U2
The Joshua Tree


4.5
superb

Review

by Skishua71 USER (4 Reviews)
April 6th, 2009 | 8 replies


Release Date: 1987 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A soulful album that showcases U2 at their peak.

"U2 is an original species... there are colours and feelings and emotional terrain that we occupy that is ours and ours alone."-Bono

While not exactly the most humble person, this quote from Bono does a good job describing U2 and their overall sound. There have been hundreds of wanna be bands and a lot of admittedly good bands that have followed in the steps of U2, yet none of them have quite reached the level U2 has achieved. The Joshua Tree was a defining moment for U2, they broke into the mainstream in America and became well known the world over. It put them head and shoulders above most of their colleagues and instantly made them superstars. The Joshua Tree is U2 at their musical and creative peak and it is by all measures, a fantastic album.

Musically it draws from a variety of different sources. While it is primarily a rock album, elements of folk, gospel, and blues all are present. The album art of the band in Death Valley, California well represents the albums' dark, atmospheric music. With or Without You is probably the strongest track from the album. With its thumping rhythm, squealing guitar, and instantly memorable emotional vocal line, it was a perfect choice for the leading single. Bono's vocals are at their peak here and he manages to put forth an amazingly steady and emotive performance. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For and Where the Streets Have No Name were the other two hit singles from the album. While I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For is a chugging rythmic midtempo piece, Where the Streets Have No Name is a dramatic opener kicked off by an organ courtesy of Brian Eno.

Aside from the three mega hits, the album is full of good but unknown songs. Running to Stand Still is a slow, bluesy song that showcases Bono's great lyrics. The slow tempo, simple vocal and instrumental melody help bring all the focus to the lyrics which deal with a heroin addict. One Tree Hill is another relatively unknown but brilliant song. Bono wrote the song about a close friend who had passed away during a motorcycle accident. Lyrics like, "I'll see you again when the stars fall from the sky, and the moon has turned red," are meaningful and fit perfectly with the song and the rest of the album. The Edge also has a few standout moments such as the opening of Where the Streets Have No Name and Bullet the Blue Sky where his signature textural playing contributes massively to the mood of the song.

The Joshua Tree is a very atmospheric, soulful album. A sense of hope is portrayed in a dark manner throughout and it works wonderfully with Bono's meaningful and diverse lyrics. While it is not fauless, (Red Hill Mining Town and Trip Through Your Wires are pretty weak tracks) it is well worth a listen. All in all if you are interested in classic rock and have missed this album you should doubtless give this a listen. If you are a hater of U2, try giving them a fair chance to grow on you. I hated U2 for a few months but after giving the music some quality, unbiased listening, I grew to love it. Some consider U2 horrendously overrated, unfairly propped on the forefront of the media because of Bono's charity work and egocentricity. But to those of you who think such, you have to wonder why. If they really weren't all that they claim to be how did they earn such a large mature fanbase? Give this album a fair listen and I defy you to dislike it.


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Comments:Add a Comment 
Skishua71
April 6th 2009


90 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hey guys, i had lost my old review for this when sputnik was hacked and hadn't saved my old one so i decided to write a new one. Any constructive criticism welcome.

ninjuice
April 6th 2009


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It's good considering your experience but could be better. The intro is a bit too much like PTECK's one.
I also disagree about Red Hill Mining Town and Trip Through Your Wires, but mainly cause I love the whole thing. This was a 4.5 for the longest time until I came to like the whole thing, I should get around to reviewing this myself.

Skishua71
April 6th 2009


90 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah i read both of the other reviews and i guess it came out a bit during my writing. it wasn't intentional though. :P
is there a way i can edit?

ninjuice
April 6th 2009


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Click "my profile" up in the top and then under your profile picture there's an "Edit Your Reviews" link.

Skishua71
April 6th 2009


90 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Okay, i fixed it. hopefully that's better.
thanks for the pos

darthbarf
April 7th 2009


445 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review. Great album.

ninjuice
April 7th 2009


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Ah, you changed the intro. It's much better now. I still hope to get around to reviewing this myself.

Skishua71
April 7th 2009


90 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for all the feedback ninjuice, its much appreciated. And yeah, this album really doesn't have many reviews although all the existing reviews, mine included seem to be pretty one sided.



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