Iíve long considered U2 to be mediocre musicians, marvellous songwriters. Bono to
be an average singer, with an extraordinary voice. But I like them; to me theyíre a
shining example of the triumph of creativity over technicality.
Limitations aside, thereís no contemporary singer who can quite emote with the
intensity of Bono . . . and come off as sincere rather than ridiculous. So he was bound to
deliver a passionate performance on this soundtrack Ė he co-wrote the story.
And impassioned emotive crooning (the songs are pretty laid back) he does deliver. But
thereís an edge missing from this soundtrack. Perhaps, itís Edge.
This is a pseudo-U2 soundtrack. Bono has invited an assemblage of guests to book into a
provisional Million Dollar Hotel Band. The line-up includes regular U2 producers Daniel
Lanois and Brian Eno; but only three of the sixteen tracks feature the complete U2
Not every track is fronted by Bono, either. There is an interesting interpretation by
Milla Jovovich of Lou Reedís Satellite of Love. Her delicate whisper is quite a
contrast to Louís gruff expressiveness, before someone (not Milla surely?) lets loose
with a strident impersonation of a caterwauling feline in the last refrains.
Tom Tomís Dream, Funny Face and Amsterdam Blue feature the romantically haunting
trumpet of John Hassell, while Bonoís best moment is undoubtedly The Ground Beneath
Her Feet (with lyrics by his friend, and professional fatwa evader, Salman Rushdie).
The soundtrack is awash with the Eno/Lanois penchant for minimalist ambience. There is
a distinctive style here that is quite removed from the idiosyncratic U2
"sound". Without seeing the film, I imagine that it provides an apposite
atmosphere in cinematic context. In isolation, however, these songs are merely pleasant,
Published: November 30, 2000