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Old 07-12-2016, 07:50 AM   #166
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It didn't just have potential, it actually is!
Eh, not so much.
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Old 07-12-2016, 09:12 AM   #167
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Yeah, haven't listened to it in years, a few novelty spins aside.

NLOTH, MoS, Fez and Cedars are all great songs but I never have a desire to hear them
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Old 07-12-2016, 09:17 AM   #168
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NLOTH is a very good album that indeed had the potential to be one of their classics. What we got was still a lot better than the kind of crappy albums it's sandwiched between though.
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Old 07-12-2016, 09:31 AM   #169
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I know this has been said many times, but the highs on NLOTH are greater than anything on SOI but as an album, SOI is a lot more consistent without any glaring weaknesses. NLOTH on the other hand has two songs (Crazy Tonight and SUC) that I wish never existed and I believe are two low points in the band's career.

I'm sure you could refer to me as a post 90's U2 apologist because I generally enjoy their post 90's work (but not at the level of their 90's work though) but NLOTH was kind of a slap in the face because they obviously were in a groove with their songwriting and then panicked towards the end, which you can clearly hear on the album. If anything NLOTH has become my least favorite post 90's U2 album because every time I hear it, I hear the sounds of a band extremely unsure of themselves.
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Old 07-12-2016, 09:48 AM   #170
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At this point in U2's career, I'd rather hear sparks of real inspiration (NLOTH, MOS, Fez) with a bunch of throwaway material than a workmanlike trudge through the past like SOI. At least there's still a sign of one of favorite bands of all time kicking around on NLOTH, even if it's inconsistent as a whole.

Despite my criticisms of the last album, I'm still curious to hear what the "experience" in Songs of Experience entails. It seems to imply the sort of exhausted, cynical writing that drove their 90s material (and later gems like When I Look at the World) and that would be a nice change of pace, but I'm expecting a lot of reflective writing about fatherhood and marriage.
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:20 PM   #171
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Yeah, at least with NLOTH you can delete the middle three tracks and have a somewhat pleasant listening experience. I still think it contains their most ambitious and creative work since Pop, and perhaps their two best songs in the last 15 years (Fez and the title track). The only other place where you can find that ambition, to me, is the last three tracks in SoI. ATYCLB and HTDAAB have their moments, but they really don't push the envelope at all.
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:24 PM   #172
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My perfect NLOTH tracklist has always been:

NLOTH
Magnificent
MOS
Unknown Caller
Soon
Breathe
White as Snow
Winter (Linear Version)
Fez - Being Porn
Cedars of Lebanon

Much more cohesive and mostly stays true to their original ideas. Not a huge hit that they were looking for but they didn't have one with Boots or Crazy Tonight anyway.
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:25 PM   #173
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At this point in U2's career, I'd rather hear sparks of real inspiration (NLOTH, MOS, Fez) with a bunch of throwaway material than a workmanlike trudge through the past like SOI. At least there's still a sign of one of favorite bands of all time kicking around on NLOTH, even if it's inconsistent as a whole.

Despite my criticisms of the last album, I'm still curious to hear what the "experience" in Songs of Experience entails. It seems to imply the sort of exhausted, cynical writing that drove their 90s material (and later gems like When I Look at the World) and that would be a nice change of pace, but I'm expecting a lot of reflective writing about fatherhood and marriage.
Hard to argue with that opinion because I love SOI, so my perspective is much different.
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:42 PM   #174
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Hard to argue with that opinion because I love SOI, so my perspective is much different.

A lot of fans do and I can see why; there are a number of live favorites on there, it has a somewhat coherent narrative going on, there aren't any lyrics so bad they became interference memes, etc. It's a solid album on many levels and seems to be a response to NLOTH's inconsistencies in a way. For me, sadly, it's the only U2 album I've never connected with at any point.

At least with Bomb, I can listen to it and have nostalgia to fall back on. I was an obsessed fan back then and the Vertigo tour was my first concert. Great times. I don't listen to Bomb much anymore, but I get good vibes when I do.
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:48 PM   #175
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The stretch of Cedarwood Road through The Troubles holds up really well, IMO. It flows and there is diversity with some surprising risk-taking, e.g. Sleep Like a Baby. That right there would have been a 4.5 star EP.

The thing about No Line is that people always shit on the infamous middle three, which is certainly fair, but that obscures how bad and pointless Unknown Caller and White as Snow are, respectively. No Line is only firing at about 50%, all things considered.
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Old 07-12-2016, 03:05 PM   #176
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Unknown Caller us a lot of great stuff in it musically and lyrically, despite the idiotic computer terminology. And I don't see anything wrong with White As Snow. It's simple but nicely performed (the French Horn is a refreshing touch) and not cloying and over the top as some of their other recent ballads.
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Old 07-12-2016, 03:11 PM   #177
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I know this has been said many times, but the highs on NLOTH are greater than anything on SOI but as an album, SOI is a lot more consistent without any glaring weaknesses. NLOTH on the other hand has two songs (Crazy Tonight and SUC) that I wish never existed and I believe are two low points in the band's career.

I'm sure you could refer to me as a post 90's U2 apologist because I generally enjoy their post 90's work (but not at the level of their 90's work though) but NLOTH was kind of a slap in the face because they obviously were in a groove with their songwriting and then panicked towards the end, which you can clearly hear on the album. If anything NLOTH has become my least favorite post 90's U2 album because every time I hear it, I hear the sounds of a band extremely unsure of themselves.
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Originally Posted by LemonMelon View Post
At this point in U2's career, I'd rather hear sparks of real inspiration (NLOTH, MOS, Fez) with a bunch of throwaway material than a workmanlike trudge through the past like SOI. At least there's still a sign of one of favorite bands of all time kicking around on NLOTH, even if it's inconsistent as a whole.

Despite my criticisms of the last album, I'm still curious to hear what the "experience" in Songs of Experience entails. It seems to imply the sort of exhausted, cynical writing that drove their 90s material (and later gems like When I Look at the World) and that would be a nice change of pace, but I'm expecting a lot of reflective writing about fatherhood and marriage.

I agree with much of both of these posts, as I enjoy both albums in fits and starts (and both finish too strongly to leave a bad taste in my mouth). Although I wouldn't say No Net is my least favorite because of its compromise; I don't know how one can be so upset about the missed opportunities on that album when practically a whole album with Danger Mouse was scrapped for reworking by trendy pop producers on SOI.
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Old 07-12-2016, 04:47 PM   #178
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Unknown Caller us a lot of great stuff in it musically and lyrically, despite the idiotic computer terminology. And I don't see anything wrong with White As Snow. It's simple but nicely performed (the French Horn is a refreshing touch) and not cloying and over the top as some of their other recent ballads.

Agreed. For me, the sequencing helps Unknown Caller a lot. There's a lovely transition out of MOS and some interesting thematic unity between the two. It's a shame that they went TOO high concept with it because there's a lot to like otherwise.

White As Snow is a perfectly fine song, nothing bad, nothing amazing. Some detailed storytelling in there and the addition of French horn was inspired. Give me that over Song for Someone any fucking day.
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Old 07-12-2016, 05:51 PM   #179
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I would love to have seen U2 take the mood and atmosphere from Cedars of Lebanon and Soon and play with that for an album. It's a shame nothing ever came of the rumors of a more ambient-influenced Songs of Ascent.
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Old 07-12-2016, 05:57 PM   #180
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I would love to have seen U2 take the mood and atmosphere from Cedars of Lebanon and Soon and play with that for an album. It's a shame nothing ever came of the rumors of a more ambient-influenced Songs of Ascent.
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