HTDAAB Re-evaluation - U2 Feedback

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Old 04-18-2006, 01:43 AM   #1
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HTDAAB Re-evaluation

Ok so, I know we've run this into the ground, but I want to see how people feel again.

Recently I have really come to regard HTDAAB as their 3rd masterpiece. I think the Grammy was well deserved. While it is tighter, more perfectly constructed songs than ever before, I think they are genuine. ATYCLB was trying to too hard.

Another sign was that I didn't like HTDAAB at ALL when I first heard it. I thought it was contrived and not "new" enough. And the iPod thing did sour me. I still don't listen to Vertigo.

But as far as having a nice solid track list, and really act as a landmark for WHERE THE BAND IS AT now, I think it kicks ass. The other two masterpieces did the same thing. It's so funny in general, the new songs on tour fit them the better than any of the others, because they are clearly so right for them at the moment.

Discuss.
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Old 04-18-2006, 03:06 AM   #2
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I'm not sure it's worth according the title of "third masterpiece", but that comes from somebody who doesn't regard Joshua Tree as either the #1 or #2 album put out by this band.

Bomb has some good and a couple of great songs on it. City of Blinding Lights is probably one of the best songs they've ever done, and the more I listen to it the more I think it's U2 telling Coldplay "fuck off, we can do you better than YOU can" (and they do). Love and Peace or Else is fantastic, especially the opening minute or two.

The rest of it, there are some good songs, but not really great -- Vertigo, Sometimes You Can't Make it on Your Own, Original of the Species, and MAYBE Crumbs From Your Table. The rest of it is pretty much blah (except when All Because of You is played live directly after Vertigo -- then, it rocks).
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Old 04-18-2006, 04:50 AM   #3
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I wouldn't call it a third masterpiece (I think War comes closest to that), I rank it at no.4.

I think it's consistent, more than any other post AB U2 album. What I missed this time (and other post AB albums) was the focus, concentration that their best work has (JT, AB, War).
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Old 04-18-2006, 03:47 PM   #4
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I would call it their third. The only album I can listen all the way thru without skipping a single song.
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Old 04-18-2006, 05:50 PM   #5
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What I've found is that as time goes on, I begin to see the unifying vision behind it that "non-masterpieces" seem to lack. Like, Pop and ATYCLB have the same feel--individual songs are good (most of them in fact), but they aren't held together by a common... intention or muse.
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Old 04-18-2006, 06:58 PM   #6
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I don't know where I place it really. It's definitely in the top 5. I think the song selection is incredible. Lots of just... tunes to listen to. It may not be themed or anything, but i think somehow it ends up with the theme of just great songs. Nothing too terrible in the lyrics. Bono's voice is sounding great. Edge's guitar is still ringing. It's definitely a top 5 of their albums, to me (obviously after JT, then AB, but tied for 3rd with Zooropa and October). I would almost put it as their 3rd masterpiece. I'll have to wait and see when the next record comes out how i feel about the old one.
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Old 04-18-2006, 08:58 PM   #7
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I agree that the Bomb is certainly a good indicator of where the band is now. I'd place it as probably third or fourth on my list of favorite albums. It doesn't exactly hit me as being a masterpiece in its entirety, but there are certainly individual masterpieces on it: COBL, SYCMIOYO, etc. and it's a great collection of tunes, thematically linked or not. I also happen to like the tracklisting, although it may be a bit odd; it still flows a lot better than ATYCLB's! It still ranks below AB and JT for me, though, and probably ties with ATYCLB, which I am horribly sentimental about

And if HTDAAB is an indicator of where U2 is, I can only hope that Fast Cars is an indicator of where they are going!
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Old 04-18-2006, 09:18 PM   #8
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I actually see quite a strong theme with this album.

Just the equation of personal and social issues being parralled and dealing with these issues are difficult no matter how big. Personal and global issues alike.

Vertigo represents the uneasy global climate we live in where you never know what could happen. 9/11 hits one day and the world is uneasy about their neighbours and everything.

I think Bono equates this with the 'dizziness' he felt from losing his father. An uneasyness, like the balances of life had been tipped, losing a loved one is tramatic and puts you off balance for a while.

Miracle Drug is the personal story of a boy and his mother, and their struggle to communicate with eachother, and the love that helped this impaired boy become a poet and and individual.

On the other hand, I think this song addresses the plight in Africa, we need to show our love and put our faith in Africa. We need to give them a miracle drug. Whether it is love or antibiotics, preferably both. Africa is strugglin to survive, but do we hear them when they call?

Sometimes... Obviously a personal song for Bono. About a difficult personal relationship.

Perhaps also a call to nations, feuding nations (US, and Iraq, for example), who fight with one another. Bono asks them to realize, "okay, we don't always get along, but sometimes you can't make it on your own." We, as a global community should help eachother, put our differences in the past and move foreward to make it through the difficulties that life throws at us.

Love and Peace or Else A political stomp that calls us to put down our guns.

But also, I think it is a personal message, Bono's anger with or at his Father, not necessarily mad at him, just mad that they had the relationship they had. And now he's demanding love and peace...or else.

City of Bliding lights More a personal reflection, a loss of innocents that is brought on by personal experiences or global catastrophies like 9/11, the Tsunami, of Huricane Katrina.

All Because of you A nod to God, or a parent, or the who! lol! Thanking someone you feel is responsible for the person you have become.

A Man and A woman Again, more personal as the album shifts to a more intimate introspection. From fear to faith, as Bono described it...from vertigo to yahweh

Crumb from your table politics hit home and get personal as Bono reflects on some of his more personal experiences in Africa.

One step closer Again, personal focused on as a result of the political awareness by the A side of this album. Bono said something to the effect of, "when something like 9/11 happens, you expect to record a political album, but instead his focus was on family, relationships, the things you take for granted, the things you gravitate toward in times of confusion and fear."

Origional of the Species with the previous said about One Step CLoser, Bono takes a moment to revel in the innocence and beauty that is being a child. Also addressed in songs like City of Blinding lights, and All because of you. A concern for innocence, and perhaps it is times of political turmoil that makes people consider their innocence, or loose their innocence. What do todays children think about 9/11, Africa, etc... it makes one envious of the innocence they posses, and makes one want to protect their innocence, because one it is gone, it is gone.

Yahweh Finally, a prayer for both the personal and political issues addressed throughout the album. A glimmer of hope that shines through the pains of life that we have to endure on a personal or global scale. Closure, as well as hope is offered in the sparkling song, providing imagery of a better place, if we have faith.
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Old 04-18-2006, 11:35 PM   #9
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I find HTDAAB to be a great collection of songs. Vertigo, Sometimes, COBL, One Step Closer, Original, and Yahweh are all good or great songs. Also, LAPOE is a cheesy but fun romp and even MD and AMAAW have their redeeming features.

It's not a great album, however. With the exception of One Step, Original, and Yahweh sequence, there's not really any coherence or payoffs.

I think of HTDAAB as a Chinese Buffet of a U2 album. It's not superb, it's not horrible, and you're sure to find something and plenty of it that you like. By the end of the album, I feel musically 'full', especially with the OOTS melancholy-turning-into-joy capped off by Yahweh.
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Old 04-19-2006, 02:06 AM   #10
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I have found that it often takes me years to come to grips with a new offering from U2, whether it be good or bad. My perspective is the following:

- Bomb is not as good as AB or JT, but then again what is? I would place both of those albums in my top 10 albums of all time by any artist.

- Bomb is better than ATYCLB which I regard as "half an album". Unlike JT and AB, I find myself skipping most of the bottom half of ATYCLB with the notable exception of 'New York'. My initial impression of Bomb was that it was going tobe the same way. However, unlike with ATYCLB, over time I;ve come to love several of the bottom half songs on Bomb. I now can listen to the entire disc. The only two other U2 albums I listen to fully all the time are JT and AB. That's also why I don't consider, and never will consider 'War' as a "masterpiece" album from U2. Side 1 yes, side 2 no.

- Bomb has no great songs. That is what keeps it below the elite status of AB and JT. However, in my opinion Bomb has 9 good to very good songs. I also see Bomb as the logical conclusion to what U2 was trying to do on ATYCLB. U2 pursued an idea with ATYCLB and perfected it on Bomb.


In summary, I believe Rolling Stone jumped the gun when they said ATYCLB was U2's third masterpiece. Bomb is better.. it is the real third masterpiece from U2.
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Old 04-19-2006, 02:27 AM   #11
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the socalled bomb is just another mediocre pop album.
in U2 standards its underachieving. its nor fish nor is it flesh. imo its boring
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Old 04-19-2006, 04:08 AM   #12
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Nowhere near as good as 'All That You Can't Leave Behind' but no matter how much I moan about it I still think it's a great listen, lots of nostalgia in there already too!
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Old 04-19-2006, 06:25 AM   #13
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Much better than ATYCLB, very impressive after a 25 years career.... so many good songs, not 1 that I skip (maybe One step closer...) not tired of listening to it.

I defenitely put this album in the top 5 with (AB, JT, Boy, War)

Can't wait for the next one....
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Old 04-19-2006, 07:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by jacobus
the socalled bomb is just another mediocre pop album.
in U2 standards its underachieving. its nor fish nor is it flesh. imo its boring
how did it "underachive"?, did it not win best album and best rock album at the grammys? did it top the charts in over 30 countrys? it also spun 2 number 2 singles in the UK, the first time that has EVER happend, outsold atyclb in the UK also, and still even in today market sold more than 10m copys worldwide, but yet it underachived?
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Old 04-19-2006, 08:34 AM   #15
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mariah carey was also nominated for album of the year. Grammys don't mean dick.
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Old 04-19-2006, 08:53 AM   #16
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@KUEFC09U2:
Quote:
how did it "underachive"?...
i mean underachiving in my understanding of music quality....
for me it has nothing to do with the numbers of sales. the socalled bomb just had a very good marketing campaign. and for the grammies...they are for the water-closet. all these award ceremonies are so boring.

imo U2 just don't have the balls for great challenging rockers anymore. after the great ab, zooropa & pop albums they turned into the mainstream. and i know my opinion on the last 2 albums has a lot to do with expectations. in someway mr. boner said prior to the releases that theay are doing the heavy monster stuff aka punk rock from venus...but hey where was the punk and where is the rock??? its just ordinary pop.
next time mr. boner shouldn't talk too much.
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Old 04-19-2006, 09:27 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by KUEFC09U2
how did it "underachive"?, did it not win best album and best rock album at the grammys? did it top the charts in over 30 countrys? it also spun 2 number 2 singles in the UK, the first time that has EVER happend, outsold atyclb in the UK also, and still even in today market sold more than 10m copys worldwide, but yet it underachived?
Interestingly, Bomb had a much bigger competition for Album of the year in Kanye West than anything up against ATYCLB, which sold even more copies, and has had more airplay on radio/MTV from what I've seen. I think that says something about the album.

I think old quotes (a la punk rock on Venus) prior changing the producer and album direction don't really mean anything. It's getting old to bring that up over and over again.
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Old 04-19-2006, 09:56 AM   #18
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I have always thought that How to dismantle an atomic bomb was one of their best albums, I liked it since the first days it came out and I still like it more. I think that tracks like Sometimes, Blinding Lights, Love Peace, Miracle Drug, Original can already be considered as classics. These are tracks that will be remembered as great tunes over the years. It is a great album, full of emotion, guitars and will to make good music. The incredible tour showed it, they played the best they can. This record was the right step that has consacrated them finally as the best band in their genre
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Old 04-19-2006, 12:29 PM   #19
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One of the reasons I first dismissed it was that it seemed like pop. But u2 has ALWAYS strived for the popular--nice hooks, catchy music, etc.

What gets me about HTDAAB isn't so much that its new territory (some songs are), but rather they have perfected their art and gotten down to the true core of U2. It is U2 does U2, but they have found the ESSENCE of what that is!

ATYCLB postulated that U2 is love. That's true, but its much more. Here, they DISCOVERED it, and NAILED it.
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Old 04-19-2006, 08:43 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dr. Lemonseed
One of the reasons I first dismissed it was that it seemed like pop. But u2 has ALWAYS strived for the popular--nice hooks, catchy music, etc.

What gets me about HTDAAB isn't so much that its new territory (some songs are), but rather they have perfected their art and gotten down to the true core of U2. It is U2 does U2, but they have found the ESSENCE of what that is!

ATYCLB postulated that U2 is love. That's true, but its much more. Here, they DISCOVERED it, and NAILED it.
U2 does U2. That's where the problem lies. They refused to evolve.
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