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March 20th, 2006

Song of Tomorrow @ 11:53 pm

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Date:April 1st, 2006 03:17 am (UTC)
Blimey, I would have expected a bigger response to this one. Such laziness around here! *tsk*

I find this to be the most palatable of the HTDAAB "Alternate Versions" by quite a long way, though obviously it's not a patch on the final arrangement. It stands up pretty well on its own, distinct from the album version with a totally different feel - very soothing and wistful, as opposed to desperate and impassioned. Admittedly the intro makes it sound more like something that would have fitted onto ATYCLB, but I won't hold that against it... ;p

I seem to recall Edge in some interview or other, demonstrating the original chord sequence for this song, and how they finally changed it for the album version and nailed the mood perfectly. I do rather like these old chords as well, though - there's a kind of gentle charm, a warmth about it all. Same with Bono's vocals - they're so soft on this version, it's almost like a lullaby. He even seems to be deliberately putting on a childish voice at times ("Listen to me now"?). And oh, is that a delightful fleckering of Bono-falsetto I hear during the guitar solo and again toward the end...? :)

It's sweet, but incredibly weird, to hear Bono making references to Cedarwood Road and stuff.... the lyrics seem that much more *personal* than the ones on the album version (which were still personal, but a bit more universalised). I guess this is lyrically much closer to the version they sang at the funeral, so it almost feels wrong that we're given such an insight - it's quite a privilege really.

The fact that we're missing most of our familiar chorus is definitely the most dramatic difference here - you can't help but feel there's something majorly lacking, when you keep anticipating those wonderful build-up lines that never come!  I'm so glad they managed to pull this song together eventually, because it wouldn't have been anywhere near as powerful if they'd left it in this state. Those extra chorus lines sound so natural and right, it's hard to believe they weren't always there!

You're also right about the whole "opera" section not being as climactic in this version. That's forgivable, given the obvious demo feel of the track in general, but it's another reason why the album version is far superior and I'd much rather listen to that one.

Overall - it may not be *great* at this developmental stage, but it's nice enough, IMO.

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