Banjo reviews… U2’s Achtung Baby


I’ve never heard this album, not knowingly. I hate U2. My wife likes them and she once paid a pauper’s fortune to see them play some songs in a football stadium. Fuck THAT, says I. Here’s a review of some album they did.

The first thing you notice about U2’s Achtung Baby is that the cover features a black and white picture of the band. There are other pictures, even of other stuff, but the important one is the black and white one of the band. The Edge looks a bit grizzly and he’s wearing a woolly hat like Benny off Crossroads.  Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr are too far in the background to really make out, but you can see they’ve got their arms folded. It’s a good sign. It says: ‘This album is good. We’re quite happy with it.’ Of course, Bonovox takes up most of the frame in this shot. He’s got his face right up against the lens, almost, and his arms are out like a crucified messiah. Shit, I think, this guy means business.

So what noises do this bunch of uber-wealthy hoteliers and shoe-collectors make? Well, there’s some guitars. Probably with a lot of reverb. Edge tends to cover up a lack of raw talent with mountainous quantities of effects, so there’s a bit of that going on. There’s also some drums and bass, but not too much. Good. Fuck ’em. ON WITH THE BONO, cry the fans. BONO SEXED MY TOFU, yell the heaving-breasted mothers of children named Jake and Ruben. I WANT TO BE ANGRY ABOUT STUFF, howl bank-workers and call-centre managers in U2 branded fashionwear. HELP ME BONO-WAN-BONOBI YOU’RE MY ONLY HOPE, plea ten thousand Princess Leias from ten thousand R2D2 projector-pipes.

And he does. He teleports his brain-trumps right into your left lobal nerve-tubes. He sings about his Jimmy Choo copy platform shoes in ‘Even Better Than The Real Thing’. He sings a tragic tale about Jeff Goldblum’s insectoid transformation in ‘The Fly’ and waxes lyrical about self-updating software in ‘Acrobat’. All the while, The Edge punctuates Boneo’s gob-squawks with a ‘squiddly-dee’ riff repeated infinitely through a mangle-box. Hmm, thinketh I, these noises make the world less evil.

And they do. I peel back the curtain: a group of children, previously happy-slapping each other’s behoodied torsos, are now joyously skipping towards an old person’s home to help feed them their mushed-up biscuits. A bomb falling from the sky has transmogrified into a full battalion of sex-clowns, parachuting into town to cheer us all up with their honking great penises and love-lumps. And I cry. I cry tears of joy at Borneo’s tale of how many sugars he has in his tea in ‘One’, I weep like a whipped pup at his parable of a train network run by animals in ‘Zoo Station’. And I howl like an orphaned goat at his spellbinding duet with Stevie Wonder, ‘Love is Blindness’.

Needless to say, this album changed my world. I give it five out of ten.


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6 Responses to “Banjo reviews… U2’s Achtung Baby”

  1. Andy Marshall Says:

    Ha ha – never been a fan of U2 either – so that review bought a tear of joy to my I2 !

  2. Banjo Fett Says:

    Good to hear Andy. My position on them is that I’m completely ignorant about them, and happy to stay that way. Hopefully that comes across in the review.

    Incidentally, I don’t mean to sneer at anyone who chooses to stump up to see big bands like U2.

    Or Faith No More.


  3. oldrope Says:

    Banjo’s back!!!!!! Good to see you.

    Your oldest of ropes, Old Rope

  4. Banjo Fett Says:

    Aye, but where in Hades is JLB? A flurry of reviews and now he’s disappeared.

    Actually I think he might be on holiday. Or laid-up with Porcine Influenza. That’s the name of an adult film starlet, by the way, not a disease.


  5. johnlebaptiste Says:

    Apologies. I was shacked up in Moscow with a sex-clown. Let me tell you, those capacious wide-waisted clown trousers might look like a lot of fun, but they cause a whole host of health and safety problems. I’m back now. Well, most of me is.

  6. The Libertines ‘The Boys in the Band’ « The Agoraphobic Reviewer Says:

    […] Banjo reviews… U2’s Achtung Baby […]

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