Songs of Experience - 1 Year Later - Page 5 - U2 Feedback

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Old 06-14-2019, 10:08 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by kabigon View Post
I'd go something like

1. The Blackout
2. Lights of Home
3. Red Flag Day
4. Summer of Love
5. The Showman (Little More Better)
6. Landlady
7. Book of Your Heart
8. The Little Things That Give You Away
9. Love Is All We Have Left
10. Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way
11. 13 (There Is a Light)
I think you're on to something here. I still don't like Love is Bigger at all (the whole song is a Hallmark card to me, and ruins a solid flow at the back end IMO). I like the Blackout up front but maybe not as opener. My idea:

1. Love is All...
2. Lights of Home (strings)
3. Best Thing (Kygo ver.)
4. Red Flag Day
5. The Blackout
6. The Little Things...
7. Summer of Love
8. The Showman
9. Landlady
10. Book of Your Heart
11. 13

I like that album a ton better. But it still lacks something, at its core, that makes me say "Oh this is undeniably U2", or leave me guessing what's up next. Edge is way too invisible on this. The lyrics are fine but underwhelming. The album feels tonally uneven and as if it was crafted across two very different time periods and emotional spaces (which it was). It's better for me than SoI, but not by a mile. Neither are in my top 6 or so, but they're fine. They offer no surprises and I doubt they'll grow on me. It's precisely the output I would expect of a band well into their fourth decade working with a top 40 pop producer who doesn't seem to fit them without any real plan on aesthetics or attachment. I don't get why they think they need to be anything for the masses at this stage, chart-wise, but that desire is anchoring them in an unhealthy way. I'll be more heartened if they found a producer outside the lines, someone edgy and innovative. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy the compromised track list above of a decent but somewhat incomplete album.
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Old 06-15-2019, 03:51 AM   #62
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Dont get why people prefer the string version of lights of home,boring compared to the album version.
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Old 06-15-2019, 11:47 AM   #63
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The staccato vocal melody and music behind it on the official version isn’t very welcoming, there isn’t much of a chorus, and just doesn’t really work as the first actual “song” on the album. At least the string version makes it more dramatic and segues better from the ambient style of Love is All We Have Left.

But I still maintain that the pseudo-Hey Jude section at the end (the best part of the song, IMO) seems more appropriate at the end of an album than the beginning.
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Old 06-15-2019, 06:53 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by kabigon View Post
11. 13 (There Is a Light)
Quote:
Originally Posted by HansaTonImbiss View Post
11. 13

.
You'd both have to rename the song "11 (An Ode to Spinal Tap)"
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Old 06-15-2019, 07:01 PM   #65
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11 (The crowing of the shuttlecock)
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Old 06-15-2019, 08:57 PM   #66
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You'd both have to rename the song "11 (An Ode to Spinal Tap)"
Hahaha. Good call. "There is a Light" is a better title anyways. It's amazing how much resequencing does for this album. When you remove Get Out, American Soul, and Love is Bigger a lot of the dross falls out, IMO, and to actually takes on an aesthetic. There's a dance vibe, a couple 90s throwbacks, and modern production touches. Not enough for my liking, and it still lacks some cohesion, but eons improved for me.
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Old 07-14-2019, 02:00 PM   #67
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I've never had a U2 album not grow on me the way SOE hasn't. I feel like HansaTonImbiss stated the issues with it the best. It's just too thematically divided and peppered with feeble pop-rock attempts.

SOI showed a lot of promise and is my favorite album since POP. This album sadly did not build upon that one; even with the throwback lyrics/phrases.

Alternate tracklistings are a fun way to try and spice it up, but it's easily my least favorite album in the catalog. Of course it's all subjective, but for me it goes like this:

Songs that are keepers:
1. Love is All We Have Left
2. The Little Things That Give You Away (Spotify version is best; piano intro works better for me)
3. The Blackout - Though it would be vastly improved without the rhyming names
4. 13 (There is a Light)

Songs that shouldn't have made the cut:
1. Get out of Your Own Way - Why they pushed this as a big single is beyond me. So dull.
2. American Soul - I wanted to like it so badly, but it's a cheese-fest.
3. Red Flag Day - Still don't get the hype about this one; nor the comparison to the WAR album
4. The Showman - Make it go away; please!

Songs I could take or leave:
1. You're the Best Thing About Me - When the Kygo version was leaked way in advance, I thought we were going to get a much cooler album than we did. Album version lacks power.
2. Lights of Home - album version sounds like a much weaker version of Cedarwood (which bums me out when I knew it was borrowed from another band). Strings version has way more impact (better reflects the mood of the song ) and is fantastic.
3. Summer of Love - Not bad, not great; wish the lyric about Aleppo wasn't there. U2's best songs are a lot more ambiguous and open for interpretation
4. Love is Bigger... - It eventually grew on me, but it has that "please put us back at the top of the charts" sound to it I can't get past. Lyrically, it's basically the Bono go-to box of ideas since 2000.
5. Landlady - Loved it at first; but over time the fact that he's calling his wife the landlady wore on me. A sweet love song that can never be sung to anyone's sweetheart except Bono's. In a word: Awkward.
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Old 07-14-2019, 05:18 PM   #68
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I understand and agree with some of the criticism. I’ve just excepted the fact they will never release an album as good as they used to back in the 80s and 90s. So I’m happy to be able to say that there are three or four songs from this album that get me every time.
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:35 AM   #69
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SOI showed a lot of promise and is my favorite album since POP. This album sadly did not build upon that one; even with the throwback lyrics/phrases.
I like SOE just fine, but rarely revisit it and this is a big reason. Like you, SOI is my favorite since POP (and I've often said that I didn't think the band had an album like it left in them), so I was really hoping and anticipating SOE to be MORE of a companion album (than just the call backs to lyrics and riffs).

Also, I can't remember if someone on here said it, or if it was in the comments of Stereogum (really the only two places I engage in U2 chat), but the point was a generalization of how Bono has largely been writing in prose, whereas he used to write mainly in poetry. SOE could have benefitted in a major way with more poetry.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:10 AM   #70
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Songs that shouldn't have made the cut:
3. Red Flag Day - Still don't get the hype about this one; nor the comparison to the WAR album
I can understand thinking this is overhyped or overrated, but not sure how one can fail to see how this has more of a War-era sound than most of what they've done in 30+ years (something like Volcano is another one), particularly in the muscular rhythm section and the backing vocals.

And regardless, why would you want to remove a song with this level of energy from the tracklist? Because the lyric about refugees is too on the nose?
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:34 AM   #71
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I'm not a musician myself and I have not listened to their latest albums, but sometimes a legendary album cannot be replaced. Thankfully, U2 still have their magic, but musical fashions change. And what once sold well in the 80's would not in this day and age. Obviously, the albums "The Joshua Tree", "War" and "The Unforgettable Fire" are incredible, but their newer songs are different in style. Again, the magic from those albums can never be repeated. I do also think U2 do their best to produce interesting and stylish songs. I suppose they mix it up to appeal to the younger audience, too.

Anyhow, these are a few thoughts.
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Old 07-16-2019, 08:52 AM   #72
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and I have not listened to their latest albums,



but their newer songs are different in style.

.
If you haven't listened to the newer albums how can you accurately comment on that music?
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Old 07-16-2019, 02:06 PM   #73
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On average the songs got better over time. Their live performances were generally better than the album recordings. The album still isn’t very good at the end of the day. Best Thing is equatable to Boots. Worse lyrics and more generic sound (but maybe less annoying).
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Old 07-16-2019, 02:41 PM   #74
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I'll take Boots over Best Thing all day every day.
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Old 07-16-2019, 03:14 PM   #75
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I see your point Hewson and have to agree with you. Basically I have watched their DVDs and YouTube videos plus interviews with both Bono and U2 online. I just feel they have reason to alter their musical style. As any band does over the years. But you do have a point. I definitely will take it.
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