Today's selection is
"Miracle Drug" from How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb (2004)
Thoughts: In my mind, this is the best song on How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, which says something because I think the album is one of U2's strongest. I dare say it's better than the epic ballad, "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own", which does make its own strong case for the best song. "Miracle Drug" is rarely ever mentioned by people, unless they are pretty big fans of the band (at least that I've seen), but I just think it's the best because of its constant re-playability. I can play this song over and over and not get tired of it. Plus, if I were playing the cd in order, the rocking high produced by "Vertigo" is brought down a notch by this soulful song, despite a kind of ambiguity or sort of word association poetry in the lyrics. It starts slowly, then punches me in the gut with this driving guitar as Bono hits the chorus. It's like the band is building up speed before launching full-tilt into a sprint. Then, the song tightens its grip and doesn't let go. The rhythm is established, the tone is right there, and the band just works it over. My favorite part of the song is still when they finish the second chorus and then heads into the instrumental solo, then Edge goes into the beautiful bridge that is punctuated by this beautiful driving guitar that seems to make the song soar. The song seems to just speak to me. Whereas, "Vertigo", the previous song, yelled and screamed and was right in my face, "Miracle Drug" pulled all that bravado back and showed the band's heart and soul.
The album really hit me with this sort of six-punch combo, which is an amazing way to start an album. "Vertigo" to this to "Sometimes..." to "Love and Peace and Else" to "City of Blinding Lights" to "A Man and a Woman". And it is really difficult in music to string five or six consecutive songs that are consistently good and have quality. Closest I can think of is Mezzanine by Massive Attack.