U2 – Duals (2011)

From a while it’s almost mandatory to hate U2. There’s plenty of so-called reasons from the most common “they sold-out” or because they are Irish to thoughtful things like the face of Bono. Well, I loved U2 from the first moment I heard them and I still love them. “Pop” from 1997 was a huge disappointment, but hey! this is life, this is love, the disappointments are included in any and each relation. And well, yes, on the following three albums U2 sometimes gave magic moments, sometimes they are not so bright, but I still believe, they done everything as they please, they still sing from their hearts. And I can’t hate them because they become “the best band in the world”. And if you see them live, you have to admit it, they are kind of magic, hypnotizing. This is not an accident, this month, the U2 360° Tour became the highest-grossing tour in history, surpassing earnings of $558 million and breaking The Rolling Stones’ previous record. But I guess only this 558 million $ are 558 million reasons to hate them, isn’t it?

“Duals” is a limited edition release, collects together 15 collaborations with U2 spanning three decades, pressed up in a custom-designed sleeve, is available only to U2.com subscribers and will not be for sale in shops or online. Probably fans and collectors have all this songs already from different sources. Still, it’s always the same pleasure to listen to Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr.

I prefer the version with The New Voices of Freedom from “Rattle and Hum” of “Where the Streets Have No Name”, but also this version with the Soweto Gospel Choir is ok and “Where the Streets…” it’s a huge song. Johnny Cash was probably the greatest figure of Rock ‘N’ Roll, he’s charming voice comes with “The Wanderer”. Bono and Danny Lanois sing the intimate tunes of “Falling at Your Feet”, it’s a quiet and discrete song. “Miss Sarajevo” brings the Passengers and Luciano Pavarotti, it’s another great song. Willie Nelson featuring in “Slow Dancing” and Green Day performed live with U2 the cover of Skids song, “The Saints Are Coming”. Jay-Z makes his appearance in the live version of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and Mary J Blige in the beautiful tunes of “One”. BB King perform in the classic “When Love Comes to Town” and Mick Jagger step in at “Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of” – recorded live at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – in 2005, Bruce Springsteen inducted U2 into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “The Ballad of Ronnie Drew” brings together U2 with The Dubliners, Kila and A Band of Bowsies, and this is a lovely Irish song written byRobert Hunter, Bono, The Edge and Simon Carmody. “I’m Not Your Baby” it’s another pearl, kind of trance and rock blending with collaboration from Sinead O’Connor. I didn’t knew this one, great song! “Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)” bring together Bono and The Edge with Rihanna and Jay-Z, it is a charity single for the Hope for Haiti Now campaign and was released on 23 January 2010, in the wake of the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake. Jay-Z rap the shit off from this one, Rihanna don’t really moved me, but I still appreciate the implication of Bono in all kind of charity actions. “Drunk Chicken / America” brings together U2 with Allen Ginsberg for a critic statement and the record ends as it begun with the Soweto Gospel Choir in “Amazing Grace”. Probably I would skip “Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)” and I put there Mr. Sinatra and “Under My Skin”, but this is only the manifestation of my twisted taste.

It doesn’t matter how shity it may sound, but this is a fucking nice album.


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