I’m torn on Songs Of Innocence. As I’ve said before, I tend to dislike new U2 albums on first hearing, and it takes a few listens for them to warm up. Some songs take more listens than others. Songs Of Innocence has come and gone for me, I have found songs that I like a lot, songs that I dislike, and others that are lukewarm. This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now has fallen into the neutral zone. I have tended to think not too much of it, but then I have also found myself singing or humming the tagline now and then. So there is something there. Having said that, there are times when I’ve been singing This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now and found myself hitting the chorus for The Troubles (I start the section beginning with soldier soldier, and somehow end with you’re not my troubles anymore), so obviously I don’t quite have the song down or focused properly.
Interesting listening to seagulls at the start of the song, which hearkens back to Fez and Morocco during the No Line On The Horizon sessions. What’s the deal with having a few birds singing on the song? I mean, does it actually add anything to it? Or take anything away? I don’t think so in either direction, so I don’t think I get the point of it.
Recently I’ve been harping on about old songs, how they’re just a few words repeated over and over (like, one verse, one chorus, each repeated three times). I’ve said that I like U2 songs, especially more recent ones, where they have widely varied verses and don’t repeat too much. It adds a veneer of modernity, of sophistication I think. So it’s ironic that in this song I don’t like the verses, they irritate me both musically and lyrically. They drop into a weird sound as the verses start, and climb out of that sound when they end. Not sure how to describe the sound, it’s something like bass all round. The bright and bouncy sound disappears, we get bass, and Bono goes to a deep voice as well. Just odd. Somewhat deep, dark, mysterious maybe. Devil-like (I first wrote devilish, but that sounded a little too playful for the mood I was trying to express). Creepy. Even the lyrics in this section don’t sound very nice. “We’ve come to colonize your night and steal your poetry.”
Then it jumps into the old man section(s), and those are interesting. “…I never listen so how could I have something to say,” isn’t that the refrain of every parent? You also get the soldier soldier sections, and those are just repeats of each other without any lyrical differences (a cardinal sin), but also oddly enough the “Soldier soldier” confuses people, I’ve had more than one person ask what they’re saying there. Not sure why, it seems clear to me, but then I’m a person who would listen to the song fifty times (and read the lyrics), versus just once or twice.
My rating on This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now: 4 / 10