U2’s Giving Me “Vertigo”

Vertigo U2

Back in the day, I was a huge U2 fan, snagging any albums, singles, and b-sides that came my way. I watched Rattle & Hum so many times, I lost count. When I grew up, I wanted to be The Edge (until he shaved his head and grew the goatee, that is). And I still consider their first 4 albums — Boy, October, War, and the sadly underrated and underappreciated The Unforgettable Fire — to be absolutely essential listening.

However, my opinion of the band cooled in recent years, especially after Zooropa came out. The band, once so passionate and vibrant, seemed to be drowning in their own sense of irony. Yes, I realize they were making a statement about pop culture’s superficiality and all that — but in the process, they became superficial themselves. And yes, I also realize that All That You Can’t Leave Behind was supposed to be a return to the U2 of yore — but I just got so tired of hearing Bono yelp “Elevation!” and “It’s a beautiful daaaaaaaay!” that my enthusiasm was fairly dampened.

That being said, the new single “Vertigo” (actually, it’s been out for awhile) certainly has my curiosity piqued. The track is a scorcher, the band is super-tight, and The Edge’s guitar hasn’t sounded so glorious in a long time. In fact, a lot of things about the new album (How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, in case you hadn’t heard) have my curiosity piqued; *cough* Steve Lillywhite at the boards *cough*, these killer song descriptions (scroll down), and a rave review from The Sun (they give it 11 out of 10).

So why, oh why did the band have to do that horribly cheesy music video/iPod commercial? Okay, so the video itself isn’t that bad… but those damned dancing silhouettes are killing me! It looks cool, as is the case with all of Apple’s marketing, but it looks they’re trying to give the song this hip party vibe, which feels a bit ill-conceived to me.