You can buy a cappella tributes to U2, bluegrass tributes to U2, world music tribute to U2. Next to those, an electronic tribute to U2 seems perfectly logical. After all, the Edge has built his guitar sound around gadgets and gizmos for decades. Sure, Bono may not take synth solos onstage, but Pop came pretty close. So Electron Love Theory’s Blue Sky Vertigo: U2 Electronic Tribute comes off more naturally than most genre-themed tribute albums.
Still, the results can be striking. Whether you’re listening to “Sunday Bloody Sunday” as schizophrenic slow-jam or “Vertigo” as grimey bounce track, the songs pop. Featuring an all-female cast providing the vocals, Electron Love Theory freshens up even the most clichéd songs (though he wisely avoided “Where the Streets Have No Name”).
One standout track is “New Year’s Day,” a cover you might imagine being performed in a space station lounge. We asked Jeff Leisawitch, the man behind Electron Love Theory, to tell us about it.
“That was a tricky one to record,” he said. “I spent tons of time working out the ambiance and harmonics. Flora McGill, who was recently voted ‘Seattle’s Best Female Jazz Vocalist,’ sang that one. She’s awesome. One of the coolest parts is the solo in the middle. Flora scats the melody.
“I love ‘New Year’s Day’ because it’s both reflective and forward thinking. Besides the fantastic bassline and amazing video of the band out there in the snow, that song evokes such a strong emotion. Something about hope and loss. That’s a common theme for U2. And everyone else who has ever lived.”
Check out “New Year’s Day” below, along with the full track listing for Blue Sky Vertigo: U2 Electronic Tribute.
Blue Sky Vertigo Tracklist:
02. I Will Follow
03. All Because of You
04. Two Hearts Beat as One
05. Walk On
06. Bullet the Blue Sky
07. Beautiful Day
08. New Years Day
09. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
11. Sunday Bloody Sunday
13. With or Without You
14. All I Want is You