Tim Sommer rips apart the Joshua Tree. - U2 Feedback

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Old 05-05-2017, 07:00 AM   #1
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Tim Sommer rips apart the Joshua Tree.

Music critic Tim Sommer tries to explain that the Joshua Tree is not a great album.

Quote:
U2’s ‘The Joshua Tree’ Isn’t the Masterpiece You Remember

Alternately ecstatic and underwhelming, historic and histrionic, powerful and vague, The Joshua Tree is half a masterpiece.

U2’s The Joshua Tree turns 30 this week, an event to be celebrated by a tour, a series of commemorative plates from the Franklin Mint, and a newly discovered Irish moss to be named Polytrichum Piliferum Joshuam.[i]

U2’s fifth studio album is a testimony to the churning, night-purple planetarium of starry majesty they could harness and wrap around the simplest frames, while at the same time exposing the band’s distressing and consistent habit of turning on autopilot halfway through an album.
The Joshua Tree is also a masterclass in the act of transparent but effective appropriation, something U2 have always been very, very good at. Like David Bowie (or Led Zeppelin and R.E.M.), the sheer weight of U2’s personality and charismatic energy allows them to get away with the most basic thievery: in their hands, it doesn’t feel like plagiarism, but like a redistribution of deserving and lesser-known art to the masses.

First, let’s talk about an absolutely integral aspect of The Joshua Tree: we’ll call this “The Phone Book Phenomenon.”

This is one of the truly remarkable things about The Joshua Tree—if you just listen to the first side, you’re fairly convinced that you’re hearing one of the greatest classic rock albums of all time; but once you hit the second side (beginning with track six, “Red Hill Mining Town”), U2 are playing the phone book.

The rest of the article is here:

U2’s ‘The Joshua Tree’ Isn’t the Masterpiece You Remember | | Observer

Tim Sommer - The Observer

Just goes to show that not even what is arguably the greatest album of all time is not immune to criticism based on hidden contempt for the band in general.
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:23 AM   #2
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The Joshua Tree is one of the greatest albums of all time, that is undisputed.

Tim Sommer - who the hell is that? Never heard of him. Didn't bother clicking on the link either. Enough said.
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:34 AM   #3
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Ugh. Thanks for the share. Article was a slog. Whoever the hell he is, the author's in love with the sound of his own gas-baggy voice. Paid by the syllable obviously

But then I'm biased!
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:38 AM   #4
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Tim Sommer? who is this fool?
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Old 05-05-2017, 11:43 AM   #5
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The Observer seems to have some vendetta against U2. Just this week, they posted an article that said regarding their collaboration with Kendrick Lamar on "xxx"...."U2 Ties Record With Michael Jackson, Tarnishes Brand in the Process... U2’s latest collaboration is a cry for help—and ticket sales"

What the hell is their problem? Is this really what qualifies as journalism?
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Old 05-05-2017, 12:52 PM   #6
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lol
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Old 05-05-2017, 01:28 PM   #7
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Meh, sounds like they're looking for clicks.
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Old 05-05-2017, 01:32 PM   #8
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To quote The New Day from WWE: who.....who ..... who....who....who.........
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Old 05-05-2017, 02:47 PM   #9
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Just one guy's opinion on a planet with 8 billion people.

Bono has described his 80's work as "unfinished songs," and maybe that's what this guy was getting at -- the songs aren't as unique and complete as those on side 1 (with the exception of Mothers). But I can't imagine this album as emotive and powerful without the other songs, they blend and swirl with everything else on the album to paint that desert landscape that the band was going for.

You sure as hell need In God's Country, Exit and Trip Through Your Wires to pull that off.
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Old 05-05-2017, 02:55 PM   #10
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Side two is more "cinematic" in scope than side one.
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Old 05-05-2017, 03:19 PM   #11
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completely accurate or not, the author makes some interesting points/claims.

I don't know why so many U2 fans put their heads in the sand when faced with specific critiques of their band.
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Old 05-05-2017, 04:10 PM   #12
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Tim Sommer rips apart the Joshua Tree.

.
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Old 05-05-2017, 05:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy Fizz View Post
completely accurate or not, the author makes some interesting points/claims.

I don't know why so many U2 fans put their heads in the sand when faced with specific critiques of their band.
I mean, the article is just bad though. I'm all about reading critiques that go further than "I didn't like the last half of the album" so I'm going to call it a "phonebook". Makes no sense. I really like the 2nd half of Joshua Tree, even though it didn't have any big hits off of it. The album was powerful enough where even a casual fan during that time would easily recognize In God's Country or One Tree Hill during the show today.

So yeah, it's just a crap article. Show me a well written article that critiques that band, and I'll read it.
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Old 05-05-2017, 05:18 PM   #14
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In what world is Exit considered auto-pilot? One could make a case for In God's Country being generic anthemic wide-open U2, but it's still a great track. Trip is a countrified rave-up that they'd never done before. Mothers is atmospheric and moving, with a soundscape pretty unique compared to anything on TUF. One Tree Hill stands out with its guitar and drum sound.

Fuck this guy.

Sgt. Pepper's has a much more vulnerable Side 2.
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Old 05-05-2017, 05:50 PM   #15
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I'm not saying he is correct. In fact, I love most of the album including Side 2.

The parts I am most intrigued by are his claims that they stole (OK were inspired by) other songs. Pretty serious charges, if true.

Now, I have no idea if there is any substance to it. But to just write it off because 'who is this guy?' or 'I never heard of him' seems lame.

BVS - great reply as usual.
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