I am not much of a superhero fan, as I mentioned way back when I did the Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me review. I am also not much of a musicals fan, I find it frankly ridiculous that there are a bunch of people walking around doing stuff and then they suddenly burst into song. I don’t mind regular theater, it’s the singing part that annoys me. So the whole idea of the Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark show was pretty much the antithesis of anything I would be interested in. I never saw the show, don’t know much about it, but I did buy the album just to be able to write this review. Not sure it was worth the money, although there are some mildly hidden gems in it.
There are a few songs in the album that are marginally worth listening to, but most of them not. Like I said, I don’t like musicals, so the ones that specifically sound like show tunes automatically make me switch off. Of the others, I can’t say how much of the music was written by Bono and Edge, the Wikipedia page lists other people as doing orchestration and stuff, I guess Bono and Edge gave the lead guidance for it. They do describe it a little weirdly, as being rock, or opera, or circus, or theater. I think that might have been half of the problem for the show, it had no real standing point that they could put it on, it was a mishmash of things.
I like Boy Falls From The Sky, both the lyrics and the music, and Rise Above 1, which has the line “there’s no them, only us,” that of course comes back around a few years later in Invisible. There’s also a Rise Above 2, and the start of that song is possibly the most U2 sounding lyrics, with lines like “When the ones who damn the innocent, well they own the nightly news, and front page.”
Picture This actually has Bono and Edge playing and singing, that is it isn’t taken from the show. Can’t say it’s a great song, I think of the Beatles when I hear it, not sure why. The other song directly from Bono and Edge, meaning not sung by a cast member, Sinistereo has an interesting name, and is supposedly sung by The Edge, but it’s hard to tell and I’m not a fan.
Bouncing Off The Walls reminds me a lot of Blow Your House Down, a b side from Achtung Baby. So I like it somewhat.
Pull The Trigger is the epitome of show tunes, for me, just by the sound, by the way it’s sung. It sounds so over the top, which is what you have to do when you’re on stage, but it’s another of those non-reflections of real life that I dislike. Same goes with A Freak Like Me Needs Company, also sung by the same guy, so maybe it’s just him. Having said that, one of the other songs that I find myself liking a little is very similar, and that is If The World Should End. Although I think I really only like the title line in the song, just the way it is sung.
My rating for Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark: 3 / 10