Release Date: Jun 14, 2011
Record label: Interscope
Genre(s): Soundtrack, Pop/Rock
Last Thanksgiving weekend, families across America gathered around the TV to watch 60 Minutes and wonder the same thing: What the hell is up with U2? As Bono and the Edge previewed songs they wrote for the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, your parents probably asked you some tough questions: "Wait, these guys are still famous, right? Didn't they just make an excellent album in 2009? Aren't they in the middle of the highest-grossing tour in the history of showbiz? Why are they doing this?" Bono and the Edge Reboot 'Spider-Man' But that's the thing about U2: "Why are they doing this?" is their favorite question. They love to try crazy moves nobody would expect, just to see if they can get away with it. Sometimes that means trying to boogie with a single called "Discotheque.
You’ll be safe from falling stuntmen, but the soundtrack to Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Broadway’s notorious mega-musical poses a more mundane risk: boredom. Composers Bono and the Edge — who break the cast-only rule to guest on several tracks — sprinkle some rousing, U2-style hooks amid the alt-show-tune gloom. But the duo’s lyrics are pop-rock vague, and their melodies swing from arena bombast to Broadway cheese as lifelessly as a swatted Spidey.
So, it’s finally here. Dating back to 2002, Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark has been subject to a near countless string of mishaps, mistakes, and missed opening nights. There have been injuries, budget woes, lawsuits, rewrites, director drops, and cast swaps. At the center of all of this have been Bono and The Edge.
Broadway productions rarely come as troubled as Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, the Great White Way musical adaptation of Marvel’s silver-age comics classic. Much of the initial hubbub surrounded injuries cast members sustained when swinging over the stage or struck by stray equipment and the dismissal of celebrated director Julie Taymor, who departed from the production during the disastrous previews, each piece of gossip obscuring one key problem with the musical: the songs written by Bono and the Edge are dreadful. Relying on shopworn tropes of modern Broadway and arena rock U2, the songs are overblown yet hidebound, constricted by narrative and reined in by the melodies’ attempts to soar to the rafters.