This page currently edited by: No One. Past editor: Vapor Trails, Rock 'n' Roll Fan
Much more explicitly Christian than Boy thematically, October has a pastoral musicality evident in "October" and "Tomorrow", Bono's ode to his dead mother. Marked by haunting flute and fiddle throughout the song, the singer prays for Christ's return so his reunion with his mother would be more immediate. "Gloria", the opener, is a hymn puntuated with The Edge's signature two chord guitar riff introduced in Boy's "I will Follow". The use of Latin in the song is interesting, given the group's charismatic bent at the time. The religious themes are further explored in "With A Shout", "Fire" and "Rejoice", a hard rocking tune that somehow reminds me of Bad Brains' exploration of affirmative, religious ideas within a punk/hardcore structure.
Other notable songs are "I Threw A Brick Through A Window" and "Stranger in a Strange Land", the latter a song that shows Bono's instantaneous lyrical inventions. It doesn't always work, but it shows his honesty working at full throttle.
This album feels a bit forced at times, as if reflecting the pressures that the band faced at the time. Steve Lillywhite's production is awfully flat compared to his work with Peter Gabriel a year or so earlier. Many of the musical limitations evident in the first album which are turned into proclivities by the time War comes out feel like incomplete virtues, but which show growing confidence and a willingness to try different venues of expression. While this is a flawed album and nowhere near their best, it's still my favorite U2 album.
*** of 5
Please check out the submission page.