Coffee Thoughts

One way ticket to Memory Lane

By
on
28 February 2016
A personal reflection on Songs Of Innocence

 

That one is not an easy write. It’s not about being silly or joking around about Instagram or rumors. It’s about getting a bit deeper on what makes me a U2 fan.

Feelings can sometimes be overwhelming when it comes to that band, and people usually don’t get it at all. How can music have such effect on me? From tears to joy under seconds – but eh Jo, It’s just three chords… but more than ever with SOI, it’s also the truth.

Songs of Innocence has been sold with the whole idea that it was about revisiting the origins of the band. A journey back to the Northside of Dublin, where four teens thought they could take over the world with their music (And thank fuck, they did). The whole idea of those first times, so brilliantly narrated during the IE tour, rang so vividly on people’s mind (and ears) that it could only be a complete success.  It was so personal and rang so true, that there was no way fans wouldn’t get caught up on that trip down memory lane. Well, at least I know I did. Big time.

 I often ramble on about how some albums talk to you more than others and how it will emotionally touch you or not. From the first time I listened to SOI, it wasn’t just a nice talk – it has been yelling the hell out on my ears, ringing right through my bones and leaving me speechless. Someone said that music is the language of the soul, and I truly believe it is. The way a tune can make you feel is not only about what it means.

Yup… Always.

 

Good thing about not being a native English speaker is the fact that I’m often forced to listen to a song as a whole before actually catching what the hell that Irish guy is singing about. Of course it gets even better when you understand the whole thing but it’s a really nice way to discover a song just by listening to it, letting the sounds explain the message they’re carrying. And what I caught was rough, powerful, amazing: That fighting dance of guitar and bass on Cedarwood Road or the pure beauty of those piano keys on Every Breaking Wave. And that voice. Gosh, that voice – sometimes on the verge of breaking and yet never failing.

If you listen to that album with your heart rather than your ears, you’ll get how emotionally complicated it is. It sounds like rage and fear, a heart shattering to pieces… but also like hope and light overflowed by love. Yeah, that makes a lot of stuff for just “music”, but guess what? It gets worse.

SOI has probably been the closest thing I had to a therapy (and you’re probably wondering why I’m not getting an actual one for sure). I completely fell for the whole idea of the band taking us back to their teens, to their first experiences, to the roads they grew in. I was all ‘Hell, Yes! Let’s go!’, but what I wasn’t expecting was the fact that they were also leading me back to my own road. That’s where they truly won. The universality of these songs could talk to absolutely everyone and it revealed its true power not just in our mind but in our hearts. Those tunes were so easy to identify yourself with…

‘The hurt you hide, the joy you hold’

 

My own road is not a really cool place to go back to, I’ve been avoiding it for a while and yet that album kicked my ass so badly that I went back there. I’m not talking about a majority here, but the more I talk to people, the more I realize that  being a U2 fan often implies to be somewhat of a broken soul. And that’s probably why their songs mean so much in our lives. It’s always much nicer to hear someone sing your sorrows away than actually deal with them. The only thing you can hold on through dark times is that light at the end of the tunnel. And for many, music – and of course U2 – always made it shine a little bit brighter.

As the tour went by, weeks after weeks, I gradually found myself back in that stupid tunnel. But you know what? I was ok, because I had those tunes to hold on to. It forced me to fight the ghosts of my past that I’d tried to outrun for so long. And I weirdly learnt to live with them as the shows went by. I may not have found all the answers but that album and that tour probably helped me grow stronger than I was.

Warned you that was some heavy stuff… (Promise, next article will be all light and stupid as usual). I’m not sure why I’m telling you all that, apart from answering that first question: It’s not just music. It never was, and it never will be (well, maybe Wild Honey is just music I’ll give you that).

I guess that what I’m trying to say here is that this album and this tour have been completely amazing and I truly believe that it didn’t only challenged our feelings as fans but also as individuals. It never was just about three chords; but always about the truth – our truth: Music turning that little light at the end of the tunnel into a dazzling sun.

 I hope someday I’ll get to thank them for giving us that album, for giving us songs like Iris. And tell them that my own miracle wasn’t called Joey Ramone but U2, and that it is still the case.

PS: That’s pretty much what happens when I run out of coffee. Sorry! More (actual) fun soon …

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Jo D
Zooropa

Music lover, heavy dreamer, bit of a nutter. I like to think that the world would be a better place to live in if people smiled up a bit more often. Forever stuck in the intro of 'Streets', I keep bouncing through life and try to escape a boring reality using my very own sense of silliness. Some people think I’m crazy, and thank god they’re right. But the truth is that in the end, I’m just a U2 fan who drinks too much coffee

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