clear that for most of the good U2 songs you are working in the back, trying to get the rhythm going, rather than pushing out in front and guiding things. Similar thought for Adam, although that doesn’t really happen on this song, I guess I might say that the one thing that works on the song is the bass, very understated, just pushing things along as it should rather than getting in the way. Edge is out in his experimental self, and that’s okay when you’re working on a song, when you’re being creative with it, but again, you need to dial back the wildness to get to the core of the song, and that doesn’t happen here.
Bono’s lyrics leave a little to be desired too, there’s a little too much falling back into “I’m not coming down” when he doesn’t know what else to say, along with the end which is just all repeating Gone and similar sounding words to try and get an effect going. The song is ostensibly about being a rock star, about having everything thrown at you and feeling like you don’t deserve it. It’s the same feeling so many people get, that they’re frauds who are going to be found out someday, so they get nervous and defensive about their actions and success. I have recently been reading a lot about success, about this feeling, and come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter. What matters is yourself, if you are successful you deserve it for a reason. I have always been nervous about public speaking, even speaking in front of a small group of coworkers. But again, lately I’ve realized that everyone is, and no-one is ready to stand up and do things. So if I do things then I’ll get to be the person that others admire, or go to, or whatever. So I’ve been trying to do that more lately. Tomorrow I have to present in front of a large group of strangers, next week I have to present in front of my coworkers. I’ll try to think of Bono’s words when I’m doing it, maybe I’m learning to like the way it feels.
And after all that, the news coming from Bono today was a rumor that the next album, Songs Of Experience, will be out next year. I’d like to say sooner rather than later, but I’d also like to make sure they cook it properly before they release it, so we don’t end up with an album like Pop and songs like Gone.
My rating for Gone: 4 / 10