So the story has been that three songs were meant to form some kind of trilogy, but only one of them ever made it big. That of course was With Or Without You, the others being Walk To The Water and Luminous Times (Hold On To Love). I mentioned this trilogy a little in the Walk To The Water review.
I ended the Walk To The Water review by suggesting that the theme was let me love you, with or without you, and hold on to love. It might just be that continuation, I think I can see it that way. Needing to hold on, not wanting to let go. She is all these influences in his life. It does support that theory. I’m still not quite sure of the order though, I don’t necessarily see it in the order shown above. Dang, the more I write the more I convince myself it’s not a trilogy after all. Maybe I ought to stop.
Slow start, waiting for something to happen, and it does when Bono starts singing. Actually the song really takes off, or at least grabs my attention, when he sings the second “save my soul,” I don’t know why but that’s the point it starts sounding good.
The “she” verses are interesting, he has used that technique before in a number of songs, that repetitive part, sound, echo, whatever you want to call it. This is the way that I like repetition, doing it a little different each time, so that you don’t quite know what to expect next. This is one of those songs that you know he’d have trouble singing live, mixing up the lines into different orders each time.
There is the “she is the car crash” line, and the way it is sung and the way the music goes right after that line, I always think that is the end of the song. But then it kicks back up into the next line, and I’m left feeling a little perplexed about it.
His guttural “hold on to love” in the middle is an interesting sound too, not sure how he doesn’t hurt his voice singing it like that.
And now I get to end with a huge twist in the tale. As I wrote this, as I read the lyrics, it suddenly occurred to me that he wasn’t talking about love, or the trilogy that was mentioned earlier. No, he was talking about a baby. Not his baby, because the song was written two years before his first child was born. But take the line “God has given me your hand, it holds me in a tiny fist” and tell me that doesn’t mean child. Then read back through the rest of it with that thought in mind. “She comes like carnival, she is the big wheel.” Doesn’t all of it make you think of having a kid in your life? The wildness that takes over and the dedication to that person, that force of nature. Just a thought.
My rating for Luminous Times (Hold On To Love): 5 / 10