Saturday night was Halloween, which is a tradition I am not much into, coming from a country where it is not generally celebrated. I have learned to at least tolerate it, if not enjoy it, since my son was born. He obviously loves it, and will go all out, as will my wife each year. I tend to switch back and forth, usually not bothering to do anything but on occasion doing something pretty much last minute. For example one year I went out and got a Darth Vader costume to wear. I would guess that over the years I’ve probably done maybe a half dozen costumes, not many more than that. And getting to the point that I am making, this year my wife dressed as the bad woman from the Minions movie, and while in general I wasn’t a fan of the movie (it’s for kids, not me), I can tell you that she did a good job, and it made me think of the velvet dress that Bono sings about in If You Wear That Velvet Dress. Yes, I know, some of you are thinking TMI right now, but we’re all adults here, right? And ironically I have been feeling ill today, which also gets referenced in the song.
If You Wear That Velvet Dress is a good song on a generally bad album, I think I have it as about the second best song on Pop. Above average overall though, it could be considered a little creepy, a little perverted, a little like some kind of lounge singer in a bar somewhere, singing a song about a guy hitting on women. Dark and mysterious in many ways.
The music is great, deep and dark, mystifying, just a song where everything is understated, nothing stands out too much, they work together in the background to play while Bono sings. This is definitely the idea of the singer I mentioned above, he is taking the lead and the band in the back is just there playing, not at all the focus of the song.
“I’ve been good” is one of those trigger lines for me, every time I hear it “because I know you don’t want me to” pops right into my head, and sometimes out my mouth, depending on who I’m talking to. Other triggers in this song are “we’ve been here before” and “the moon is a mirrorball,” although that second one doesn’t come up too often. I guess the actual trigger there is just the word “mirrorball,” which brings out the whole line.
The song is sexual in its intent and meaning, there are few more obviously sexual U2 songs. It all depends on how you listen to it though, as to whether you take it as that creepy version, or the lustful version that is probably a little better. I will take it as the second way, as a song between two consenting adults in their own room, and enjoy it for that rather than anything else you might be imagining.
My rating for If You Wear That Velvet Dress: 6 / 10