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Old 08-01-2003, 04:29 AM   #31
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Well,

1. I agree being succesful is not necessarily about big sales. While it's true U2 always had the ambition to be big - on their own terms, another goal which they seem to be after perhaps even more now is relevance. I guess we'll never know if ATYCLB was a "record for the public/damage control for POP album" - I'd like to think U2 makes albums for themselves first and foremost. I don't know about you, but I don't mind them being U2 again after 10 (actually more if you include Rattle and Hum) years.

2. Yes, but going more and more to experimentation can affect your fanbase size, and lessen your relevance, and you can get lost in obscurity. I don't think ATYCLB was intentionally like it is just to sell more - like some claim. It just so happens majority of U2's fanbase knows - and likes - the "classic" sound more - that's why it was a hit with the fans. The critics on the other hand probably liked the focus back on the songs. With that said ATYCLB still features some new ground for U2. (with soulish Stuck, pop on Wild honey, r&b on IALW, ambiental music on Grace, kind of goth-rock influence on New York)

3. On second thought, for a band its status, I think U2 is actually not that much played on the radio. (as opposed to more mainstream pop/rock a la Bon Jovi)

I'm guessing the next album will be someting like ES or Always. More guitars, again emphasis on the songs, and possibly more organic - guitar/bass/drums only sound.
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Old 08-01-2003, 04:42 AM   #32
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From what I've heard from Bono (not personally... I don't have connections like Griffiths), it sounds as if the band is not really in the pursuit of relevance. They're moreso in tune with surprising and challenging themselves... so maybe that's what I, personally, found to be a little odd about ATYCLB. It was a good soul album, and not necessarily a "sell-out to the mainstream" album... it just seems as if the intent was misunderstood. Maybe even moreso than Pop... they were trying to surprise fans by returning to a more "traditional" U2 sound, but that really defeats the purpose. Is that really satisfying their artistic goals? Or is the direction guided more by expectation?

I don't know. I only randomly type characters on the screen. How does it sound so far?

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Old 08-01-2003, 04:46 AM   #33
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It sounds ok.

You know what bugs me most? Not that people dislike ATYCLB for its sound - though I have a feeling average U2 fan shouldn't have much problems with it - but that they talk about it as if it's the biggest pile of crap and that U2 should forever be ashamed for ever putting their name on that album.
On the other hand, the only album the band themselves said needed more work, POP, is treated like Holy Grail of U2 that is apparently a work of genius and should not be questioned under any circumstances.
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Old 08-01-2003, 05:12 AM   #34
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All art is flawed, and most artists despise their greatest achievements.

The polished sound of ATYCLB and simple delivery seems to be a main point of contention. Although both albums were rendered and treated vigorously in the studio, Pop maintains a more raw and energized aesthetic... maybe due to the fact that they didn't have a lot of time finish and re-work their songs. The lyrics exude more ambiguity, and allow for cerebral and ethereal depth (sorry for the paradox)... it's almost a Frank O'Hara type delivery. That may be a personal belief, but maybe that gives you insight as to why some hail Pop, and show indifference towards the follow-up.

But why isn't Pop universally praised? Maybe that was not the goal of the album itself... it was filled with irony, and it was obviously a concept piece. The fact that talking about this album, and ATYCLB, incites passion and debate should reveal that both are most likely great works. Creating a reaction is sometimes a more precious thing than relevance or success.

That's just my two cents.

How does it convert at 3am?

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Old 08-01-2003, 06:10 AM   #35
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I guess it's down to personal taste.

Maybe a part of the various heated reactions to both albums is also that they're so different.

(by the way it's past noon over where I am lol)
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Old 08-01-2003, 09:27 PM   #36
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The biggest difference between ATYCLB and Pop is production.

It just so happens that most of the detractors from both of those album, have a similar gripe, and it's generally about production.

ATYCLB is polished, very highly produced.
POP is very unplosihed and under produced.

Anyone who has recorded music can see the huge disparity, and some who haven't recorded music can see it also.

ATYCLB has a very clean sound, which is a testament to Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. POP sounds as if it were a 'cut and splice' album, which the band admitted it had made production errors (or maybe Howie B made those errors).

I would like to hear more classic Edge "delay/echo/flanger", less acoustic, if not any at all, and no indulgent "tambla-motown" songs.

As a guitar player perhaps the most boring song on the album is Elevation, while many fans consider that some sort of 'rocker' just because Edge plugged into a distortion pedal. It also lacks his trademark effects, which I absolutely love.

I love Edge's guitar on Beauiful Day, Walk On, When I Look A The World, New York and Kite.

While Wild Honey, IALW, Peace on Earth and Stuck are either acoustic or clean guitar for the most part. Grace is almost void of guitar and as I said Elevation is just distortion.

I guess if I could say anything at all about the new album, I would say that I want more 'classic' Edge (which means his trademark sounds). If they are going to abandon that sound on some songs they might as well make "Mofo" or "Lemon" which do have some guitar on it, but are mostly infused with electronic synthesizers. To me that was very exciting, much more than what I described earlier.

Electrical Storm, The Ground Beneath Her Feet and Stateless all would have made ATYCLB much more pleasing for me, so I guess I should just make myself a copy including those songs and omitting the ones I don't like.

I think during Achtung Baby/ZooTV/Zoomerang and even Popmart really, Edge had the perfect sound on his guitar, but in a effort to move elsewhere with the music, he has used different styles lately. Or better yet, he just stripped off some of the effects.

It was so fucking awesome to hear 'Out of Control' on the Slane special. I could stand for a whole album of that guitar sound too, which I guess is pretty much the same as 'Beautiful Day'.

I hope he doesn't abandon what made him so great to most of us. And while I want to hear, the 'harder guitar sounds' that have been described in the media, I also want the trademark 'delay/echo' effects.

I think he did this on at least half of ATYCLB and 'Summer Rain', which is probably why I don't like those particular songs.

I don't know why I got off on that subject......oh well, forgive me, I'm bored.

I guess really what I mean is that they could have no expirimentation at all as long as the guitar kicks ass, ya know what I mean? But if Edge gets bored with his guitar, please don't pick up the acoustic........pick up the synthesizer.
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Old 08-02-2003, 02:17 AM   #37
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Wow, great thread. I'd like to add a few things if I can.

ATYCLB as a damage control album. Yes and No. While I believe that U2 sat down and decided to make a more accessible album, I also believe the music they made was true and not purely manufactured to please the masses. I think that the songs and melodies produced on that album are among their best. It is a bit soft (hell my wife loves this album and she not much of a fan at all) and pop, but it is a great album none-the-less.

Two, U2 as a really experimental band is overrated and almost an Urban Legend. U2 is a rock band with a crossover appeal to the Top 40/Adult Contemporary side of music. I agree that the two most experimental albums they have made are UF and Zooropa. However they were made for two completely different reasons. UF was a reaction of 3 albums of 80's hard rock, and the desire to move U2 into different directions and to the next level. They decided the couldn't pop out another Boy/War clone and expect to be taken seriously.

Zooropa was a rushed (but very successful) album that saw U2 creating from the adrenaline of a highly successful tour and short time frame. Pop, on the other hand was made from a standstill and never captured the energy that Zooropa had. That said, I find Pop more sonically pleasing than Zooropa, but not as complete.

Lastly, I feel that this next album will be a raw, guitar driven album. While I believe that Electrical Storm was precursor to this album, I think it lack the raw guitar that the Edge is producing for this album. That said, I really have no idea, but my gut is telling me it's time to grow my mullet back.....
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Old 08-02-2003, 03:30 AM   #38
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That means you once had a mullet.

You lost me there my friend.

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Old 08-02-2003, 12:47 PM   #39
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I had a mullet in the early U2 years. Kinda of a cross between Bono and Edge's mullets during the UF years. It was the times and I went with the flow. It looked cool at the time...I think.

What I was trying to say is it sounds like U2 might be closer to the guitar sounds of that time period. Yeah, maybe I won't grow the mullet back...I had been drinking last night when I wrote that. My bad.
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Old 08-02-2003, 08:31 PM   #40
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Just jokin with you.

Although, now I'm curious. Let's see a mullet.

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Old 08-02-2003, 10:30 PM   #41
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Cujo, I know, I know. However, now that I look back at it there were teardrops on my keyboard when I was typing that last note out.....

My mullet was mean, and ugly. I still don't know why my wife married me with that haircut. Though on my wedding day I did have a regular haircut. I grew it back however.
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Old 08-03-2003, 03:57 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally posted by Reggie Thee Dog
However, now that I look back at it there were teardrop...
... windows on your black 1985 Chevy AstroVan?

If the sentence doesn't end that way, I'm not interested.

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Old 08-03-2003, 08:22 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2girl
You know what bugs me most? Not that people dislike ATYCLB for its sound - though I have a feeling average U2 fan shouldn't have much problems with it - but that they talk about it as if it's the biggest pile of crap and that U2 should forever be ashamed for ever putting their name on that album.
On the other hand, the only album the band themselves said needed more work, POP, is treated like Holy Grail of U2 that is apparently a work of genius and should not be questioned under any circumstances.
it's an interesting phenomena indeed
especially since I agree with U2DMfan that the main difference between the 2 albums is production
(though personally I think the songs on ATYCLB are just a bit better)
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Old 08-03-2003, 01:34 PM   #44
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I think only Passengers OST is the real experimental U2 album.

And I completely agree the main difference in POP and ATYCLB is production and people's personal taste.
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Old 08-03-2003, 11:46 PM   #45
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What if you have no taste....like me for example? I like Pop, I dig All That You Can't Leave Behind (I just felt like typing it out). Mainstream/radio friendly or not it's a great album. I hum tunes from that album all the time.
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