One Step Closer is towards the end of How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, in the slowing down phase of the album. It starts slow, it is slow, it is a little dull. I always think of it as a wind-up item, not necessarily a toy but something like that, maybe more like the old style of record player that you have wind, and it’s winding down to a finish. You definitely get that feeling as the song finishes, that it just runs out of steam. Both the music and the lyrics seem to just stop at the end.
The song has a myriad of possibilities, none of which are satisfying. The title comes from Noel Gallagher, who supposedly told Bono that Bono’s father was one step closer to knowing if there’s a god, as he was dying. If you read it this way, and it’s easy to do, there’s a whole lot in there about Bono’s father, and the feelings Bono was having around that time.
I can’t say the song inspires me, or depresses me, or does anything that it may be expected to do. It’s just one of those songs that I listen to on occasion, wonder what’s going on in it, and then pass on by to the next thing. This review is possibly the most I’ve thought about it in years, if not ever.
I suppose you could say it’s about being lost in the world, I might have some feelings about that. Not necessarily steps closer to death, or to God, but certainly steps in the direction that I should be going in (whatever that might be). Each verse could be considered that way, that you’re far from where you’re supposed to be, but on the other hand, it might just be around the corner or across the river. Almost like you might just take the right turn and be at your destination. The image of the future getting away, watching the tail lights glowing, that brings in mind a group of episodes from The Walking Dead, following a car in the dark and only seeing the tail lights (if you’ve seen the show you know what I’m talking about, if not, well, it’s the feeling of that something getting away and you may or may not be able to find it).
The one line I do like in the song is “can you hear the drummer slowing,” which of course is the song winding down, but it also brings in the image of the heartbeat slowing, life coming to an end. I like it though, because it brings to mind Larry and the many ways he is used to evoke a heartbeat, both in the current tour and over the years. It is an interesting idea to think of a heartbeat being so many beats before life does run out. Not a happy idea, but interesting.
Didn’t see any of the show tonight, but I did see that Lady Gaga was on the stage with the band. I have to admit, I don’t like them bringing up celebrities, first Jimmy Fallon now Lady Gaga. There’s a big difference between a person being pulled out of the crowd, that spontaneity, and the rehearsed setup of the celebrity. I hope this is just a New York thing, that there’s so many more famous people in the crowd, rather than a thing that they’re going to keep doing throughout the tour.
My rating for One Step Closer: 2 / 10