Just to pass the time: track-by-track previews of old U2 albums - U2 Feedback

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Old 01-29-2009, 04:39 AM   #1
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Just to pass the time: track-by-track previews of old U2 albums

Since it appears that the second wave of first impressions is rolling in for NLOTH, with a greater barrage yet to come, I thought it would be fun to give our own ideas of what these descriptions would have been like back in 1983, 1987, 1991, etc. Considering U2's newest sounds were not always warmly accepted, don't be afraid to get critical. Remember, these are just terse descriptions, so don't go overboard, and try to get inside the head of someone hearing those albums in the context of the period in which they were released.

I'll do Achtung Baby.

Quote:
This evening, I found myself a part of a gathering of three dozen specially-selected journalists and East German riffraff, brought together for the sole purpose of hearing the new U2 album...the unfortunately-titled Achtung, Baby! We were asked to stand in the middle of a giant abandoned Trabant factory, which you would assume could be filled to the brim with these new sounds to great effect. Unfortunately, the band just brought a boombox covered with garish stickers that are apparently supposed to represent the direction of the album's artwork. My eyes are still bleeding.

For U2 fans curious if this new album is an improvement over the absurdly pompous monstrosity that was Rattle And Hum, all I can say is that I was forced to swear at gunpoint that I wouldn't divulge my true feelings about the record as a whole. So here are some unbiased, objective descriptions of each song to tide you over.

1. Zoo Station
Starts off with the sounds of Edge attempting to be everyone else while Larry bangs on pots and pans like my little brother used to do. It's unusual, but even "When Loves Comes To Town" had a melody.

2. Even Better Than The Real Thing
Beatlesque pop songwriting meets music you could hear any night at your local discotheque.

3. One
Sounds like a classic. The lyrics are a bit overdone, but it builds nicely, and is rather soulful, very much like the only good moment of Rattle And Hum, "All I Want Is You".

4. Until The End Of The World
Other than the wildebeest-caught-in-a-jet-engine intro, not awful. Actually, very pleasant. U2 chills out for a bit, only to build to an epic climax.

5. Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
Unabashed pop song covered in feedback. I wrote similar lyrics in my 9th grade poetry class, so it was quite nostalgic for me.

6. So Cruel
Dour. Goes nowhere. Remind U2 to never go near a piano again unless they're singing about the month of October.

7. The Fly
Well, it sure made that boombox sound louder than it had any right to. You've all heard this one by now, but I still have to idea what to make of it. There may be a song in there, but I have no idea where it is. Or U2, for that matter.

8. Mysterious Ways
Irish white boys attempt to get their groove on. God forbid this becomes a single.

9. Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World
Pure crap.

10. Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
I'm conflicted about this one. On one hand, it sounds like the U2 I've always loved. On the other hand, Bono is singing about lightbulbs and 68% of the lyrical content involves the word "baby". Well, at least we know what the inspiration for the album title is now.

11. Acrobat
U2 goes goth on the last couple of tracks. This one sounds positively furious, featuring raging Edge guitar, and Bono singing about not letting "the bastards grind you down". Should be a corker live.

12. Love Is Blindness
They break out the organ here, and it provides an ominous atmosphere for an otherwise bland song. It's over before it even begins.
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:45 AM   #2
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good idea
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:08 AM   #3
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lol at the acrobat one when he says its should be a corker live, yeah were still waiting 20 years on
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:35 AM   #4
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That was hilarious.

Quote:
Other than the wildebeest-caught-in-a-jet-engine intro


Quote:
Bono is singing about lightbulbs and 68% of the lyrical content involves the word "baby". Well, at least we know what the inspiration for the album title is now.
This guy seems to have a good sense of humour.
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:36 AM   #5
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1. Zoo Station
Starts off with the sounds of Edge attempting to be everyone else while Larry bangs on pots and pans like my little brother used to do. It's unusual, but even "When Loves Comes To Town" had a melody.

oh my

6. So Cruel
Dour. Goes nowhere. Remind U2 to never go near a piano again unless they're singing about the month of October.

Cruel...

8. Mysterious Ways
Irish white boys attempt to get their groove on. God forbid this becomes a single.




12. Love Is Blindness
They break out the organ here, and it provides an ominous atmosphere for an otherwise bland song. It's over before it even begins.

even more
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
5. Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
Unabashed pop song covered in feedback. I wrote similar lyrics in my 9th grade poetry class, so it was quite nostalgic for me.
You wrote poetry about receiving blowjobs?
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:04 AM   #7
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You wrote poetry about receiving blowjobs?
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
9. Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World
Pure crap.
I laughed.
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:52 AM   #9
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9. Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World
Pure crap.

And now we get this:
6. GET ON YOUR BOOT
Pure shit.

Oh, guys, that album is going to be great!!!!!!
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:58 AM   #10
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I'll do Pop:

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Well, it's been a day since I returned home. Yesterday was interesting, since I got to hear U2's long awaited new album, POP. How should I start... maybe a track by track description will do a good job. I don't feel like I can make a review with only one listen of THIS album in particular. So let's get it started:
Discothèque
Hmmm... we know this one already. U2's first single from the album. It's weird... and...
no, it's just weird... At least, Edge did a pretty good job here.
Do You Feel Loved
I've heard this one before somewhere. It feels nice. Actually, it seems great at the first listen. If this new album had only songs like this then my review wouldn't matter at all.
MOFO
God Part II... you know that one? It doesn't matter, this is better.
If God Will Send His Angels
Well, well, well. Ah, the song? Oh, this is not well. What can I say? First listen. Bono's voice is beautiful if you want something nice about it. By the way, Bono's voice is nice in almost every song. Point for the album.
Staring at the Sun
I'm no psychic, but this screams "single". This doesn't make it any better FYI.
Last Night on Earth
You make me travel all the way here and the album has a non-U2 song on it!! Oh, this is U2?? Ok, this is interesting.
Gone
Ok, now Discothèque sounds even weirder cause I know they chose it as the fisrt single. Way to go again, Edge. Actually, way to go U2...
Miami
How bad should I feel for have enjoyed this? You'll see what I'm talking about...
The Playboy Mansion
It seems that this time they decided to left some decent songs to the second half of the album. Great lyrics.
If You Wear That Velvet Dress
Way to kick's this album first half in the balls.
Please
This is not pure crap... it would be better if it was pure, at least.
Wake Up Dead Man
"Wake up! Wake up! This is the last song... the you can go home..." No, I didn't slept, but that was because of the chair.
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:39 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by intedomine View Post
You wrote poetry about receiving blowjobs?
What else would a teenager write about?
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:42 AM   #12
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is this the same guy who reviewed nloth? as for achtung baby......another man's trash is someone's gold. or something like that.
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:46 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by intedomine View Post
You wrote poetry about receiving blowjobs?
Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Anyway, great thread Lemonmelon! Loved your review of Mysterious Ways. I will now and forever think of Irish boys (Bono in particular) getting their grove on, every time I hear that song.
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:47 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by LemonMelon View Post
What else would a teenager write about?
You tell them, LemonMelon!
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:58 AM   #15
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This is how Q previewed ATYCLB...


Quote:
Q magazine, November 01, 2000




BEAUTIFUL DAY: Synth swirls, guitar glimmers, then chorus explodes with snare drums and Joshua Tree widescreen splendour. Bono reckons it's about a man who loses everything and feels better. "See the bird with the leaf in her mouth/After the flood all the coulurs come out" backs him up.

STUCK IN A MOMENT YOU CAN'T GET OUT OF: Theme of overcoming crisis ("this time will pass") and forging on established. Modern pop-soul sound an agreeable shock. Edge keeps it Steve Cropper simple. A keyboard rings out like a bell. Clayton and Mullen punctuate sparsely. Dusty Springfield in the house.

ELEVATION: Reminiscent of Achtung Baby's "The Fly" in its rock 'n' roll funksomeness; also features staccato SexBono. Evil guitars like The Breeders' "Cannonball." Sonar "boink" enhances beneath-sea-level ambience. Brilliant, Euro house-style sound-galloping-in-from-the distance bit. Putative single.

WALK ON: "Love is hard but what else have we got?" ponders Bono, sort of, incorporating shades of "We Shall Overcome." "A place that has to be believed to be seen" is the very clever line. Edge bullied into playing poignant guitar solo. Graceful, noble, and leads aptly into...

KITE: Derives (as does "Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of" and parts of "Elevation") from the first nine months of recording. Bono plays complex POV games while the band establish tidal ebb and flow, building on a wistful wobbly synth sample. A song about the year 2000, as if written in 2030.

IN A LITTLE WHILE: Guitar, bass and hip hop drum loop lope languidly in a modernised Al Green-style. Bono gives it 100% vocal ache. "It's a bit cheesy, a bit lounge," says the singer, "So I had to be soulful or it would have been...funny." Spice Girls' Biff Stannard credited with the purging of "pastiche" elements.

WILD HONEY: Playful, acoustic guitar-driven, lovelorn cousin of Van Morrison circa Moondance. All temptations to add anything superfluous overlooked, barring momentary operatic explosion from Bono. Bono's "I'm singing like a bird" claim not without foundation.

PEACE ON EARTH: Jesus is interrogated, not unbitterly, about the Omagh bomb. Muted sleigh-ride into screams "Christmas Number 1!", and primary-colour melody wouldn't look bad on Robbie Williams. "Hear it every Christmas time/But hope and history won't rhyme" is killer line, adapted from Seamus Heaney.

WHEN I LOOK AT THE WORLD: A more urgent revisitation of "The Ground Beneath Her Feet" 's melodic territory and the record's biggest "grower." Lyric about envying another's more organic way of dealing with life, embroidered with echo box-guitar, naive keybord seesaws and occasional child-wailing guitar interjections.

NEW YORK: Curious, under-a-blanket drum loop unveils conversastional, man-loses-himself novella with apt "Where The Streets Have No Name" guitar quote. Poignant Sinatra anecdote (Bono: "He picked up this napkin, said 'I remember when my eyes were that blue' and put it in his pocket") missed off album version.

GRACE: The album's most Enofied moment, with the soft guitar, distant synth and stroked bass counterpoint recalling, if anything, The Unforgettable Fire. "Grace is the idea I get most excited about," says Bono. "More so than karma. If I have to live by karma then I'm coming back as a frog."

THE GROUND BENEATH HER FEET: Delightful high-point of the Million Dollar Hotel soundtrack (i.e. there's no Milla Jovovich on it), and a single in some territories. "We just felt more people should hear it," reasons Clayton, reasonably.
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:06 PM   #16
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lol at the acrobat one when he says its should be a corker live, yeah were still waiting 20 years on

I shall hold my breath until Acrobat is played live

Any one else with me?

c'mon people lets make an Interland stand!!

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Old 01-29-2009, 12:53 PM   #17
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anyone......
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:03 AM   #18
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Petition?
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:10 AM   #19
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Yeah, like that'd work.
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:39 PM   #20
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Petition?
I'll sign it!
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