STMPD RCRDS B.V. exclusively licensed to Epic Amsterdam
Release Date: May 14th 2021
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- We are the People (feat. Bono & The Edge)
Everyone knows U2. Everyone knows Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullens Jr…right? Am I being too presumptuous with these statements I just said? Maybe, but the fact of the matter stands and remains true, that U2 is one of the most impactful and influential bands, in all of music history, period. I have even written a blog post about their impact on music society of today and the culture of songs in my blog post here, but what I will say is that Bono, lead singer of U2, has arguably become one of the most honest and heartfelt singer-songwriters I’ve seen in quite some time. The band’s earlier songs like ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’, ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’, ‘One’, ‘Beautiful Day’, ‘All I Want Is You’, ‘City Of Blinding Lights’, ‘With Or Without You’, ‘BAD’ and ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ have all struck a chord with many listeners and people appreciative of their music (myself included) over the years; while their more recent songs, from ‘Magnificent’ and ‘Song For Someone’, to ‘Every Breaking Wave’, ‘The Miracle (of Joey Malone)’, ‘American Soul’, ‘Love is Bigger Than Anything in It’s Way’ and ‘The Blackout’; show us just what we believe to be true- that a band like U2 continues to write to us songs that speak to our very human condition. These songs aren’t polished, nor are they refined to radio marketability and radio station airplay. Leave it to genre groups from pop to CCM to undertake such a feat. U2 on the other hand, though less refined, are nevertheless as impacting and needed in society as every other genre of music- their songs are gritty, hopeful, at times questioning, and at all times life-giving and challenging the status quo. Bono and co. have given to us 4 decades of melodies that can be uttered in a variety of settings- out an about, in church, in the home. That’s the beauty of this band, the ability for their music to be enjoyed not just in one particular moment or setting, but in a variety, where whoever hears these inspiring songs are transported beyond their own tangible and physical worries- to a place where hope, encouragement, the will for survival and the action that comes from the conviction that these songs evoke; are all delved into and discussed at length within the confines of U2’s music. Now here we are, in July 2021, and both Bono and The Edge, arguably the two band members that are more synonymous with U2 than the others (as in, if Bono or The Edge were to depart U2 and the band were to keep going, it wouldn’t be U2 anymore, but if Adam Clayton or Larry Mullens Jr left (for whatever reason), the band can still carry on with little disruption), have collaborated with up-and-coming Dutch remixer, Martin Garrix (who has been famous recently for collaborating with Bebe Rexha on ‘In the Name of Love’ and Dua Lipa in ‘Scared to be Lonely’), on a song that I’m sure will hopefully bring people back to listening to U2 in the upcoming weeks and months ahead.
‘We are the People’ is in essence, a U2 track (or rather a Bono track, even though the song is nevertheless attributed to Martin- and only featuring Bono and The Edge credit-wise). First recorded to be sung as the theme song in the opening ceremony to Euro 2020 (an annual soccer competition comprising of all, if not most, of the European nations, kinda like Eurovision but for soccer), Martin, The Edge and Bono have created a song that has become for me, a song that goes beyond soccer and football, and sport in general. This is a ‘unification’ song, a way to seek commonality to our fellow man, setting aside differences, whatever they may be, and acknowledging that as much as we may disagree on certain issues, ideas, ideologies, theological statements, and what we believe about this or that, we can still become united in our own belief that everyone should be treated with dignity, respect, and love, and that if we are to believe what we believe to be true, then that ought to change our life, and permeate and transform the culture we are in at the moment. If what we believe to be true isn’t making us better people, isn’t allowing us to extend grace, forgiveness, tolerance, and an extending hand to people who may believe different than us, then maybe, just maybe, we are elevating second and third tier issues and making them fundamental, when we know they shouldn’t be. ‘We are the People’ is not just a soccer song, or even a sports song. It is a unification song; and can even be applied to Christendom as well. For if we are to be united as a faith, we must first put away with this idea that our denomination is absolutely right. There is a line within the song ‘We are the People’ that is really profound (it may not be as impactful to you, but for me, I find I keep coming back to that line). ‘…we are the people of the open hand…’ is a reminder for each of us, that to have an open hand, is to exercise humility, and to know and understand that you won’t have things all together, and be all-knowledgeable, all the time. There’ll be moments where we need to be taught, and to be in a spirit of openness means to admit sometimes that we’re wrong. For whatever, in whatever case, and in whatever season. ‘We are the People’ is a great reminder to be united with people in things that are absolutely essential, and to be ok with saying ‘I don’t know’. Because to admit that we don’t know, may be the very thing that will unite us all in the end, instead of being absolutely certain, and causing divides in places we don’t want, as unintended as they may be! Well done, Martin, Bono, and The Edge in creating a great EDM masterpiece. Maybe a long-awaited U2 album in the upcoming year ahead?
RIYL: Coldplay, Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Sting, Aerosmith