A late night/early morning Whatsapp exchange led to a sleep saturated with U2 discography. Music is suddenly back in my life, more than a decade after it was an all-consuming passion.
JST’s playlists for work started it off. We then started discussing musical tastes. And then NC sent over a link to Jimmy Fallon x Blur playing Tender, that led inevitably to an exchange on bands from the 1990s.
It’s hard to explain exactly how promiscuous my musical tastes are. “Opera” I’d said to JST, and really meant it. Yet also prog house, polyphonic Gregorian, trance, Bach, trip-hop, “sacred choral”, pop, Beethoven, 1990s alternative, Baroque, The Smiths*, etc etc.
I love how evocative music is; how like a pensieve it is. One of my favourite U2 albums is Achtung Baby and somehow the Edge’s particular use of overdrive, reverb, delay, Whammy… in the album coupled with Bono’s lyrics just has the smell of the early 1990s and straightaway, I am haunted by all the characters that populated my life then.
(Somewhere, there is a blogpost about the theology of U2 and Bono authored under another pseudonym. But where?)
Another thing that’s hard to explain, without sounding pretentious, is that my interest in music is very much to do with it being a socio-cultural phenomenon, a useful artifact for identifying and understanding the zeitgeist.
And still yet, I constantly wonder if we are misusing God’s good gift to mankind, not for the rightful praise of him but for the purposes ranging from completely pointless to deviously man-glorifying instead…
*erm, for pure pop post-punk indulgence, here are The Smiths, The Cure, and Joy Division: