So here it is, the NEW SINGLE from U2: Get on Your Boots! What do you think?
I’m not sure yet. It doesn’t seem to be U2. Although, to be honest prior singles didn’t sound all that U2-ish in the past. “Numb,” “Discotheque”, etc. and now, of course, they are instantly recognizable as U2 songs. And if you look at a track like “Mofo” (which I’d love to hear them remake as a more guitar based rock song) from “Pop”, they aren’t without precedent for releasing songs that push their musical boundaries or for completely throwing preconceived notions of what U2 sound like out the window. Many articles are saying that “Boots” is a natural progression from the sound of the last album, particularly “Vertigo,” and from the one before that, particularly “Beautiful Day.” I just don’t know. Yeah, it’s a rocker, but it does not sound like a U2 rocker (maybe too metal-y?). I think I have to wait to hear it in the context of the album to make a real decision.
Speaking of “No Line on the Horizon”…where the $#@! is “Mercy“?!?! That song should have been on the last album, and didn’t make the cut for this one? Ah well, my opinion of “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb” has lessened with the passage of time anyway (it just doesn’t stand up to “The Joshua Tree” or “Achtung Baby”), so hopefully the new album as a whole will impress me more than “Get on Your Boots” does on its own.
I guess, right now though, if put up against a wall in front of a firing squad for a comment specifically about “Get On Your Boots”:
It sounds like a b-side. It’s of the same U2 musical vein as “Holy Joe” (the Garage Mix) or a “Big Girls are Best” both of which are songs I really dig, but made much more sense as b-sides. And I know I sound like a dinosaur. Yeah, what’s a b-side nowaadays anyway, since there is no other side to a CD and most music people are buying now doesn’t have a side since it’s digital…I’m a product of by-gone age.
If anything, “Get on Your Boots” is not “Vertigo” or “Beautiful Day”. “Vertigo” was instantly catchy (though I still like the lyrical content of demo version “Native Son” much more) and “Beautiful Day” was a sweeping, soaring rock epic that brought U2 back into the popular consciousness after the ’90s. “Get on Your Boots” just doesn’t have that “I-want-to-sing-along-ness” that most U2 songs have.
Some interesting related articles/blog posts/etc: