...But deal with it. They don't have to be.
I'm not going to claim to be a long-time U2 fan - on the contrary, I only started listening to the band this September. However, I've been addicted since then - not just with to their new material, but to older albums like War and Joshua Tree. Along with many other people, I was thrilled when How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb came out in November.
I first heard Sometimes You Can't Make it On Your Own on Saturday Night Live right before the album was released, and found it captivating. Have any of you seen Bono sing this live? If you haven't, it could be why you don't understand the raw power of this song. He is incredibly emotional, and both on SNL and on the recording of the Brooklyn Bridge concert you can see tears in his eyes.
The problem I'm hearing about most is the simplicity of the song - but since when is that a bad thing? Maybe it's just because we have come to expect so much from Bono's writing. But think about it, honestly - when your father dies, are you going to sit down and write complex lyrics with all sorts of metaphors and hidden symbolism? Not at all - you're in pain, your thoughts are muffled, you can't focus...you've just lost someone you love. It's an amazing feat for Bono to have even written this song, and I can't imagine the trial it is to perform live.
So, is it another Where the Streets Have No Name? A One? Maybe not - but that doesn't mean it's bad. It's simply a man mourning the loss of someone who was a role model and a father to him. It's about love, regret, dealing with life's circumstances and eventually learning to move on. Try listening to it just after you've lost a parent - I guarantee you'll feel differently.
Musically speaking, it's nothing out-of-the-box. Edge's and Adam's guitars and Larry's drums take a supporting role to Bono's vocals, and it melds perfectly. Bono's singing is flawless, really, and towards the end of the note he hits a high, opera note included in memory of Bob, who was a tenor. Edge sings back-up and a part of the chorus - although it's kind of hard to tell that it's him until you see the video.
To end this rant - myself, I love the song. I don't think it's the best on the new album, but I think it's Bono at his most Bono - he's not hiding behind any complicated lyrics; he's coming directly out and speaking his feelings. If that's not something you enjoy, you might not like the song. I highly reccomend not just the single, but also How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb itself.
Also, I highly reccommend the music video. Right now it's only avaiable (in its full form, anyway) to U2.com members, but it's extremely touching.
Hope this has been helpful :)