Invisible is a funky kind of music, it is one of those songs that if you listen to the individual parts they don’t seem to make much sense, but put them all together and it actually does flow nicely. A bouncy tune, danceable if you’re in a club I guess. It has that kind of electronic music part that goes “woo ooo ooo ooo”, set to the “there is no them” lyric that repeats throughout the song, somewhat of a siren call you might imagine. If you were to hear that by itself it would, as I said, sound odd. But in the song and when you hear the lyric that it goes with it sounds good.
There is kind of a dichotomy of the lyrics here, or of the meaning of the song. Bono has said he is talking about himself and getting started in the business, traveling to London and sleeping in a train station while trying to make a name for himself. Yes, okay, if I read deeply into the lyrics I can see that a little, that he’s trying to present himself and the band to anyone who will listen, but most people either don’t want to hear him at all or will only give him a moment. I think we all know about that, when you’re starting out in the world and you’re full of ideas but no-one wants to listen because you don’t have the experience they do. I have felt that myself in some of my jobs, and without trying to sound like a know-it-all, I think I have been proven right time and again. I’d like to think I would give other people the opportunity to prove themselves without shutting them down first. So yeah, I can see this in the song a little.
The other idea I get from the song is boosted by the association with the Product RED campaign, thus supporting AIDS research etc, and Bono’s whole ongoing talk about Africa. I think of it as looking at Africa and saying we are people too, and even though you don’t see us every day - we’re invisible to you - we are still here, and we still want and need your help in many ways. It’s a thought of not wanting to be left behind, or ignored, only to show up when some major tragedy like Ebola or a famine get into the news. Of course that only works with part of the song, basically the repeated words “There is no them, there’s only us” and the invisible bit. Not sure about the rest.
One of the more interesting ideas is the line “I won’t be my father’s son”, which of course Bono has spent so many years and so many lyrics on. The relationship between him and his father, I mean. There were long periods when the two of them were apparently not on very good terms, and it wasn’t until late in his father’s life that they began to talk and understand each other a little better. So for him to throw out this line is a way to go back to those early days in his musical career, saying he won’t be his father’s son, won’t knuckle under and get a job somewhere and give up on the dream.
My rating for Invisible: 4 / 10