I often envy Bono and the boys for the lives they have had. They have gone out and done everything and seen everything, and I have sat at home and watched them do it. Could I have done what they did? No, I don’t think so, I didn’t have someone to drag or push me out the door and do what they did. I suppose if things had worked out a little differently, if someone had posted a sign on a noticeboard at my school, I could have done something like them. On the other hand, when I was in school I was a nerd, a science geek, and not into playing any kind of music. So that path might have been closed off for me anyway. But I guess I could have taken some other route to fame and fortune.
The point of all this? That even if I can’t stand on a stage in front of thousands of people, I can go to the places they’ve been and see what they’ve seen. One of those places happens to be one of my favorite places to go, God’s Country, although the definition may differ a little here and there. I see it as the wide open spaces, sitting on top of hills or mountains and looking out across nature, sitting under a vast and open sky just breathing it all in. I have done that many times in my life - I was a grad student in plant biology, specializing in mountain plants - and I think there are few places in the world I would rather be than sitting on top of a mountain by myself, with the feeling of being alone, of being somewhere that no-one had ever been before. That is my impression of being In God’s Country is.
I really like In God’s Country. This is one of those songs that has all the parts working just right. It comes at the right time in their career, just as they are peaking and really beginning to show their chops as performers. It starts with guitars running fast together, then the drums and the bass kick in and the whole is much better than the parts. About the only thing I could criticize the song for is that it plays so fast it’s impossible for me to play it, and it’s one of those songs I’d love to be able to play. That’s not much of a criticism, is it? I guess the other complaint I’d have is that it is so short, at 2:57 there are only a handful of songs that have been shorter. Too little of a good thing, in this case.
The whole of the song reminds me of a movie, this is a song that is very visual in the lyrics. It is the opening title sequence of a movie, you would see the camera panning across those desert spaces, maybe the start of something like the old Clint Eastwood movies, although not necessarily a Western. Maybe it’s the start of some artsy kind of movie set in the desert, and as the song ends we finally finish panning and come to some kind of old shack in the middle of nowhere, and whatever the movie is about begins. Really cinematic, huh?
My rating for In God’s Country: 7 / 10