U2101 – Your Song Saved My Life

U2 has won many awards over the years. 22 Grammy awards – more than any other band in history. Brit Awards. Golden Globes. A Hall of Fame induction. The list is nearly endless, but yet, somehow, its the ones that got away, the awards that U2 didn’t win that I tend to remember the most. I’m not talking about just any plain old loss, either. I’m talking about the awards that I thought U2 had in the bag that somehow got given to other acts. Like the 1993 Grammy for Album of the Year. I will contend until my dying day that Eric Clapton only won that award out of sympathy over the death of his son. Nothing against Eric Clapton, I just believe that U2 deserved that award more than Clapton did. Another example is the 2014 Oscar, otherwise known as the Academy Award, for Best Original Song. I was utterly shocked and dismayed when “Let it Go” won over “Ordinary Love.” I believe that these same losses also affect the band members. I really do think that the members of U2 want an Oscar. It’s about the only thing they haven’t won, and I think that they would dearly love to add that particular trophy to their collective case. Thus, we have U2’s newest song, “Your Song Saved My Life.” At first, I wasn’t sure what to think about it. It felt a little…fluffy, A little bit light. I didn’t expect a song like this, but maybe I should have. After living with it for a few days, I have come to a couple of determinations. First, U2 took a page out of the playbook of the writers of “Let it Go,” the song that beat them in 2014. “Your Song Saved My Life” is a heartwarming ditty from a children’s movie that is catchy enough to get stuck in the listener’s head almost immediately, and just meaty enough to keep the adults interested. I believe that that was intentional, and maybe even the whole reason Bono accepted the role of Clay Calloway in the first place. Secondly, it is a better song than I first thought. Seriously, the more I listen to it, the more I like it. The opening piano has a classic feel to it, the drums–not sure if they’re from Larry or a drum machine, or some combination of the two–have a surprising weight, and the very subtle melancholy of the chorus is beautiful and, as I said earlier, heartwarming. The falsetto part toward the end of the song is the real money shot, though, and I can’t get it out of my head. Bono sounds great, better than I hoped, and, overall, the song is a winner. It seems to be getting pretty good responses online, too, with the exception of one article I saw that called it “the worst song of the year.” It definitely isn’t that, but I’m not sure if it is the Best Original Song from a movie either, and that’s what its got to be in order to win that coveted Academy Award. All I can say is “Good luck, boys.”

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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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