U2101 Special Edition – We Are the People

Sometimes, a piece of music is so extraordinary that it forces the listener to do things that they would not normally do. For instance, I have had a pretty firm rule about covering only U2 songs in this series of articles, but the new song “We Are the People,” performed by Martin Garrix, Bono, and Edge, is absolutely amazing. I came into the computer room today and sat down fully intending to continue my VidWorks series, but we can do that next week. “We Are the People” is happening right now, and I would be remiss if I didn’t say something about it today.
I will confess that over the last six months or so, I have been struggling. There hasn’t been any new music from U2, and I had begun to wonder what I would do if the band had reached the end of the road. No other group has ever moved me like U2 does, but I have listened to all of their music so many times that it has begun to grow a bit stale. Don’t get me wrong…I love U2, more than almost anything else in my life, but I had begun to question my ability to be satisfied with a bunch of music that lived solely in the past, stuff that was not of the present. Then, I read one night on the internet about an upcoming collaboration between Bono and Edge and some Dutch musician that I knew absolutely nothing about. I was optimistic, but I was worried that the U2-related content would just be a small part of the song, not something that would satisfy my craving. What I got actually feels very much like new music from the greatest band ever to grace the Earth. I have seen lots of comments on the interwebs referring to this a new U2 song, and while it definitely is not that, it is enough to remind me of why I love this band in the first place. Edge’s sense of melody, the way he takes a back seat to the rest of the music in the piece, along with Bono’s plaintive howl as he sings lyrics that feel very U2-esque about coming together and making the realization that we can’t wait on others to change the world–It falls to us. I am not exaggerating when I say that I wept upon first hearing the song, and every time I have heard it since then has given me goosebumps. It truly is an extraordinary song, and I can’t get enough of it. It came at a time when I really needed it. I also came to the realization that there will always be new U2, just like there has been no shortage of new releases from The Beatles or Led Zeppelin, there will be future boxed sets with remixes, outtakes, new interpretations of old ideas, and I think that that will be enough to sustain me for the rest of my life. All this from one little song, not even four minutes in length. Pretty awesome, right?

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broadsword

Ever since I realized as a kid, while poring over the liner notes of the Bob Marley - Songs of Freedom boxed set, that writing about music was a viable career choice, one of my greatest desires has been to write about U2. The band has been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to contribute a little something to the fantastic online community that's been built around the band.

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