why mat should not be a rock critic

sonny bono is dead-----sonnybono (17k image)Mat’s Favorite Sections/Parts for U2’s Achtung Baby

01 – Zoo Station :: Definately one of my least favorite cuts on the CD. Very hip, but lacking in a really challenging or gripping hook. I love the flanging guitar throughout it and the clav� on the off-beats. Could they have chorus Bono’s vox anymore?

02 – Even Better Than The Real Thing :: Another one down at the bottom of the list. I still have the stigma of seeing Dana Carvey in his Wayne’s World persona playing drums with U2 at some music awards ceremony during the Zooropa Tour. The harmony vox are pretty interesting. Great Apollo 440 remixes for the clubber in you.

03 – One :: The meat. Here is where the record starts changing. Less vague and more poignant. Or maybe more vague and less poignant. You decide. The delayed drums are tremendous giving a typical quarter note the first 2 16th notes (of the 4 in a beat) in a typical beat. The guitars are light and fluffy and the acoustics add great flow. Here is where I began to think Bono stopped writing about Jesus or Love. Great change at 02.20 with increcible lyrical magic as well as a string section that is finally heard. Two words: Brian Eno.

04 – Until The End Of The World :: Yes, a title of a splendid Wim Winders (VEEM VEENDAHS) movie. Great soundtrack. Included on this soundtrack is another take of this song. Perhaps better than this version. Awesome guitars. Crystal clear drums. Big vocals. Smooth yet punchy Fender P-Bass. I am not one for congos in much of U2’s music. But it works in this song. 00.27 is where the Edge’s trademark guitars come in. Very intense. Great solo section back in to the delayed guitar @ 02.35 with harmonics.

05 – Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses :: Never liked this song until this year. Love the distorted and atonal and treble muted guitar in the left channel at the begining. Tribal drums do this song justice along with the tambourine on 2 and 4 and then on the downbeats. Perfection of tambourine. Great love song with out being overtly cliche. Ok, maybe a little and a little Van Morison’s “Sha La la’s” never hurt nobody. Killer bridge at the end as well.

06 – So Cruel :: A definate tear jerker. Great piano and slowly flanging drums. Perfect use of delay. Thanks to the engineering mastery of Flood. Delecate vocals. Contrary to how good Bono sounds on records and what you’d think, he actually uses a 90 dollar Shure SM58. The key is in the pre-amps as always. I love the fact that the bass doesnt even come in until after the first chorus. Awesome cry dry Edge guitar at 04.01. Fills of tension like before a first kiss. The song was my first favorite after hearing the day it came out in 1991. Thanks Sara.

07 – The Fly :: Another bottom feeder, but not at the complete bottom. Fun song. Maybe should have been a b-side. Cool lead. Awesome remixes. Love the distorted chorused vocals. Interesting use of tambourine. Definately not the worst, but not the best. Great breathy falcetto chorus.

08 – Mysterious Ways :: Another great for the b-sides collection. Great beat. Love your cowbell. Just dont love it too much. Thank goodness it was tasteful here and not too Tommy Lee. Great casio synth part for the clean verses. Interesting and vey uncliche Adam Clayton bass line. Not sure if i like it, but at least it’s interesting. “If you wanna kiss the sky, better learn how to kneel” has great harmony vox and crowd sing-a-long appeal.

09 – Trying to Throw Your Arms Around the World :: The drum loop reminds me of a cold Sunday morning. Incredibly gentle lyrics. Interesting play on the harmony vocals in that the harmony for the first chorus is lower than the main part. Awesome falcetto at 02.28 with great accompaning guitars in the right channel. “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” Pilfered, but executed wonderfully.

10 – Ultra Violet :: I love this song. Perhaps my favorite on the CD. Never got the 30 second intro. I love the Velvet Underground-y churchy organ throughout of the song. Eno does good. Awesome cliche Edge guitars starting at 00.48. It’s amazing what perfect rhythm and a delay pedal can do. Still amazes me that he uses that Shure SM58 on a lot of his recording. Great bass. Punching bass. Aching harmony vocals in the chorus that make me ache. It’s haunting. Great use of tambourine on “+ 1 +” & “+ 3 +” etc. Great buildup of drums starting with the toms at 03.02 then with the congos at 03.06 and the ride cymbal at 03.10 which transitions almost seamlessly in to a perfect bridge. We get some more choruses with Eno reverb on the vocals and the song is over. A great lovesong.

11 – Acrobat :: Never really liked this song much. 6/8 in a rock band always rubbed be the wrong way. I do like the way he says “Ac-ROW-bat”.

12 – Love is Blindness :: Another song I never really liked much until recently. Perhaps i like it more because of my more recent love of electronic music. Believe it or not, but until late high school i couldnt stand anything with a drum machine. Or anything that sounded anything that they called “Techno” back then. Go figure. So the church organ is eerily creepy. I love Eno’s subtle influence in this song and he only supplied an additional keyboard. Very stable bridge. Great closer for a great record.

2 Responses to “why mat should not be a rock critic”


  • did you see my away messages yesterday? i celebrated st. pats by listening to every U2 album in order. i had to stop in the middle of zooropa as i became sexiled from my room, however.

  • I too love the drum loopiness of Trying To Throw Your Arms Around the World.

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