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Old 12-07-2017, 03:44 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by LemonMelon View Post
Even if Landlady were musically up to scratch and captured any of the the magic of those aforementioned tracks (all recorded with Eno nearby), it's still full of bad lyrics.

"Every magic potion
Every false emotion
How unswerving our devotion
To the lies we know are almost true
Every sweet confusion
Every grand illusion
I will win and call it losing
If the prize is not for you"

If these lyrics were from a Bon Jovi ballad, would anyone bat an eye? Honestly.
Bloody hell man! I'm not suggesting Landlady is anywhere near the same altitude as those songs lyrically.
Or in terms of instrumentation.
Melody - yes I'd suggest it's up there.
Feel/atmosphere/whatever - no, but it's not so far away.

I do think this album is decent and does things I thought U2 couldn't do any more. There's something being said, something being felt, in a lot of these songs. And it has some great tracks. And some, like Landlady, are really great.
Do I think it's one of their best 3 albums? No. Top 5? No. Top 10? Possibly.

And yep, those lyrics you quoted aren't great, but they're not clunkers (save for the magic potion one). I remember the first time I listened to Stay, the day it was released, sitting there in my room recovering from the sonic kung fu of Numb and Lemon. On comes this chilled out 'normal' little guitar ballad intro, and then the guy who wrote the lyrics to One Tree Hill and Running to Stand Still starts singing about 7-11 and lip synching to talk show hosts. I was pretty pissed off.
It's a classic, one of my favourites, but it was merely good, to me, when I first heard it. And lyrically I didn't appreciate some of it for a while.

Give these songs a chance - or at least entertain the idea that you might come back to them in 20 years and think, hey, that was actually pretty good. Or not. Cause who really gives a shit - their back-catalogue is enough for me.

So yes, Bono's lyrics - or at least his inconsistency and overstatement lyrically - is the great weakness of modern U2. But not everything he writes these days is horrible.
Lots of Landlady's lyrics, actually, are pretty good.
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Old 12-07-2017, 05:03 AM   #107
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How unswerving our devotion
To the lies we know are almost true


Even Interference’s most cynical and certain reviews have pointed out the harsh brutality of this line.
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Old 12-07-2017, 05:49 AM   #108
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Baaaaaaaaad lyrics. Other place!
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Old 12-07-2017, 05:51 AM   #109
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Even Interference’s most cynical and certain reviews have pointed out the harsh brutality of this line.
I'm glad you mentioned that. The line is emblematic of so many problematic U2 lyrics this century: nice meaning at its core (it's difficult to argue that Bono's heart isn't in the right place), but overwritten and crippled by clunky word choice. You can hear where the punch in was done on the next line because that one barely fit. Not to mention that it's part of a heavyhanded rhyme scheme that drags everything down.

This is why I roll my eyes when fans dismiss critics for not pointing out the backstory of the record, as if biography would fix basic issues with meter that Bono has struggled with for years. How many times have the lyrics to The Miracle been mocked in these threads for this very reason? I've seen people jab Bono for the "more than a lot" add-on to One, but it's there for rhythmic purposes.

So I'd say the quoted line is more of a good idea than a good line. A line with that much meaning shouldn't come across as complicated and nebulous, let alone challenging to sing along to.
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Old 12-07-2017, 05:51 AM   #110
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Nobody seems to be making fun of Little Things' lyrics any more, now that we have the full song in studio form.
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:04 AM   #111
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Baaaaaaaaad lyrics. Other place!
You forgot the eye roll
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:08 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by LemonMelon View Post
I'm glad you mentioned that. The line is emblematic of so many problematic U2 lyrics this century: nice meaning at its core (it's difficult to argue that Bono's heart isn't in the right place), but overwritten and crippled by clunky word choice. You can hear where the punch in was done on the next line because that one barely fit. Not to mention that it's part of a heavyhanded rhyme scheme that drags everything down.

This is why I roll my eyes when fans dismiss critics for not pointing out the backstory of the record, as if biography would fix basic issues with meter that Bono has struggled with for years. How many times have the lyrics to The Miracle been mocked in these threads for this very reason? I've seen people jab Bono for the "more than a lot" add-on to One, but it's there for rhythmic purposes.

So I'd say the quoted line is more of a good idea than a good line. A line with that much meaning shouldn't come across as complicated and nebulous, let alone challenging to sing along to.
Oh come on. Landlady's lyrics aren't nearly on the level of syllable excess as The Miracle.

If the lyric was "to the lies that are almost true" it would be fine. One stray syllable is not nearly the crime that is The Miracle's cluster of syllabic fuckery.

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Nobody seems to be making fun of Little Things' lyrics any more, now that we have the full song in studio form.
I can if you want.
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:09 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by LemonMelon View Post
I'm glad you mentioned that. The line is emblematic of so many problematic U2 lyrics this century: nice meaning at its core (it's difficult to argue that Bono's heart isn't in the right place), but overwritten and crippled by clunky word choice. You can hear where the punch in was done on the next line because that one barely fit. Not to mention that it's part of a heavyhanded rhyme scheme that drags everything down.

This is why I roll my eyes when fans dismiss critics for not pointing out the backstory of the record, as if biography would fix basic issues with meter that Bono has struggled with for years. How many times have the lyrics to The Miracle been mocked in these threads for this very reason? I've seen people jab Bono for the "more than a lot" add-on to One, but it's there for rhythmic purposes.

So I'd say the quoted line is more of a good idea than a good line. A line with that much meaning shouldn't come across as complicated and nebulous, let alone challenging to sing along to.


And I’ve always found this argument so disingenuous, because it never fails; a poster will pretend to care about meter in order to make an argument like this, and then go and praise Springsteen or The National moments later.
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:12 AM   #114
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Oh come on. Landlady's lyrics aren't nearly on the level of syllable excess as The Miracle.

If the lyric was "to the lies that are almost true" it would be fine. One stray syllable is not nearly the crime that is The Miracle's cluster of syllabic fuckery.



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Old 12-07-2017, 06:29 AM   #115
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Oh come on. Landlady's lyrics aren't nearly on the level of syllable excess as The Miracle.
I never said they were; I said that one highlighted line was.

Go back and listen to it. They had to go back and splice together two separate vocal takes because Bono couldn't fit the line in. That's not good.

But the rest of the song doesn't necessarily have that problem. In fact, the remainder of that section has extremely slow metric pacing that drags somewhat.

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And I’ve always found this argument so disingenuous, because it never fails; a poster will pretend to care about meter in order to make an argument like this, and then go and praise Springsteen or The National moments later.
Pointing out inconsistencies in others isn't a defense. Save that logic for FYM.

I don't actually think this is worth arguing about, Landlady's lyrics aren't among the worst of the album by any means, but I figured I might as well substantiate my opinions so I don't come across like I'm trolling.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:06 AM   #116
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The difference between lyrics by The National and lyrics by latter day U2 is that The National have a lot of good lyrics and U2 do not.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:16 AM   #117
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The ending of Landlady kind of reminds me of Falling at Your Feet.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:34 AM   #118
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The melody and vibe of the chorus kinda reminds me of Spandau Ballet’s True.

And that’s a good thing.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:36 AM   #119
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The melody and vibe of the chorus kinda reminds me of Spandau Ballet’s True.

And that’s a good thing.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:07 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by LemonMelon View Post
Even if Landlady were musically up to scratch and captured any of the the magic of those aforementioned tracks (all recorded with Eno nearby), it's still full of bad lyrics.

"Every magic potion
Every false emotion
How unswerving our devotion
To the lies we know are almost true
Every sweet confusion
Every grand illusion
I will win and call it losing
If the prize is not for you"

If these lyrics were from a Bon Jovi ballad, would anyone bat an eye? Honestly.
I don't think Jon Bon Jovi would name-drop a Jean Renoir film, but ok.

For what it's worth, I don't like this section of the song as much as what comes before it. And I'm also not crazy about the abrupt ending, as I've said before.
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