A few thoughts about ATYCLB... - U2 Feedback

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Old 03-02-2009, 05:01 AM   #1
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A few thoughts about ATYCLB...

As is to be expect, the release of a new U2 album inspires me to listen to the back catalog in large amounts again. Upon listening to a few tracks off ATYCLB again, I have a few thoughts about this record.

1. For all the flack some us give U2's pre-NLOTH output this decade, I've always, with the exception of the months immediately following the release of Bomb, felt that ATYCLB was a better record, a warmer, more natural feeling record, a record that, despite a certain back-to-basics, familiar sound, housed some songs that sounded little like anything U2 had done before it(Stuck In A Moment, In A Little While, Wild Honey, When I Look At The World) in addition to songs that sounded "like U2"(Beautiful Day, Elevation, Walk On, Kite, New York), something that I don't think can be said of Bomb.

2. I'm not sure Kite is appreciated enough in these parts. If I had to pick one song on ATYCLB other than Beautiful Day that I thought was a genuinely great song as good as anything they've ever done, it would be Kite. Especially the 2006 live performance on the Window In The Skies single. I don't usually like to make potentially divisive hyperbolic statements about anything, much less something as subjective as music, but I think I will here: If you don't like that 2006 WITS live version of Kite, you don't like U2. That extended solo, one of the better vocal performances I've heard Bono give for this song...it's just

3. In a recent interview, Adam Clayton stated that Brian Eno thought U2 were "mad" for leaving Winter off NLOTH(Discuss that song in WTAHAN please). In this vein, I think U2 were mad for leaving The Ground Beneath Her Feet off ATYCLB. I think Stateless is brilliant too but I can sort of understand how U2 would feel that it didn't jive with the "pop" album they were trying to make. But The Ground Beneath Her Feet isn't that heavy...I mean, it's heavy, but still catchy enough to get people singing along to it. It's still a pop song. Replace Grace(a song that is, imo, unfairly maligned here, but that still doesn't hold a candle to TGBHF) with The Ground Beneath Her Feet, and I genuinely believe that a lot of people would view ATYCLB differently as a whole.

4. In A Little While is catchy as hell. Especially live. The way they ended it when they played it live on the Elevation Tour, with Edge singing alone "Slow down my beating heart/slowly love/slowly love", is really, really catchy, imo. After listening to the performance on the Elevation Boston DVD, I always find myself singing that last part to myself. That and "A man dreams one day to fly/a man takes a rocket ship into the sky/he lives on a star that's dying in the night/he follows in the trail, the scatter of light" - one of my favorite U2 lyrics of the decade.

5. When I Look At The World is gorgeous and is perhaps the most underappreciated U2 song of the decade.

That's all for now.
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:22 AM   #2
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#1, #2, #4: No.

#3, #5: Yes.
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by namkcuR View Post

5. When I Look At The World is gorgeous and is perhaps the most underappreciated U2 song of the decade.


I like ATYCLB much more than I did post ElevationTour, pre-HTDAAB.
No, the album didn't "grow on me", I think I grew up to this album, if that makes sense

I think the biggest problem (for me) was M$H soundtrack released before ATYCLB, I was really expecting this type of album from them and felt very disappointed.

That's how I listen to ATYCLB, it's less pop, but more M$H and more POP

1. BD
2. Elevation
3. Levitate
4. Walk On
5. Kite
6. Stateless
7. POE
8. New York
9. When I Look At The World
10. TGBHF
11. Grace

the 3rd masterpiece (IMO)
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:20 AM   #4
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Interesting post by namkcuR. Allow me to respond, won't you?


Quote:
Originally Posted by namkcuR View Post
1. I've always, with the exception of the months immediately following the release of Bomb, felt that ATYCLB was a better record.
To each his/her own. I prefer HTDAAB because I love a few of the songs more. I don't really love any of the ATYCLB songs in a personal way, but I enjoy them all. I do agree that ATYCLB hangs together better, is more of a piece, is more diverse-sounding, and is more emotionally affecting. I like both albums.

Quote:
Originally Posted by namkcuR View Post
2. I'm not sure Kite is appreciated enough in these parts.
I actually think 'Kite' is over-appreciated here. It's a good song, but by U2 standards I think it's kind of average. The sentiments are too simplistic for me, and the lyrics such as "I know that this is not good-bye" seem more like Celine Dion territory than U2.

I've never heard the 'Window In The Skies' B-side, but, you know, I also haven't gone skydiving or had a threesome. There isn't time enough in life for everything...

Quote:
Originally Posted by namkcuR View Post
3. In a recent interview, Adam Clayton stated that Brian Eno thought U2 were "mad" for leaving Winter off NLOTH(Discuss that song in WTAHAN please). In this vein, I think U2 were mad for leaving The Ground Beneath Her Feet off ATYCLB.
I like 'Ground Beneath', but again, I don't think it's a classic or anything. Just another solid U2 song. Basically, on Interference, the more obscure the song, the more people pretend they like it. Thus, everything the band left off albums and every alternate version is the greatest thing since sliced bread on this forum, because, as we all know, Interference members have better taste than the guys who actually make the music.

By the way, I love 'Grace' and think it's a perfect closer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by namkcuR View Post
4. In A Little While is catchy as hell. Especially live. The way they ended it when they played it live on the Elevation Tour, with Edge singing alone "Slow down my beating heart/slowly love/slowly love", is really, really catchy, imo. After listening to the performance on the Elevation Boston DVD, I always find myself singing that last part to myself. That and "A man dreams one day to fly/a man takes a rocket ship into the sky/he lives on a star that's dying in the night/he follows in the trail, the scatter of light" - one of my favorite U2 lyrics of the decade.
I couldn't agree more. I think this is the one song where they really achieved Bono's soul-music pretensions. If Marvin Gaye were alive, he might cover this song, but he wouldn't better it. (Somehow, I can't see him singing 'Elevation' -- unless he though the lyric was about an erection...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by namkcuR View Post
5. When I Look At The World is gorgeous and is perhaps the most underappreciated U2 song of the decade.
I couldn't care less about the opinion of some of the get-a-lifes on this forum or about what is "over-rated" or not, but I do agree that this is a really great song. As I recall, the very first time I listened to ATYCLB way back in late 2000, this was the only song that I thoroughly liked the first time I heard it, and my opinion has never altered.
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:31 PM   #5
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I love the album
still in my personal top 3

it has so much warmth and soul

and I actually think Peace on Earth is criminally underrated
yes I do
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:44 PM   #6
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great post, agree on all counts, especially #5 and #2. absolutely epic performance. Kite at Slane was great as well
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:46 PM   #7
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I couldnt imagine ATYCLB without The Ground Beneath Her Feet. I didnt even know it was a bonus track until long after I bought it.
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by namkcuR View Post
1. For all the flack some us give U2's pre-NLOTH output this decade, I've always, with the exception of the months immediately following the release of Bomb, felt that ATYCLB was a better record, a warmer, more natural feeling record, a record that, despite a certain back-to-basics, familiar sound, housed some songs that sounded little like anything U2 had done before it(Stuck In A Moment, In A Little While, Wild Honey, When I Look At The World) in addition to songs that sounded "like U2"(Beautiful Day, Elevation, Walk On, Kite, New York), something that I don't think can be said of Bomb.

.

I agree with the warmth and natural feel of ATYCLB, something pleasantly appealing about how the album came togther, about where the U2 mindset was at.

It's only recently where I've really grown to appreciate ATYCLB, and I certainly rate it better than the BomB. There's something more visionary about the album, it's not just eleven songs slapped together, there is a concerted effort to adhere to some sort of consistency, some sort of vision.

It's not a perfect album at all, but I've never seen it as safe. To me there is something subtly progressive about ATYCLB, and it is especially difficult to imagine any of the songs working on any other U2 album. Hardly familiar, and not properly back-to-basics (seeing as there was never really any basic with U2 in the first place). To me it is an album that just so happens to have that Adult Contemporary appeal, as opposed to selling-out to achieve that type of appeal. U2 are adults anyway, they've got every right to make adult-orientated music and ignore the indie kids, but this was an album that just seemed to come together, reflecting who U2 were at that time in their career.
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