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The new version of Original Of The Species

Saturday 5 May 2012, by Florian pour U2 France

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We told you about it a few weeks ago: Bono and The Edge have recorded a new version of Original Of The Species that will appear on the charity album ’Every Mother Counts 2012’,

author: Pauline

Screenshot taken from the videoclip of the song (original 2004 version)

translation by Florian

First listen and first impressions on that new version here.

My first impression –which seems to last– was confusion but also questioning after listening to that new version. Of course, what follows is only my own opinion about the track, I’m waiting for your own impressions on that version ;-)

From the first notes, I scowled: sounds like a piano note starting well that ends up twisting into a very strange sound. Too strange to me. Bono then starts singing and right away that question pops to my mind: wouldn’t Bono have lost all of his vocal power? It’s a breathless singer, almost wheezy, that we’re listening to. At the end of the verse «Like smiling, crying and celebrity», Bono is unable to get the final note straight on «celebrity». On the album No Line On The Horizon, his voice, a bit broken by time and excess of alcohol and tobacco, gave the singer a charming side. Here, it’s no longer charming, it’s frightening if we consider the next album. Maybe this new version of Original Of The Species hasn’t been mixed enough to cover Bono’s vocal weakness, even so a weak voice will still be noticeable despite technology.

The moment when the song took off on How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb in order to reveal all of its perfection is here the moment when it discloses that there’s something wrong with the song’s orchestration: violins and piano miss the intensity that sublimated the song on the album version. Even worse, an acoustic guitar comes into the game and ends up breaking the few intensity that remained.

In trying to make an acoustic version, I feel, allow me to quote a longtime fan who shared his opinion with me, that Bono and The Edge ended up making a soporific version. Yet they are far from being bad at making acoustic versions (if I quote The Hands That Built America I guess everyone one will agree). What really seems to be missing in that new version –apparently made in a rush– is the other half of U2, Adam and Larry.

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