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Old 07-10-2018, 11:43 AM   #61
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Bono's eroding voice and blunt-force lyricism are significant issues, but Edge's complete lack of creativity is the biggest one. He hit what I perceive to be rock bottom on SOE.
Yep
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Old 07-10-2018, 12:29 PM   #62
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I thought everyone was tired of the classic Edge sound? That’s what you were all complaining about not too many years ago. Now he’s not doing it and you’re still complaining.
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:06 PM   #63
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I thought everyone was tired of the classic Edge sound? That’s what you were all complaining about not too many years ago. Now he’s not doing it and you’re still complaining.
That's not what people are complaining about.

Pop is not Edge's classic sound, for example. The Fly is not Edge's classic sound. But it's the sound of a guitar player who is still experimenting with creating sonic landscapes.

This is what isn't happening, for the most part, on the last two albums. The band as a whole has gotten away from creating atmosphere and focused on SONGS SONGS SONGS. That's not U2. If they had taken that approach throughout their career, we wouldn't be having this conversation right now because people would have stopped caring about them a long time ago.

I don't know if it's because of Rick Rubin or because of the criticism that they were just a creation of Brian Eno, but they have been on this "we need to make songs with great structures that can be played well as a full band or acoustic" kick, and it's watered down the product.

The U2 magic, the thing that set them apart, has been missing.

They need to find it, otherwise they should just focus on touring and or simply retire.
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:22 PM   #64
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The U2 magic, the thing that set them apart, has been missing.


This sums up my feelings of late. I'm one of the biggest "millennial U2" fans in this place but the last two albums, both of which I like, are missing the "U2 thing" on the majority of the songs. Blackout, LIBTAIIW and Little Things all have it but then there are 10 other songs that are missing it (for me). I really like SOL but as good as I think it is, it doesn't feel like a U2 song....something is off. SOL sounds like any song I would hear on the radio and it's a good song but I feel like X number of other artists could have produced it too, whereas The Fly is U2!
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:26 PM   #65
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I thought everyone was tired of the classic Edge sound? That’s what you were all complaining about not too many years ago. Now he’s not doing it and you’re still complaining.
Before SOI: Enough of the chimey riffs Edge! Be "innovative" again!

After SOI: OMG, Iris is the best song on the album!!!
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:28 PM   #66
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This is again an overly simplistic take and not at all what most people are upset about.
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:35 PM   #67
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SOE replaced SOI as my least favorite U2 album, so my expectations are in the cellar at this point. U2 showed some renewed creative spark with NLOTH, but there has only been about an EP's worth of really great material since, most of it on SOI.

Bono's eroding voice and blunt-force lyricism are significant issues, but Edge's complete lack of creativity is the biggest one. He hit what I perceive to be rock bottom on SOE. It hasn't been that long since he's had some highlight reel moments; he made some great textures on NLOTH, MOS, Fez, SLABT and The Troubles, but any copycat on YouTube could have brought what he did to the table on SOE, and that's sad.

I really feel that hanging out with Jimmy Page and Jack White made Edge insecure about the textural aspect of his sound. He's increasingly riff-oriented these days, which does a disservice to the multiple dimensions of his playing that come with experimentation. Generic riffs like Stand Up Comedy started creeping in around the same time as It Might Get Loud, which is a pretty big coincidence. Fuck, I want the old, inventive Edge back.


My biggest issue isnt the generic riffs so much as what happened on SOE.

I mean, how many producers were there? 5? 10? And yet they borrow the main guitar for LOH from another artist, reuse the chorus guitar from Volcano on American Soul (as well as the "you are rock and roll" lyrics which don't fit the fucking song about accepting immigrants/all people), reuse a good portion of the chorus lyrics from Song for Someone on 13.....what the fuck!

I get it....it's a "companion album" but 13s chorus...the main chorus is very similar to SFS and is even sung very similar unlike the "free yourself" part in LOH that is at least presented differently than it was in Iris.

I also recall reading a story about how each member would record their part of a given song separately and give it to one of the 10 producers to mash together with the other recorded parts. I feel like this album....doesn't feel like an album.
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:38 PM   #68
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When your band's success and uniqueness is based largely on the innovative sounds of your guitar player... and 3 of the 4 most memorable guitar riffs are either a) written by someone else, or b) have already been used in a previous U2 song?

That's a problem.
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:49 PM   #69
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I really like SOL but as good as I think it is, it doesn't feel like a U2 song....something is off. SOL sounds like any song I would hear on the radio and it's a good song but I feel like X number of other artists could have produced it too !
Almost sounds like a One Republic song.


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Old 07-10-2018, 03:00 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by CosmoKramer View Post
This sums up my feelings of late. I'm one of the biggest "millennial U2" fans in this place but the last two albums, both of which I like, are missing the "U2 thing" on the majority of the songs. Blackout, LIBTAIIW and Little Things all have it but then there are 10 other songs that are missing it (for me). I really like SOL but as good as I think it is, it doesn't feel like a U2 song....something is off. SOL sounds like any song I would hear on the radio and it's a good song but I feel like X number of other artists could have produced it too, whereas The Fly is U2!
This is probably how a lot of people were feeling when U2 transitioned from the JT era to Achtung Baby. That’s why I’m so open to pretty much anything U2 does, because they’re always changing. Not everything turns out well, but it’s great that they don’t do the same things all the time. I’m sure some of the songs we look back on as masterpieces were seen as dealbreakers by fans of yore.
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Old 07-10-2018, 03:29 PM   #71
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Even ATYCLB, the most distinctly "traditionalist" U2 album, celebrated for sticking to what works, has some really weird and interesting guitar moments on it. Edge frequently bends his tone and picking to fit the track. Peace on Earth and Grace have some strange and ear-catching textures. Elevation has an ugly, gain-soaked tone that doesn't sound quite like any of his other work. WILATW has a echoing, squealing tone that he has explicitly stated he can't recreate. Edge is straight up the MVP on New York, balancing slippery yet harrowing textures with scorching distortion in a classic loud/soft dynamic. That little accent he picks on "in the queue for the lifeboat" is incredibly playful.

There never should be a place for being dull and uncreative in this band. Not the band whose music I fell in love with.
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Old 07-10-2018, 03:51 PM   #72
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I've been missing the last few months, so help me out here:

Do we all hate SoE all of a sudden? Because I remember the reactions post-release were pretty overwhelmingly positive, and I still really like it.

Also - Bono's eroding voice? He sounds to be in much better (full) voice on this tour than in quite a while. The only thing that seems to have slipped is his falsetto, which is noticeably absent.
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Old 07-10-2018, 04:35 PM   #73
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I've been missing the last few months, so help me out here:

Do we all hate SoE all of a sudden? Because I remember the reactions post-release were pretty overwhelmingly positive, and I still really like it.
I sure don't, I think it's pretty great. But I do agree that there's that little extra missing to make it truly memorable and succintly U2, whatever that is. Last time I felt it was probably Moment of Surrender, still one of the greatest Bono vocals.
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:53 PM   #74
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LP15 - We're due for a break from the norm

To each their own and I know around here this will be an unpopular opinion but I still find Moment Of Surrender as one of the most unlistenable songs the band has ever done. It sounds like the band are trying to pass a creative kidney stone.
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:23 PM   #75
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Yeah...MOS is my favorite U2 song of the last 10 years. Pretty easily, actually.
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