Original Soundtracks 1
Passengers (U2 with Brian Eno)
“Passengers is a collaboration between U2 and Brian Eno” (Erlewine) in which they create “14 compositions for imagined movies” (Sarig). The offshoot project from U2’s more traditional fare allowed them to be “released…from its own image and allowed the band more creative elbowroom than ever before” (Sarig). “Under Eno’s influence, the group incorporates more ambient electronic soundscapes, which unravel over the course of the album” (Erlewine).
“The heart of the album is in its instrumentals, where the band – particularly the Edge and Eno – manages to keep the constantly shifting sonic colors and textures involving and intriguing” (Erlewine). “Eno, who’s done this sort of thing for decades, plays a defining role. Tracks like United Colours and One Minute Warning, with their electronic pulsations and organic atmospherics, clearly fall onto his ambient/ techno terrain. Even tracks more recognizably the band’s are enriched by collaboration: The hilarious Elvis Ate America is even more absurd with Howie B’s scratching and vocal calls” (Sarig). “The touching Miss Sarajevo” (Sarig) is “a slowly pulsating and melancholy collaboration with Luciano Pavarotti, who makes the middle eight soar” (Erlewine).
“Equally impressive is the sweeping Your Blue Room, which stands as one of U2’s finest ballads” (Erlewine). It is a great example of how “the band’s knack for anthemic pop songwriting shines through every once and a while” (Erlewine), even if “Original Soundtracks 1 sounds more like a Brian Eno album” (Erlewine) as U2 allow him “to assume virtual membership in the band, adopt the pseudonym Passengers, and immerse themselves in the anonymity of film music” (Sarig).