Any weakness from Bono as a vocalist or as a melody writer or a lyricist (I admit the melodic hooks in this album is quite weak compared to the rest of U2 career) is well compensated compared to the strength of the musicianship of this album
If I have a choice of listening to a U2 album with the vocals muted then October is the album I choose.
I had issues getting into it because I was put off by Bono's mediocre melody writing in this album however when I just listen to the album focusing on The Edge as the lead melodies of the song, the album click and it easily one of U2 best album.
The Edge may have developed his sound in later albums when it comes to the tone of his guitar but when it comes to the notes he plays, he is completely masterful especially some of the riffage in Gloria, With A Sound, Fire. It symbolises what I like about him as a mixture of Bernard Sumners and Tom Verlaine
Larry Mullen Jnr tom heavy drumming adds a hell of a lot of power.
Adam Clayton best album using his bass guitar as a melodic instrument rather than merely setting the root note of the chord of the song. Hell he even become pretty creative in his bass playing in "Strangers In Strange Lands" where he starts doing some bass harmonics (sort of emulating The Edge harmonics that he normally does but on the bass guitars)
When Bono does get his melodies right such as the epic Tomorrow and I Fall Down, there is some masterful songwriting.
While Boy is still U2 best album because it got the best of both worlds in terms of instrumentation by the group adn Bono vocals and melodies. October is a more interesting album when you focus on the band and not the singer.
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