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Old 07-10-2008, 07:58 AM   #91
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Did you folks see the US video? Embarrassing as hell. Another sign U2 were lowering themselves in the new millennium. So unartistic and lame as hell. A song about suicide reduced to losing an American football game.
I don't know how anyone can disagree with Muldfeld's point here. The video looks like they are having fun at an American Football game, laughing, Edge being goofy and falling with popcorn in hand or whatever. It's a song about suicide for fuck's sake! Oh U2!
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:28 AM   #92
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I don't know how anyone can disagree with Muldfeld's point here. The video looks like they are having fun at an American Football game, laughing, Edge being goofy and falling with popcorn in hand or whatever. It's a song about suicide for fuck's sake! Oh U2!
That's what you see if you only look at the surface. But if put yourself in the shoes of the kicker it gives the whole thing an entirely different feel. It's subtle but the point of the video is that this moment of failure defined this guy's entire life and he never recovered from it. He was stuck in that moment forever and everything he did with his life after that was defined by it. But you see the thing is you really have to pay attention and think to get it. It may seem ridiculous but their was an incident in this last NFL season that almost duplicated it. I think it was a QB for one of the teams that was place holding for the kicker and he fumbled the ball which blew the kick and they lost the game. The ridicule he was subjected to in the press for weeks after if not for the rest of the season can really bring this video into focus for you. This could have been a career ending moment if he had not been able to shake it off and recover from it. He did but not everyone handles their failures very well. Maybe being a Saints fan gave me a better insight into this video.

Personally I think U2 has a pretty good handle on how the majority of people go through life "sliding down the surface of things". That's the lesson they were learning in the 90's. How to play to all those who only look at the fluff but still have something deeper there for those who are willing to look for it. What amazes me is that even people who seemed capable of seeing the deeper meanings in their earlier work are so distracted and/or outraged by the surface of the later stuff that they don't see deeper either.

Dana
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:33 AM   #93
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Well, if you're talking about Even Better Than The Real Thing, it is not about anything deep. And likewise the video is also not deep. Sometimes I think U2 fans create depth out of nothing, like the Emperor's new clothes syndrome! For example, Ohh Vertigo has deeper meaning. Yeah right! Vertigo is nothing but a dumb rock song. And it's fun I agree (despite some goofy stuff) but I don't think there is much more to it.
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:41 AM   #94
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There's a big difference between constructive criticism for the band that comes from a place of fondness and faithfulness, and the type of nasty, negative backbiting where someone turns on U2 as soon as the band does something that doesn't meet their particular expectations.

What's missing from so many of these critical comments is any sense of faithfulness. When U2 does what we like, we're happy, and when U2 doesn't, we turn on them and tear them to pieces.

True faithfulness is characterized by continuing to love something even when things don't turn out exactly the way you hoped (which is different than blindly praising everything). Unfaithfulness is characterized by a "I can take it or leave it" type of mentality that doesn't really care about anything other than getting what it wants.

Sure, you could say that this is just a band and that expecting faithfulness towards it is taking things too far, but if someone is unfaithful towards smaller things, they're probably unfaithful towards larger things as well, from personal relationships to religious convictions...

In other words, the unnecessarily nasty negativity directed towards the band in this forum is really a symptom of a greater problem.

The members who try to keep things predominately positive here, even in the midst of constructive criticism, are trying to maintain a sense of overall faithfulness to the band itself, not enforce any type of oppressive censorship.

Wow! This is exactly what I've been trying to get at. I've been amazed at the seeming lack of goodwill towards the band in a forum supposedly composed of hard core fans. I find casual fans much more forgiving of the band and much more willing to take them at their word or give them the benefit of the doubt. But so many on this board jump to the worst possible conclusions on the flimsiest scraps of information seeming almost eager for the band to crash and burn.

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Old 07-10-2008, 09:53 AM   #95
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You're right about that.
However, I think that U2 has the same problem that Tiger Woods has.
U2 have set such lofty standards for themselves and have risen to such great heights in the past that anything they do which doesn't rise as high as some of their past efforts is considered to be a failure in comparison.
Tiger Woods has the same problem: He may have a year where he ends the year ranked number one in the world and wins 8 tournaments and has more success by far than any other golfer, but if he didn't win a major championship that year, most people say that he had a flop year, when the truth is, just like you said, anyone else would kill to have that same level of success.

I think it's great that U2 has set the bar so high and try to create a musical masterpiece every single time, but the main reason why even some of their most ardent supporters will call their albums flops is because of the almost insanely high standards that U2 have set for themselves.
That's one of the other things I find most interesting about this forum. There is relatively little comparison of U2 to other artists. They aren't judged against the artists that they are competing against but rather against themselves which is really an unrealistic kind of comparison. All artists will have peaks and valleys in their careers and those who reach lofty heights have the worst time of all because once you've had a big peak like JT it is almost impossible to top it. Many ague that AB is better but the majority of those generally didn't see JT as the peak that others did. Even those two are difficult to compare because they are almost more like peak albums from different bands. AB was a deliberate rejection of everything U2 in order to pare down to the essence of the spirit of the band. The general consensus at the time was that if it wasn't for Bono's voice no one would have known it was U2. I love the fact that they treat every album as if it were their first and I just wish I could see some critiquing that compared them to other artists who are currently releasing albums at the same time.

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Old 07-10-2008, 10:00 AM   #96
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Well, if you're talking about Even Better Than The Real Thing, it is not about anything deep. And likewise the video is also not deep. Sometimes I think U2 fans create depth out of nothing, like the Emperor's new clothes syndrome! For example, Ohh Vertigo has deeper meaning. Yeah right! Vertigo is nothing but a dumb rock song. And it's fun I agree (despite some goofy stuff) but I don't think there is much more to it.
No, I was talking about SIAMYCGOO I just used a line from EBTTRT to illustrate my point. By the way there are deeper meanings both to EBTTRT and Vertigo. If you don't see them or don't want to see them that's totally fine, but lots of other people do. Everybody interprets songs according to their own frame of reference and it is no less valid than what the artist intended. That's the point of art. That's why I think it is ridiculous when people state that something is crap as if their opinion is the definitive answer on the subject. One man's trash is another man's treasure.

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Old 07-10-2008, 10:10 AM   #97
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No, I was talking about SIAMYCGOO I just used a line from EBTTRT to illustrate my point. By the way there are deeper meanings both to EBTTRT and Vertigo. If you don't see them or don't want to see them that's totally fine, but lots of other people do. Everybody interprets songs according to their own frame of reference and it is no less valid than what the artist intended. That's the point of art. That's why I think it is ridiculous when people state that something is crap as if their opinion is the definitive answer on the subject. One man's trash is another man's treasure.

Dana
Exactly. There is actually a lot of depth to those songs. Vertigo is all about God and faith in this world of chaos and the superficial. Your failure to see it does not make it a dumb rock song.
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:35 AM   #98
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No, I was talking about SIAMYCGOO I just used a line from EBTTRT to illustrate my point. By the way there are deeper meanings both to EBTTRT and Vertigo. If you don't see them or don't want to see them that's totally fine, but lots of other people do. Everybody interprets songs according to their own frame of reference and it is no less valid than what the artist intended. That's the point of art. That's why I think it is ridiculous when people state that something is crap as if their opinion is the definitive answer on the subject. One man's trash is another man's treasure.

Dana
But with your logic, one can see good in everything including crap songs. Which means there is no such thing as a crap song. I could derive something very deep out of Britney's Baby One More Time and if I understand you right, you're saying that is valid. I don't see how one can have discerning taste with that logic.
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Old 07-10-2008, 11:30 AM   #99
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But with your logic, one can see good in everything including crap songs. Which means there is no such thing as a crap song. I could derive something very deep out of Britney's Baby One More Time and if I understand you right, you're saying that is valid. I don't see how one can have discerning taste with that logic.
You're comparing different things here. Whether or not something is deep or has deeper meaning has nothing to do with whether or not you enjoy listening to it. I can enjoy listening to mindless pop fluff just fine, but I'm not going to go out and spend money on it and it doesn't add meaning to my life. But there are plenty of people who will spend money on it. There are many different ways to judge the quality of any creative work. One of my favorite examples of this is with TV shows. There are many TV shows which I absolutely found excruciating when they were shown in prime time, however when I watched them in syndication in an earlier time slot I actually enjoyed them quite a lot. The lesson for me here was that my expectations for a prime time show were way higher than the afternoon show slot. It was the difference between expectation and actuality that interfered with my enjoyment of the show. When I saw the shows in a context of little or no expectation I found them quite enjoyable. This realization made a lot of things more enjoyable for me. When I go to the movies I have different expectations for different types of movies and I'm much happier. If you approach every movie as if it should be Oscar award winning material you will frequently be extremely disappointed. I can enjoy EBTTRT and Vertigo as just fun rocking songs or I can think about the underlying message in them. One is not more worthy than the other, just different.

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Old 07-10-2008, 12:03 PM   #100
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I can enjoy listening to mindless pop fluff just fine, but I'm not going to go out and spend money on it and it doesn't add meaning to my life. But there are plenty of people who will spend money on it.
Exactly! So their opinion is just as valid! Which means, going back to the original point, the opinion that they made a terrible video for Stuck, making light of the message is just as valid as the opinion that there was deeper meaning to it!

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Old 07-10-2008, 12:05 PM   #101
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People see and hear what they want to see and hear, that's the way U2's music works. They have hardly made songs with only one straight meaning. There art can be interpreted in different ways by different people, depending on your personal view and where you are standing. That's what makes the music interesting and attractive.

Obviously, some people seem to fail to see more than one side, it's only black and white for them. This isn't U2's fault or problem. As for the Stuck video, I've never doubted that there is some symbolism to it, and also irony. You know what irony does? It helps to distance yourself from the issues you're dealing with. How do you want to make a video for a song that is about suicide (well, suicide is one meaning of the song)? By showing people killing themselves? Depressed people? Darkness to convey darkness?

Hello, U2 are not stupid. Why do you think the song comes along like a happy pop song, when, message-wise, it's the exact opposite? What you see and hear is not necessarily always what you get. There can be tragedy in comedy and there can be depth in lightness - or what appears to be lightness.

U2 are a bunch of clever guys and I think they expect their fans to be as clever when dealing with their songs, lyrics and videos. Maybe they expect too much sometimes.
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Old 07-10-2008, 12:46 PM   #102
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Exactly! So their opinion is just as valid! Which means, going back to the original point, the opinion that they made a terrible video for Stuck, making light of the message is just as valid as the opinion that there was deeper meaning to it!

Almost, but I accept that both are there whereas you and Muldfeld were ridiculing the idea that there could possibly be any deeper meaning.


Like the story about this young band in Dublin who wrote a song giving out about Bono and U2 playing with B.B. King and Bono sent them a cake, some smarties, and a B.B. King record and they thought they got him back by sending him a Dinosaur Jr. record (which I'm assuming was something new and hip at the time) and when a reporter asked Bono about it he just smiled and said "The difference is I already had the Dinosaur Jr. record". You miss a lot when you deny possibilities and close yourself off from things.

Dana
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Old 07-10-2008, 03:09 PM   #103
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I dont care if this is U2's best album ever. I just want to hear an album that isn't bland and boring like the last two albums.
There has been plenty written about POP as a flop, even the band criticise that album and the tour, but what you can't argue with is that is it very different, innovative, experimental, interesting etc, even if it didn't work all the time.
The beginning of LAPOE on HTAAB introduced a new bass sound, it sounded like something that could have been on AB, but then the rest of the song didn't quite live up to that initial build up.
I am not talking about creating an album that is too out there that it will be a commercial disaster that POP was, relative to their other albums. Nobody is naive enough to think U2 can go all experimental without thinking about the commercial consequence and their mainstream audience.
I am encouraged by Lanois comments that they are being innovative, working on the bass sound, that they have embraced Moroccan music styles and included Eno and Lanois in the songwriting process for the first time.
We have heard that Bono has been playing more piano and maybe this could feature more in the new album, like the harmonica did on JT/R&H.
I think this could be the time to start thinking about including other instruments/sounds onto the album, possibly extra musicians/session players, but only if the band feels they could recreate the songs live.
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Old 07-10-2008, 03:42 PM   #104
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Sure, you could say that this is just a band and that expecting faithfulness towards it is taking things too far, but if someone is unfaithful towards smaller things, they're probably unfaithful towards larger things as well, from personal relationships to religious convictions...

In other words, the unnecessarily nasty negativity directed towards the band in this forum is really a symptom of a greater problem

wut

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Old 07-10-2008, 04:17 PM   #105
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But so many on this board jump to the worst possible conclusions on the flimsiest scraps of information seeming almost eager for the band to crash and burn.
I don't think it's so many, I think it's a vocal minority. I have decided it's not even worth debating. I enjoy reading all of the criticism and then seeing in the profiles that the person became a fan post 2001. Discovered U2 maybe because of ATYCLB and now they're an authority of what U2 needs to do??
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