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Old 09-14-2016, 04:02 PM   #736
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The only albums I'd rank below ATYCLB are October and Boy, the later debatable.
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Old 09-14-2016, 04:05 PM   #737
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What's interesting is the album that has grown on me is HTDAAB. Of all the post 90's albums, it's by far the most energetic.
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Old 09-14-2016, 04:10 PM   #738
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I'm now thinking that No Line would probably fall at the bottom of my U2 rankings. It's not that there are especially bad songs, with the exception probably of Boots, but I don't think I have ever heard an album with less attention paid to sequencing and pacing. You could probably throw darts at a random smattering of their catalogue and come up with a more coherent package than what is on No Line.
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Old 09-14-2016, 04:23 PM   #739
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Originally Posted by iron yuppie View Post
I'm now thinking that No Line would probably fall at the bottom of my U2 rankings. It's not that there are especially bad songs, with the exception probably of Boots, but I don't think I have ever heard an album with less attention paid to sequencing and pacing. You could probably throw darts at a random smattering of their catalogue and come up with a more coherent package than what is on No Line.
Yep. I know we hammer on the middle 3 quite a bit, but it really did ruin it for me. And it has Stand Up Comedy which is just a complete disaster.

I made a playlist the flows much better:

NLOTH
Magnificent
MOS
UC
Soon
Breathe
White As Snow
Winter
Fez - Being Born
Cedars
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Old 09-14-2016, 04:47 PM   #740
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I don't think anyone is trying to be contrarian here. It would be boring if everyone loved everything. The only thing that I find frustrating sometimes is that some of the critiques of latter-day U2 hit me like we listened to two different songs or two different albums. I see some things written here where my feeling isn't, 'yeah, I hear what you're saying, but I disagree', it's more 'did we listen to the same thing? because I don't hear what you're saying at all.'

Example: People referring to SOI was 'bland' and 'inoffensive'. I can see those descriptions for the first half of the record(though I don't entirely agree with it), maybe everything up through Volcano. I absolutely cannot see those descriptions for the back half of the record, RBW onward. To me it feels like people are sometimes taking a fair critique of half an album and applying it to the whole thing.

Another example: The endless shitting by some on The Miracle. It's always about how it's a Frankenstein's monster of disparate parts, it's talked about like it's Stand Up Comedy or something. Yeah, I can hear the different parts but they go together well enough for me, and I honestly think it's easily the best single they've put out since Vertigo(this wouldn't be the case if they'd been better at picking singles the past two albums).

Also, the common critique of the lyrical direction mystifies me. People say that it's a retrospective of their career and that they don't find that terribly interesting. That's not even what it is, imo. It's an examination of their psyches then vs now(at least four tracks are told from the perspective of Bono now, off the top of my head - Sleep, Reach, Troubles, Crystal Ballroom). It's not so much a retrospective as it is an acknowledgement that having the levels of fame and wealth they've had for so long has made them different people than they once were, and an attempt to re-connect with those people they used to be. Iris, according to Bono himself in an article, is about how badly he wishes his mother could see what became of her son. RBW is about growing up in an environment of terrorism and how that affected them emotionally and mentally. Cedarwood is about his home life as a kid, religiously split and then a single-parent home, and how it shaped him. Etc etc. It's actually, for me, the most interesting lyrical direction he's taken since Pop, and even you don't agree with that, which is fine, I feel like it's kind of dismissive to just say 'it's a retrospective and I don't find that interesting'. I actually feel like the whole thing is almost a tacit acknowledgement of the fact that much of his lyrics in recent years have been rather shallow in nature, and an attempt to to say something real for the first time in a long time. But maybe that's just me.

Finally, I also get a little annoyed when certain people say they don't like the album while also admitting they've barely listened to it since it came out. Sometimes you can listen to something you haven't listened to in a while and have it hit you differently than it did before.

Anyway, I've gotten long-winded here, but I do agree that no one is being contrarian. The criticisms are genuine, I just don't agree with them.
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Old 09-14-2016, 04:50 PM   #741
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The only albums I'd rank below ATYCLB are October and Boy, the later debatable.
Surprising to me that you'd rate Boy that low. It's usually in the 6-8 range after AB/JT/UF/Zooropa/Pop. Extremely cohesive and energetic. Of the first three records, it's the one that works best as a whole imo, even though War has a handful of tracks that are superior to anything on Boy.
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Old 09-14-2016, 04:56 PM   #742
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I think it's all about perspective. I like post 90's U2 but I'll never like post 90's U2 even close to the level of 80's and 90's, but I also realize that there are very few groups that enter their 3rd and 4th decades still making good music.

I don't compare their new albums to Zooropa and my other favorites. They'll never compare, but that's ok. I think there have still been so many great moments post 90's both in the studio and live that I'm not going to limit my enjoyment simply because they're in a different era.

Yes, there has been a drop off, but I don't think it's as significant as some make it out to be. But really, fuck if I care all that much. I like all of their albums and if you don't like my opinion, go fuck yourself.
My sentiments exactly (including the 'go fuck yourself' part ).

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Serious question: how many actual non-troll members are there on here who like their post-Pop albums more than pre-Pop?
It's not that I like all of their post-Pop albums more than all of the pre-Pop albums, but NLOTH and SOI are certainly top-tier for me, placing them about October, War and R&H. (Disclosure, I'm somehow not a big fan of War. Mainly because of the vocals.) Though HTDAAB is near/at the bottom of the list for me, that album hasn't aged well.
No, I don't expect them to make another album of the quality like AB, Zooropa or TUF. But modern day U2 is certainly not as bad as some here make them out to be.
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Old 09-14-2016, 05:35 PM   #743
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No, I don't expect them to make another album of the quality like AB, Zooropa or TUF. But modern day U2 is certainly not as bad as some here make them out to be.
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Old 09-14-2016, 06:07 PM   #744
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Beautiful Day, Kite, When I Look at the World and New York are the songs on ATYCLB that I still return to.

Walk On is too sugary and overproduced on the album but there have been some great live versions. Same deal with Elevation. I've always disliked the production on ATYCLB; for all the hype over its "natural" feel, it sure sounds like a lot of slick pop from the era.
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Old 09-14-2016, 06:17 PM   #745
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I didn't realize people described that album that way, unless by "natural" they just mean it doesn't have gnarly synths and dance beats anywhere in proximity. It's slick and clean pop production is in large part what I like about it, and the one fitting home for Bono's earnest-to-the-point-of-silly lyrics in the past 20 years. There's not a song on that album I don't find pleasurable to listen to for one reason or another.
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Old 09-14-2016, 06:31 PM   #746
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Surprising to me that you'd rate Boy that low. It's usually in the 6-8 range after AB/JT/UF/Zooropa/Pop. Extremely cohesive and energetic. Of the first three records, it's the one that works best as a whole imo, even though War has a handful of tracks that are superior to anything on Boy.

It is cohesive and energetic. But that's not what clicks with me when it comes to albums. I prefer diversity in style and some sophistication. When you have all those things, it's great.
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Old 09-14-2016, 06:42 PM   #747
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Today I was in a Mexican restaurant for lunch and they're cranking Spanish pop songs over their system. I started to hum along with one song and couldn't put my finger on how the hell I knew it until the outro melody. It was Walk On in Spanish, but as soon as the "all that you..." outro came on I knew what it was, it reminded me how solid of a song it is.

There was a Spanish cover of Tainted Love played as well


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Old 09-14-2016, 06:43 PM   #748
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Boy is one of the best post-punk debuts ever. Perfect balance of ambition and execution, with complementary production and live wire performances throughout. Bono's lyricism is thoughtful and relatable. That's a starmaking album right there.

Top 5-6 in their discography for me.
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Old 09-14-2016, 07:15 PM   #749
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I may have positioned myself as one of UF's biggest fanboys, but these days I'm starting to think that maybe Boy is my #1 U2 album.

But will that make me even more of a contrarian? Being a contrarian isn't cool any more, and we all know that I dislike One just to be cool.
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Old 09-14-2016, 11:30 PM   #750
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Beautiful Day, Kite, When I Look at the World and New York are the songs on ATYCLB that I still return to.

.
Pretty much the same for me.

Those are some good highs on the album, but it has such serious lows (Grace and Peace On Earth chief among them) that it can never get too high on my personal rankings (and certainly not their "3rd masterpiece" as Rolling Stone proclaimed).
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