Album: Whiplash, 1997
Justification: I’ve never liked U2. There’s something about songs that are designed to be anthemic and universal that really rubs me the wrong way and any potential feelings of unity and brotherhood gets undercut by discomfort at being manipulated into feeling some sort of surging emotion. Hymns and national anthems, similarly, can fuck right off – then again, it’s easy to feel that way when one is Australian and therefore living in a country with the least stirring anthem ever. Presumably the call out that lead to ‘Advance Australia Fair’ specifed that the winning entry needed to sound as bloodlessly bureaucratic as possible. “Our home is girt by sea”. Jaysus.
This song, which is almost insultingly anthemic and uplifting completely gets through my radar, and I don’t really know why – not least because I’m sure I’d hate it if U2 had done it. I loved this album wildly at the time – it was James’ comeback after a six year silence and heralded their commercial high-water mark, despite being born of a fraught two year recording period that saw their main songwriter leave, their manager quit and their frontman Tim Booth basing himself in the US preparing a solo career, popping back to add vocals when it suited him. Still, the album’s freakin’ superb – or at least I thought it was back when I last listened to it. Hmm. I should probably give it another spin.
SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE REDISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2010: Weekend, so have at the 1997 archives.
AND HERE’S THE LAST FIVE…