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Old 07-17-2009, 02:37 PM   #31
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Forced rhyme, Bono running over well-trod ground that he mastered ages ago, etc. It's just bad. Really bad. I'm not even going to mention his vocals during this section, because it's quite clear that the song is unfinished and they would have likely been redone (the same goes for the "butter on toast" line it's horrible, but they never would have kept that, mentioning it is a low blow). But the lyrical theme is well in place, and it's a retread. There's nothing new or gripping here. Decent imagery in spots, but the only line I truly enjoy is "At 21/I was born a son/And on that day I knew/I could kill." Even that one, though it reads well, sounds preachy in the context of the song. I have the same gripe with this song that I do with Native Son; the music and lyrics never quite coalesce.
how do you know that the rhyme was forced? were you sitting next to Bono as he was writing the lyrics?
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:54 PM   #32
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I won't discuss, don't have enough real argument yet..but still reading this thread.
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Old 07-17-2009, 04:28 PM   #33
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how do you know that the rhyme was forced? were you sitting next to Bono as he was writing the lyrics?
"Forced rhyme" is a legitimate literary term. It often applies to instances when a word or phrase is twisted or used in such a way that would never actually be spoken in real life, in order to create a rhyme, thereby making it feel awkward or "forced".

"To protect the ones" sounds awful because the pronoun used is so vague (not to mention lacking an antecedent) that you have no idea what the hell Bono is talking about. However, it rhymes with "guns", so no harm done, right?
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Old 07-17-2009, 05:39 PM   #34
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so you weren't sitting next to Bono as he was writing the lyrics?
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Old 07-17-2009, 05:46 PM   #35
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I can't believe the same man who wrote Like A Song penned "to protect the ones/we put bullets in guns." What's even more inconceivable is that this particular line is not even the worst in the song. That being said, musically, Winter isn't the worst thing I've ever heard. Just bland and disjointed.

Might be among the top 30 best U2 songs this decade.
I'm willing to bet Bono has written many, many, many terrible lines for songs before the lyrics were polished for final release. I'm not trying to argue Winter's quality but this particular comparison seems a little unfair.
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Old 07-17-2009, 06:22 PM   #36
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More than emulating Coldplay, I can hear reminiscences of old and recent past U2.
For instance, the instrumental/ambient section before «at 21...» reminds of ATYCLB era, which was reminiscent of UF era. In fact, from the whole sessions (from what we know) "Winter" is one of the tracks where we hear more reminiscences from UF/JT/ATYCLB all together.

What Coldplay emulation do we see here? The chords at the beginning? I'm sorry, but Coldplay did not invent that with "Viva La Vida" and U2 has already done similar in the past.
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Old 07-17-2009, 07:28 PM   #37
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I'm listening to it now for the first time and it doesn't even remotly fit on NLOTH
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:03 PM   #38
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The theme of the lyrics was explored in a much different way with WAS, I'd be surprised if that song didn't end up in Brothers. It certainly is unfinished, and while the song itself doesn't sound like U2 emulating Coldplay (man that needs to stop being said, the other way around, yes.) but the string melody does sound similar to the one with Viva La Vida, which would probably have a lot more do to with the producer in common, I seriously doubt CP composed and arranged the string use on that record, very very few rock musicians know how to do that without a huge amount of help (Guy Garvey from Elbow blows me away not only with his use of strings in rock, but that he writes them himself, which makes the cop-out of using strings a little less cheap in my mind haha).

Anyway, if it was finished it might work on SOA (if that's ever finished), but I think given WAS, I'd much rather have Mercy finished and as a part of that, as they are very much coming out of the same creative vein, and Mercy's lyrics are a lot more personal and contemplative in fitting with what we know about SOA's potential themes, than Bono imagining the perspective of a soldier.

But no, I don't think it would have worked on NLOTH at all.
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Old 07-18-2009, 12:16 AM   #39
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Picture this song with Chris Martin singing. Also, throw in Morrissey's vocals on the "young and the used" part. (no offense to Morrissey, he's the man)

I'm not trying to be a dickhead, but even beyond the VLV soundalike intro, the rest of it just sounds like a Coldplay song. Yea I know U2 influenced Coldplay yadda yadda...well whatever the case is, this is the perfect formula for a Coldplay hit single. A basic 4/4 stadium midtempo anthemic beat with predictable chord changes that goes on and on with some melodramatic, sensitive lead vocals that eventually gives way to a chorus with even more predictable sounding chord changes that fails to climax. Bono is even channeling Chris Martin in the chorus, with his oh so very precious delivery of bland, high school yearbook quality lyrics.

The lyrics offer nothing new on the subject of war. War is bad, the soldiers are innocent, yea yea we've heard it all before. The lyrics are really really bad, even by cliched anti-war song standards. "Butter on toast?" Effective imagery Bono. "We put bullets in the guns?" The fuck? That's even worse than the little old lady line in SUC. At least that line gets a laugh out of me, but "bullets in the guns?" This fails on two levels because 1) it's just plain moronic...and 2) it's trying to sound profound. You can say moronic things and get away with it most times in a song, that is if you're just having fun. But Bono was clearly aiming for the profound here. Here was his moment to say something huge, something effective, something poignant...and you get "bullets in the guns". What does he spend, like 4 minutes on lyrics these days?

On a brighter note, WAS is a killer track with killer lyrics. Bono can get it right when he focuses.
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Old 07-18-2009, 12:44 AM   #40
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The lyrics offer nothing new on the subject of war. War is bad, the soldiers are innocent, yea yea we've heard it all before. The lyrics are really really bad, even by cliched anti-war song standards.
Thank you.
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Old 07-18-2009, 12:57 AM   #41
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The two of you DO NOT recognize the difference in 'Like a Song' and 'Winter', that is obvious. They are told from completely different perspectives... I can understand the criticism of certain lines but the comparison of songs is just fucking ridiculous...
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Old 07-18-2009, 01:12 AM   #42
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The two of you DO NOT recognize the difference in 'Like a Song' and 'Winter', that is obvious. They are told from completely different perspectives... I can understand the criticism of certain lines but the comparison of songs is just fucking ridiculous...
I actually didn't say anything about Like A Song. I don't know what you're talking about.
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Old 07-18-2009, 01:15 AM   #43
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Two different perspectives attempting to shed light on the same topic. In my opinion, one was far more successful than the other. I don't see how that comparison is so far off-base. Honestly, the song's biggest issue isn't the stale quality of its message anyway. It's how shoehorned in and half-assed it feels. The song is told from a similar (if not identical) perspective as those of Fez-Being Born and White As Snow, and the reoccurring themes in Winter are very successful. However, the other two tracks never attempted to preach at us, so they don't have that weight dragging them down.
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Old 07-18-2009, 01:26 AM   #44
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Two different perspectives attempting to shed light on the same topic. In my opinion, one was far more successful than the other. I don't see how that comparison is so far off-base. Honestly, the song's biggest issue isn't the stale quality of its message anyway. It's how shoehorned in and half-assed it feels. The song is told from a similar (if not identical) perspective as those of Fez-Being Born and White As Snow, and the reoccurring themes in Winter are very successful. However, the other two tracks never attempted to preach at us, so they don't have that weight dragging them down.
I agree. Winter may have started out as a personal character study, but it degenerated into a tired "war is bad" song with obnoxious preachy lyrics. White As Snow retains its mystery and haunting vibe throughout, the closest it gets to making a universal statment is "who can forgive forgiveness where forgiveness is not" - but even that line is cryptic, shrouded in mystery. We know the song's about a soldier, and that's it. It's content to be about just that, a dying soldier and his observations and memories. There is no message, and that to me makes it that much more powerful.
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Old 07-18-2009, 02:13 PM   #45
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Winter is better than more than half of NLOTH. It has to be finished for SOA and would be amazing live.
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