A Discussion about U2's Foray Into 'Standard'-style and Lounge music in the late 90s - U2 Feedback

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Old 01-27-2009, 07:37 PM   #1
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A Discussion about U2's Foray Into 'Standard'-style and Lounge music in the late 90s

One aspect of U2's music that is hardly ever talked about is their forays into 'standard'-style music and lounge music...I mean, obviously, it's not as though there's a big trove of U2 songs that fit in that category, but there are a handful of them. Most are from the mid-late 90s, and the most recent few are from what I consider to be the last time they came close to touching this kind of music, their earliest work of the 00s, the Million Dollar Hotel soundtrack. Tracks like:

North And South Of The River(I realize this doesn't fit the category like a glove, but it's got the soul of a standard song)
If You Wear That Velvet Dress
Two Shots Of Happy, One Shot Of Sad
Slow Dancing

Also, a few key tracks from Passengers fall into that category.

I listened to this playlist today:

1.The Ground Beneath Her Feet
2.North And South Of The River
3.Your Blue Room
4.If You Wear That Velvet Dress
5.Slow Dancing
6.Two Shots Of Happy, One Shot Of Sad
7.Falling At Your Feet
8.Slug
9.Miss Sarajevo
10.Stateless
11.Always Forever Now

Ok, so Slug and Always Forever Now don't really fit this category, but I thought Slug was a great segue in that position and Always Forever Now was a great closer for this set of songs, but I think Your Blue Room and Miss Sarajevo fit this category very well.

Listening to this playlist was really a very enjoyable experience. They're all just great songs, imo, and they display a subtlety and nuance that they not only have been lacking this decade, but that they just lack in general, in their 80s work, much of their 90s work, and their 00s work. They covered Cole Porter's 'Night And Day', Elvis Presley's 'Can't Help Falling In Love', and Frank Sinatra's 'I've Got You Under My Skin earlier in the decade, and I really enjoyed their original tracks in this style, no matter how here-and-there they were in terms of where and when they were released. A part of me from time to time wishes they had more fully explored this part of their musical capability. Oh well. Maybe NLOTH will have a track in this vein :hopes:

Anyone else enjoy this brief, quantitatively-limited side of U2's musical output?
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:39 PM   #2
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Yeah, I love it. I wish U2 had made more songs like Stateless this decade.
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:54 PM   #3
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Yeah, I enjoyed that particular style that they went for in those songs. Two shots, Slow Dancing, Stateless and FAYF are excellent.
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:49 PM   #4
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Honestly, Stateless was the last U2 song that sent a real shiver up my spine.

If U2 want to stick around and keep releasing records into their late 50s or follow the Stones into their 60s, that playtlist above would be a great blueprint. Brilliant music, can still be absolutely loaded to overflowing with creative ambition, but without any of the, umm, potential embarrassment that could be just around the corner, and, importantly, completely stripped of any obvious commercial striving.

Really, if U2 had already reached this stage I’d be quite happy. Free of commercial pressure, 4 (or 6) guys in a room with 30+ years of musiscianship behind them just tinkering away with some very honest and very beautiful more intimate songs.

Hands down beats awkward, shallow and ultimately meaningless pop-rock ego-raids on the charts.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:23 PM   #5
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'Please' is, for some reason, hardly ever discussed when it comes to U2's foray into Jazz/Lounge. That is THE Jazziest Larry and Adam have ever gotten.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:33 PM   #6
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Stateless is also quite jazzy, in its fluidity. That one's a real classic, IMO. The closest thing to a WOWY-style song the band's released for a long time.

Come to think of it, I really do like all of the songs on your playlist. Good music. =)
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digitize View Post
Yeah, I love it. I wish U2 had made more songs like Stateless this decade.
Yes, I just love listening to Stateless, after a long and stressful day writing essays. It ought to have received more attention.
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Old 01-28-2009, 04:35 PM   #8
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I would say that Slow Dancing is about as straight up country as you can get, as opposed to lounge music, but that's just me.
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Old 01-28-2009, 05:02 PM   #9
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I love all of these lounge/jazzy songs you listed but I doubt that song like these would appear on NLOTH since most of these songs listed were side projects/B-sides or Passengers. Maybe something will appear as a B-side,
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:16 PM   #10
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that's a really nice playlist. i listened to it late last night. i forgot how much i love "falling at your feet."
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikal View Post
that's a really nice playlist. i listened to it late last night. i forgot how much i love "falling at your feet."
Me too. Sounds so good after a long break without hearing it.
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:50 PM   #12
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Agreed. That is an outstanding playlist. We need more sensible threads like this one round these here parts.
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:26 PM   #13
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I also very much like this little micro-era in U2's long career.
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:16 PM   #14
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Happy birthday, Frank!
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