In Defence of HTDAAB, and in Offence of ATYCLB... - U2 Feedback

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Old 02-05-2009, 06:57 PM   #1
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In Defence of HTDAAB, and in Offence of ATYCLB...

I'm noticing a strange trend on these boards. All of a sudden everyone is extremely critical of How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb and talking about All That You Can't Leave Behind as if it was a masterpiece.

Did I miss something?

All That You Can't Leave Behind was (In my opinion) a mess! Yes, it had Beautiful Day. It also had Stuck in a Moment, Kite, In a Little While, and Wild Honey. Those are all good songs.
BUT it also had Elevation, Walk On, Peace On Earth. When I Look at the World, New York, and Grace; NONE of which had any right being on a U2 album! (Elevation became much better live, but the album version doesn't cut it for me. It wasn't good enough to be a U2 A-side as it stood.)
So, 5 songs makes a third masterpiece!?!?
(Some countries also had The Ground Beneath her Feet as a bonus track, but this had already been released on the Million Dollar Hotel soundtrack. It wasn't new or even a new version.)
(I'll also heap MASSIVE praise upon the B-side Summer Rain. Best lyrics of the era, but U2 didn't put it on the album...)

Now, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb had Vertigo, Miracle Drug, Sometimes You Can't Make it On Your Own, Love and Peace or Else, City of Blinding Lights, All Because of You, A Man and A Woman, Crumbs From Your Table, One Step Closer, Original of The Species, and Yahweh, and Fast Cars (In some countries). (As well as the leaked Mercy.) These were ALL good songs! (In my opinion.) Could they have been recorded and produced better? I think so. I'll also criticize the album for not being a cohesive album, but rather a collection of the best songs they happened to write 2001-2004. But 11-13 wonderful songs released imperfectly do not a crap record make!

So, what do you guys think? Is it just a need to trash the most recent in favor of what might be coming, and an over-romanticizing of what was 8 years ago? Am I wrong? Were New York and Peace On Earth masterpieces and I just don't get it????

Maybe in 4 years it will be popular to like HTDAAB again....
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:04 PM   #2
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I love both records,
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:05 PM   #3
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Bomb had singles.

ATYCLB had mood.

Mood usually wins.
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:09 PM   #4
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IMO...

Bar...2-3 songs, HTDAAB just sucked balls. The cover sucked balls too.

ATYCLB may have trailed off toward the end, but so did The Unforgettable Fire. ATYCLB had a nicer cover and pics and stuff. And was ace. etc.
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:12 PM   #5
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IMO...

Bar...2-3 songs, HTDAAB just sucked balls. The cover sucked balls too.

ATYCLB may have trailed off toward the end, but so did The Unforgettable Fire. ATYCLB had a nicer cover and pics and stuff. And was ace. etc.
I would consider only 5 good songs (IMHO) more than just "trailing off toward the end...." And I actually love every song on The Unforgettable Fire.... THAT'S a masterpiece in my opinion......
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Niceman View Post
I'm noticing a strange trend on these boards. All of a sudden everyone is extremely critical of How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb and talking about All That You Can't Leave Behind as if it was a masterpiece.

Did I miss something?

All That You Can't Leave Behind was (In my opinion) a mess! Yes, it had Beautiful Day. It also had Stuck in a Moment, Kite, In a Little While, and Wild Honey. Those are all good songs.
BUT it also had Elevation, Walk On, Peace On Earth. When I Look at the World, New York, and Grace; NONE of which had any right being on a U2 album! (Elevation became much better live, but the album version doesn't cut it for me. It wasn't good enough to be a U2 A-side as it stood.)
So, 5 songs makes a third masterpiece!?!?
(Some countries also had The Ground Beneath her Feet as a bonus track, but this had already been released on the Million Dollar Hotel soundtrack. It wasn't new or even a new version.)
(I'll also heap MASSIVE praise upon the B-side Summer Rain. Best lyrics of the era, but U2 didn't put it on the album...)

Now, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb had Vertigo, Miracle Drug, Sometimes You Can't Make it On Your Own, Love and Peace or Else, City of Blinding Lights, All Because of You, A Man and A Woman, Crumbs From Your Table, One Step Closer, Original of The Species, and Yahweh, and Fast Cars (In some countries). (As well as the leaked Mercy.) These were ALL good songs! (In my opinion.) Could they have been recorded and produced better? I think so. I'll also criticize the album for not being a cohesive album, but rather a collection of the best songs they happened to write 2001-2004. But 11-13 wonderful songs released imperfectly do not a crap record make!

So, what do you guys think? Is it just a need to trash the most recent in favor of what might be coming, and an over-romanticizing of what was 8 years ago? Am I wrong? Were New York and Peace On Earth masterpieces and I just don't get it????

Maybe in 4 years it will be popular to like HTDAAB again....
Someone could probably do an analysis using album polls from 2000 to the present. Here's my prediction: HTDAAB has been on a continual decline (since release day) while ATYCLB wavered a bit from 2001-2004 and has been very gradually climbing ever since.
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:12 PM   #7
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Bomb had singles.

ATYCLB had mood.

Mood usually wins.
That's an interesting point.
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:13 PM   #8
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I don't even think ATYCLB had mood, really. The sequencing was awful.
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by bram View Post
Someone could probably do an analysis using album polls from 2000 to the present. Here's my prediction: HTDAAB has been on a continual decline (since release day) while ATYCLB wavered a bit from 2001-2004 and has been very gradually climbing ever since.
Yeah, I think you're right. (At least among us Blue-crackheads.) But what confuses me is: Why?

I won't claim to love HTDAAB as much as I did at first, but I still don't think there are any BAD songs on the album, and so many of the ones on ATYCLB seem so OBVIOUSLY poor to be at this point....
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montrose View Post
Bomb had singles.

ATYCLB had mood.

Mood usually wins.
Exactly
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:14 PM   #11
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Meh, I thought after halfway, a lot of UF was just sort of slow, quiet and dirgey. I didnt think the last 5 or so songs were distinguishable from each other. I know the names, but I honestly couldnt say which song was which bar MLK.
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:17 PM   #12
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Meh, I thought after halfway, a lot of UF was just sort of slow, quiet and dirgey. I didnt think the last 5 or so songs were distinguishable from each other. I know the names, but I honestly couldnt say which song was which bar MLK.

Yeah, slow, quiet, dirgy.......and awesome! Talk about churning mood! And what about Wire? That's when all of that pent up energy comes out......
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:19 PM   #13
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Yeah, I think you're right. (At least among us Blue-crackheads.) But what confuses me is: Why?

I won't claim to love HTDAAB as much as I did at first, but I still don't think there are any BAD songs on the album, and so many of the ones on ATYCLB seem so OBVIOUSLY poor to be at this point....
I agree. I think Bomb is a really solid record that is only missing je ne sais quoi. ATYCLB is missing some songs, but it has something else that would probably take me 2 pages to articulate.

But I think the overall fan trends are pretty interesting so far. Bomb could be looked at pretty differently in 5 years.


Also: I think ATYCLB, while being less consistent songwise, also has at least 1 or 2 songs that really resonate with people in a personal way. Bomb is pretty lacking in that respect, with the possible exception of SYCMIOYO.
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:21 PM   #14
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Yeah, slow, quiet, dirgy.......and awesome! Talk about churning mood! And what about Wire? That's when all of that pent up energy comes out......
Oh I have nothing against the first half, I like most of that. A Sort of Homecoming, UF, Pride, Wire and Bad I like. Which is exactly half the album.
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:22 PM   #15
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Meh, Bomb is in the bottom of my album ranking, and ATYCLB is middle to top half. HTDAAB was great for a while as long as it kept its newness. Now, I like most of the songs, but the album doesn't give me any "feel." ATYCLB is in my "mellow U2" category. When I want mellow but energizing U2, I go to JT or UF. When I want mellow, simple, open the windows on a gorgeous & breezy Saturday morning U2, I go to ATYCLB. I listen to HTDAAB simply when I want to listen to it, mainly for its newness--it's the closest I've got right now to new U2, save Boots---but I can't associate HTDAAB with anything outside of the three concerts I saw. That association is why I'll never dislike the album....but it's not strong enough for me to keep loving it. For some reason, I just like the fact that U2 have a simple album & I can put ATYCLB on when that's what I want. I can also just sit, me and my guitar, and croon IALW or Wild Honey and enjoy myself.
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:23 PM   #16
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I'll say this though, and Ive said this a few times. I think had the production been different on bomb, it would have been amazing. There is potential for the songs to have been so much better than they were, and I always thought that if Eno/Lanois had worked on them it'd have turned out so much better.
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:24 PM   #17
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Meh, Bomb is in the bottom of my album ranking, and ATYCLB is middle to top half. HTDAAB was great for a while as long as it kept its newness. Now, I like most of the songs, but the album doesn't give me any "feel." ATYCLB is in my "mellow U2" category. When I want mellow but energizing U2, I go to JT or UF. When I want mellow, simple, open the windows on a gorgeous & breezy Saturday morning U2, I go to ATYCLB. I listen to HTDAAB simply when I want to listen to it, mainly for its newness--it's the closest I've got right now to new U2, save Boots---but I can't associate HTDAAB with anything outside of the three concerts I saw. That association is why I'll never dislike the album....but it's not strong enough for me to keep loving it. For some reason, I just like the fact that U2 have a simple album & I can put ATYCLB on when that's what I want. I can also just sit, me and my guitar, and croon IALW or Wild Honey and enjoy myself.
Good post and very close to my own feelings on the matter.
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:25 PM   #18
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Yeah, it sounds like we may be in agreement on Bomb over-all.... But then again I just re-listened and I can't begin to tell you how much I loved specifically Original of The Species and Yahweh..... I guess it should be subtitled: U2 - Best of 2001-2004.

I just don't feel the love for All That. 5 tracks that I consider worth being on a U2 album and then a lot of sleepiness until New York hits me with the worst lyrics Bono has ever recorded. (Including Be There!?!?) Yeah, Beautiful day and Stuck are REALLY good.... but where's the rest of the album? What used to be so easy for U2 to do seems so hard for them to manage on that disc..... 15 years earlier they had B-sides better than most of the album....

The good news is I think it sounds like U2 get where they went wrong on HTDAAB and have worked hard to make NLOTH a cohesive album......
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:32 PM   #19
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I'll say this though, and Ive said this a few times. I think had the production been different on bomb, it would have been amazing. There is potential for the songs to have been so much better than they were, and I always thought that if Eno/Lanois had worked on them it'd have turned out so much better.
Yeah, I think that's one of the two problems the album has.... Well, maybe three problems. (The bottom falls out of LAPOE half-way through and mucks up a song I otherwise love.) The other one being that it sounds like a Best-of, rather than a unified statement.
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:34 PM   #20
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Meh, Bomb is in the bottom of my album ranking, and ATYCLB is middle to top half. HTDAAB was great for a while as long as it kept its newness. Now, I like most of the songs, but the album doesn't give me any "feel." ATYCLB is in my "mellow U2" category. When I want mellow but energizing U2, I go to JT or UF. When I want mellow, simple, open the windows on a gorgeous & breezy Saturday morning U2, I go to ATYCLB. I listen to HTDAAB simply when I want to listen to it, mainly for its newness--it's the closest I've got right now to new U2, save Boots---but I can't associate HTDAAB with anything outside of the three concerts I saw. That association is why I'll never dislike the album....but it's not strong enough for me to keep loving it. For some reason, I just like the fact that U2 have a simple album & I can put ATYCLB on when that's what I want. I can also just sit, me and my guitar, and croon IALW or Wild Honey and enjoy myself.
IALW and Wild Honey are fantastic songs! I like to play them with Summer Rain and Flower Child on my I-Tunes and I sing along..... I just wish POE, NY, WILATW, etc had their soul!
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