Album Reviews of the 80s

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U2, "Boy" / 1980 Review by: Javier
It is quite unbelievable that the band currently known as U2 is the same band that made this album. Of course, THIS album is definite U2, full of  youthfull innocence, defiance and loud guitars. This was a band that could not be faulted for its precociousness or lack of guile. This  is elemental, meaningful rock and roll from four Dubliners for whom success was defined by  escape from the "Troubles" up north,  or Phil Lynott's drunken spectacles.

"I Will Follow" is the quintessential  religious anthem for which this band became famous. Even from this early age their concept of "surrender", an unwillingness to define rebellion by violent or destructiveness (crystallized in the song by that name in War), was being developed. This song did encapsulate U2's guitar sound for the next eight or nine years. A two chord rhythmic pattern backing a melodic base line was all that this song had, and it established a sound emulated by  bands like The Alarm, The Cult and even  (in only one instance though, The Church).

Much is said about the homoerotic content of "Twighlight", and that tells a lot about the innocence of these guys during this time when it took them years to realize that their ode to that difficult age when the boy meets (turns into) the man could be taken literally.

These are only two songs, others like "Out of Control" and "The Electric Co." show promise, but it's the earlier two that establish a fresh face in eighties music. Driven by religion, ethics and morality as much as by guitar, this album and band brought forth an alternative to the mostly cynical and self serving synth-based era.
**** of 5

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