I will admit that I was not a big fan of Magnificent when it first came out, thinking that it was a little boring. It is one of those U2 songs that has to grow on you, and after listening to it many times I can now say that I do like the song a lot. At least some of my liking for it stems from the live version off U22, recorded in Switzerland. Listening to that a number of times really made me like it, and want to rewind and play it again. Once again suggesting the whole live thing being better than recorded.
Not sure about the meaning of the song. Probably the intent is to be a love song of a kind, but which kind I don’t know. There are enough clues in it to suggest that it’s about a relationship that’s ended, but with one party still in love with the other. Love leaving a mark, healing a scar. On the other hand, he then throws in the “’til we die, you and I will magnify” which is reminiscent of the wedding vows, and therefore suggesting they’re still together. Maybe it’s together despite their feelings changing. I don’t know, I’m not very good at working this stuff out, am I?
The band was in their Fez phase, so the video is full-on Morocco. I assume it was filmed either in the place they recorded the album, or in somewhere very similar. I don’t quite get the point of the sheets floating around the town, or what it’s meant to represent.
I like the line “My first cry, it was a joyful noise”, it really does sound like Bono, doesn’t it? First of all the idea that a baby would make a joyful noise, but second of all that he has such an ego to be able to sing the line. Of course the “I was born to sing for you” works in a similar way, making him out to be more than he is.
I love the start, the opening pounding of both drums and guitar, it does bring up a sense of powerfulness in the song. It’s possibly the best part of the music, that bit from the start until just before Bono begins to sing, when the music seems to lighten up a lot. This song really is the band working in concert, you can pick out moment where each of the three are taking the lead in the song, and actually the video does this better than most U2 videos, highlighting each of the members as they take that lead spot for a few seconds. There are often videos where it is just Bono, and the rest of them are set decoration or background. There was a famous story about that for One, if I remember correctly, and I’ll have to get to that when I do that review. A different example would be A Celebration, where you for the most part barely see the rest of the guys while Bono does his thing.
My rating for Magnificent: 7 / 10