U2
Wide Awake in Europe


4.0
excellent

Review

by Irving Tan STAFF
December 20th, 2010 | 101 replies | 8,736 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Where the streets have no blame.

I'll preface this review by wishing all prospective buyers the very best of luck in finding a physical copy of this album. The Wide Awake in Europe EP exists solely in vinyl format, and only 5,000 copies were ever produced; in fact, this review was only made possible thanks to the gods of YouTube. Having said that, the appearance of new U2 material can hardly come as a surprise, particularly as the band themselves have been hinting at the coming of a new release for the past year or so. In fact, in an August interview bassist Adam Clayton himself remarked that, "We're kind of trying to break it up a bit. You know, the idea of doing another big record and going away for a long time doesn't appeal to us. But the idea of putting out tracks in the show and seeing what happens to them, maybe putting out a little EP at some point - these are all possibilities we're thinking about."

It is thus that we find ourselves with U2's latest release, Wide Awake in Europe. As is obvious, the record's title is itself strongly reminiscent of U2's 1985 release, Wide Awake in America, a four-track record that featured two live songs and two previously unreleased studio out-takes that were left over from The Unforgettable Fire sessions. Much in the same vein, Wide Awake in Europe features a trio of live recordings, all of which have been taken from the band's ongoing 360° Tour. Of the three songs in the tracklist, the Brussels performance of "Mercy" is undoubtedly the biggest treat to fans - it is a leaked B-side from the How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb sessions that has not yet received an official release. In its final form, the song certainly does not disappoint: The Edge's trademark chiming rings all over the track, and Adam Clayton's bass infuses the backing rhythm with an infectious tempo that belies its slow, trance-like status. Bono's lyrical themes also recall All That You Can't Leave Behind numbers like "Peace on Earth" and "When I Look At The World", creating a strong sense of familiarity as he gently muses, "We're a binary code...a one and a zero". At the end of its four minute span, "Mercy" manages to comfortably stack up to its many predecessors, and is a worthy addition to the U2 canon.

Although it has the silliest title for a U2 song since Zooropa's "Daddy's Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car", the inclusion of the Redanka remix of "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" provides the listener with a welcome and much-needed break. The song is a complete polar opposite to "Mercy"'s overbearing subtlety, and successfully injects the EP with a sultry party vibe. Although the remix itself has strongly polarized audiences each time it has been performed on tour, it remains as a very fine piece of showmanship, with Bono's classy snippeting of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "Two Tribes" and "Relax" being particularly well-executed. As an end to affairs, EP closer "Moment of Surrender" is equally as stunning and effortlessly manages to be hopeful, glorious, and resplendent all at once. The most haunting moment of this ambient ballad is undoubtedly the Paris crowd's echoing of Bono's sorrowful refrain at the very beginning of the track. There is no theatrical panache to be found here, just a firm reminder of the legions of loyal followers which the four Irish lads still command.

Many bands - old and new - can only marvel at the ease with which U2 have reasserted their relevance, despite having been in the show business for over thirty years. As the twilight of an artist's career approaches (and it wouldn't be a stretch to say that U2 are on the brink of just that), logic dictates that the best message to send is always one of youthful defiance. With this extended play U2 have done exactly that - perhaps even flawlessly.

Bring on the fourth decade.



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user ratings (8)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Emeritus
December 20th 2010



14513 Comments


really? didn't expect this to be any good.

anyhow, great review as usual - and you are nearing your 20th! make it epic! = )

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 20th 2010



7013 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This review may also be found on my personal blog (at the address http://snuffleupagush.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/you-put-the-blue-back-into-my-eye/).

Comments and criticism are always much appreciated (and will be rewarded with a rendition of Where The Streets Have No Name).

Edit: Oh, Sowing just beat me to commenting. LOL.

Digging: Pixies - Indie Cindy

Xenophanes
Emeritus
December 20th 2010



10556 Comments


Woooooh boy you are cranking them out! Excellent work as always mon ami! 20 eh? Can't wait to read it!


HI SOWING!

Digging: Saintseneca - Dark Arc

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 20th 2010



7013 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@ Sowing: It is very good indeed - I at least enjoyed it lots. The band are amazing performers - the Redanka remix of Crazy Tonight is particularly fun too!

PS - I didn't know you liked U2 Sowing =)

PPS - Oh my indeed! My 20th is next! I don't know what to do for it yet! =S

* Edit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHQFJlneKHU&feature=related

That's the recording of Mercy. If you wait till the end, Youtube suggests the Wide Awake In Europe versions of Moment of Surrender and Crazy Tonight as well; enjoy!

SowingSeason
Emeritus
December 20th 2010



14513 Comments


HEY XENOOOOO!

Irving: for my 20th i reviewed Fearless by Taylor Swift and got like 10 users to join me in changing their avatars to characters from the office. got like almost 300 comments. I expect your 20th to be at least that influential ; )

EVedder27
December 20th 2010



6088 Comments


Nice work man, especially just for 3 tracks

Xenophanes
Emeritus
December 20th 2010



10556 Comments


Haha, I remember that. I've actually never seen a single episode of the office though :/

JulianAssange
December 20th 2010



140 Comments


nice a new version of mercy, will be checking out

SowingSeason
Emeritus
December 20th 2010



14513 Comments


dude xeno get on that. i'll admit it is a love or hate type of humor, but if it clicks with your personality you'll never get tired of it

anyway, to stay relevant to the topic, yes i like me some U2...they aren't one of my favorite bands but i enjoy them

EVedder27
December 21st 2010



6088 Comments


show grows on you

Xenophanes
Emeritus
December 21st 2010



10556 Comments


Long story short; a girl I like is trying to get me to watch it so even if I hate it I will have to pretend to like it haha

On Topic: I actually have never listened to a full U2 album, even though I've enjoyed many of their singles.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 21st 2010



7013 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Irving: for my 20th i reviewed Fearless by Taylor Swift and got like 10 users to join me in changing their avatars to characters from the office. got like almost 300 comments. I expect your 20th to be at least that influential ; )


DAMN. You sure know how to take the pressure off, Sowing. Haha!

SowingSeason
Emeritus
December 21st 2010



14513 Comments


office topic: jenna fischer (pam) is so hot. her alone makes it worth watching. just to give you an idea of how cute she is, she recently passed taylor swift as my #1 celeb crush

music topic: thats how i started off, just listening to the singles...but a few of their albums are really good all the way through

irving: oh c'mon, you thrive under pressure! just have some fun with it and chances are we all will too

Xenophanes
Emeritus
December 21st 2010



10556 Comments


I love how your reviews always turn into conversations haha

But really, you are growing into an exceptional reviewer, and overall user.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 21st 2010



7013 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@ Evedder27: Thank you! It certainly wasn't easy lol!

@ Assange: It's a solid recording - have fun! =)

@ Xeno: OMG really? Well that's fixable - pick up The Joshua Tree or Achtung Baby the soonest you can =p (also, I feel that the latter's more your style)

EVedder27
December 21st 2010



6088 Comments


love jenna fischer. shes prob my #2 though to mila kunis

Xenophanes
Emeritus
December 21st 2010



10556 Comments


just have some fun with it


Yeah lol, I figured that one out a little too late : /

qwe3
December 21st 2010



21154 Comments


lol u2

SowingSeason
Emeritus
December 21st 2010



14513 Comments


yo vedder did you see black swan? i haven't yet but apparently there is this sex scene between kunis and natalie portman.

xeno: you weren't having fun with your reviews? is that why you withdrew from the contrib race? either way you should start reviewing again when you have the time/start having fun with it again

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 21st 2010



7013 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Off topic: You're very kind Xeno, but there's still a LONG way to go. That said I'm so happy to have you back on-site =) =)

Office: I'm not familiar with this show either. I guess I should get on it too? Or face Sowing's wrath forever?

On topic: I'll see what I can do =) I'm just having a ball of the time at the moment, actually being able to write as many reviews as often as I want =) I notice you have a new review too Sowing - gotta check that out.

And you better get a new one out too Xeno! Or else! Je te frappe!



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