U2 – "Songs of Innocence"

At first I thought the album sucked. I listened again. I was wrong. It’s a masterpiece.

U2 2

I’ve never been “into” U2 for their politics, or social commentary. I could really do without Bono’s preaching in-between songs during shows. Sure, he does more than just talk, he goes out there and gets stuff done, stays informed, etc., but so do millions of other smart people. Big deal. What I like about U2 is the music. It’s always been about the music. And for that I thank The Edge. I’m convinced it’s all him. Adam Clayton is a great bass player, and he’s getting better with each record. Larry Mullen Jr., is capable enough. Not the best drummer in the world, but he gets it done. The Mullen/Clayton combo is impressive; always has been. Bono is “the voice”. If you’ve wondered what God given talent sounds like, look no further. He’s got it. But, The Edge, he’s something else. He plays guitar like no one else. He didn’t start imitating anyone. And now everyone tries to imitate his sound; his technique. The melodies. The solos. The layers. It’s a little of what heaven will be like.

If you listened to the album once, or even twice, and you though, “ho hum, moving on now”, stop. Give it another listen. It’s amazing.

Rolling Stone 5 star review

The Final Days of Levon Helm


The drummer for The Band, that influential group whose members were accomplished musicians in their own right, is about to leave the stage, of life.

Levon Helm, the drummer with the Band, has reached the final stages of his battle with cancer, according to a note posted on the musician’s Web site. Mr. Helm, 71, received a diagnosis of throat cancer in 1998 and nearly lost his voice, though he has continued to sing on albums and at concerts. The note, signed by his daughter and wife, asked fans to send “prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey.”

I’ll never forget the first time I watched the documentary The Last Waltz. I wasn’t used to seeing a drummer sing. I’d seen drummers sing backup, but never the lead. Helm sang “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” with real passion. He didn’t even have to focus on his drumming, which obviously came naturally. His attention being put squarely on the words of the song. The soul of it. It remains one of my most favorite performances.


God Speed, Levon.

UPDATE: Helm dies.