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An album by U2

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'Boy' Breaks Ground on New Wave Turf

  • Sep 10, 2006
'Boy' is a beautiful, ground-breaking debut from one of the greatest rock bands ever. Immediately, they changed the landscape with their passionate and innovative guitar sound, given ably by the Edge. 'Boy' does follow it's title's concept. The energy and innovation are remarkable, but there are a few portions of their first able effort that linger on too long.

"I Will Follow" still is one of their very best songs. It is no coincidence that twenty-five years later they've brought it back to their tour list. With Bono's powerful vocals and the canticle of musical accompaniment, it is a great, punk rock/New Wave record. They nearly answer the passion with the primal "Twilight," "Out of Control," and the scabrous "Electric Co.". All of their innovations reverberate nicely. They also showcase shimmering beauty with "Stories for Boys" and "A Day Without Me". "In the Heart" is beautiful with a rich sound, even if it goes on a bit too long. "Shadows and Tall Trees" provides an excellent ending, with a reference to William Golding's 'Lord of the Flies,' which would round out U2's commentary about childhood innocence with the horrors of a nuclear nightmare. Most of the rest of the material is good with some langorous portions like those already mentioned.

U2 would reinvent their sound many times, but this C.D. shows it primitive in a compelling way that makes it a worthy listen in its own right. The Edge, arguably, did for guitar in the eighties what Jimi Hendrix did in the sixties. (4 1/2 *'s)

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John L. Peterson ()
Ranked #100
I am a substitute teacher who enjoysonline reviewing. Skiing is my favorite pastime; weight training and health are my obsessions;and music and movies feed my psyche. Books are a treasure and a pleasure … more
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There's little in U2's 1980 debut to suggest that this was a band bent on world domination. Indeed, there's a charming, if naive, coming-of-age urgency in songs such as "I Will Follow," "Stories for Boys" and "Out of Control" that may startle listeners more familiar with U2's latter-day bombast and stadium-scale theatrics. Bono's viewpoint, still tantalizingly vague and wide-eyed, showed that his penchant for strident polemics hadn't yet gotten the best of him; his anthems are those of a yearning Dubliner barely out of his teens rather than those of a world-weary multimillionaire. The band's sometimes-ragged musical chops work in its favor here, gently burnished to then-fresh new-wave sheen by producer Steve Lillywhite. If the Edge's dense, effects-laden guitar work seems overly familiar, it's only because this album was such a key influence on the whole "rock of the '80s" sound. Though not quite as moody or musically accomplished asOctober, arguably the band's first masterpiece,Boystill ranks as one of U2's best albums.--Jerry McCulley
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Label: Island
Artist: U2
Release Date: April 30, 1990

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