The Joshua Tree by U2
U2 is an Irish rock band that formed in 1976. Their lyrics often have spiritual and personal themes. The Joshua Tree was their fifth album, and it was released in 1987. It was a very popular album, and according to Rolling Stone, this album turned the band from “heroes to superstars.” The songs on this album all start uniquely. After listening to the album a few times, it’s easy to identify each song just by the opening. Most of the songs start out softly, but then reach a climax of intensity. All of the songs have a good beat. This is a very well made album
The Joshua tree is a tree located in the Mojave Desert. The tree gets its name from Mormon pioneers, who named it after the biblical prophet, Joshua, as the tree looked like it was praying. U2 liked this spiritual background, and this spirituality continues throughout the album in their lyrics. Part of the album is about being spiritual in the world. In particular I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For shows the feeling of spiritual doubt. Another reason that the Joshua tree was used was because it is tough and hardy, and could survive in a bad world; much of the music is about this, getting through tough times.
This album, which came out in 1987, shows a dark world, and how we can live with it. Many of the songs show views on the politics of the world, with a most of it about America. One of the provisional titles was The Two Americas, referring to the mythical “promised land,” the American Dream, and the realistic one, a place that shows a lot ruthlessness, in the eyes of the band. U2, an Irish band, had done a lot of touring in the US, and had started to love the land, the wide open spaces, mountains, and deserts; on the other hand, about the politics, Bono, the lead singer, said “I then had to deal with America and the way it was affecting me, because America’s having such an effect on the world at the moment. On this record I had to deal with it on a political level for the first time, if in a subtle way.”
In 1987, U2 created one of the world’s best selling albums. It’s very good, and even though it’s nearly 27 years old, it still applies to our world today. It can be a bit depressing, as it’s talking about the darkness of our society, but that is needed sometimes in music. I think it’s definitely worth a listen.