In a video campaign that had several entries, from “The Blackout” and on through all of the remix videos for “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way,” this video for “You’re the Best Thing About Me” might go down as the best video from Songs of Experience. Certainly, it is my favorite, as it has lots of footage of the band being their fun-loving selves.
The video starts out on a somewhat somber note, as we see the band and song titles with a shot of the American flag filling in the letters. Following this is a quick cut to New York itself, and a few shots of the Statue of Liberty. We then see the band in an elevator, and from there on out the video consists of U2 having a good time in downtown New York City. They meet fans, take in the local cuisine and sights, and go for a ride on a bus. Throughout the video, we get a feeling for the love and kinship that exists between the band members, and an idea of the band members’ individual personalities. Edge is zen-like, Larry is stoic, Adam is cool, while Bono, the consummate frontman who can’t keep still or keep his mouth shut, hams it up for the camera. In one moment that I particularly love, Bono shoots a bird to Trump Towers, showing his disdain for the man who almost ruined America. The video is bright and colorful and packed full of good times for anyone who loves the band. There’s even a little bit of footage of the band performing the song, and a few clips, while they are in a bar, of the performance of “You’re the Best Thing About Me” from Jimmy Fallon’s show on a TV on the wall. Toward the end of the video, the band members take to a classic car and cruise the streets with Edge driving. There are a few particularly nice close-ups of the members of the band from the car. Around the same time, the video takes a turn to the political, and it becomes clear that “You’re the Best Thing About Me” isn’t just a simple love song from Bono to his wife. There is also an element of Bono taking on America, asking why we are walking away from what made us great in the first place: the idea that anyone from anywhere is welcomed here. To reinforce this, there are several more shots of the Statue of Liberty, and the video closes with a recitation of the poetry that is inscribed at the base of that iconic structure. If that isn’t U2 in a nutshell, I don’t know what is…some good times and laughs at the start of the video, then they leave us at the end with something to think about. I deeply love this video, and I think that Jonas Akerlund did a fabulous job with it. Next week, I’ll be right back here with my thoughts on another promotional video from U2. I hope you’ll join me then, and I thank you for reading!
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