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Old 11-02-2017, 09:37 AM   #151
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Longest song on the album is Little Things at 4:55pm

Doing quick math the 13 songs clock in at just under an hour
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Old 11-02-2017, 09:37 AM   #152
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Agree with this & pretty much everything else you've said in this thread.

The U2 that made those songs is gone, and isn't coming back. That band vanished, not suddenly, to be sure, but "slowly stripped away" by degrees, until we're left with what we have now. If it had happened suddenly, we'd have noticed...i.e. if they went from Pop straight to SOI.

So what we're left with now is mostly just excuses and rationalisations, even from the people who love this stuff..."The lyrics aren't that bad"..."After playing it ten or twenty times it's growing on me a little bit"..."It sounds the same intentionally, because it's a companion to SOI", "The x remix is better"..."It's great if you ignore the rap bit"... etc. etc. etc. I don't want to have to try to convince myself a U2 song is good.

The thing is, they're not even trying to be the kind of band that made the songs you mentioned. The ambition to be great is gone, replaced merely by the desire to be popular. They stopped trying sometime towards the end of the NLOTH sessions, I think. That's what I meant earlier when I said it seemed like they were regressing as a band. They're simply not the same band w/o Brian & Danny. They're also, frankly, older, so some of this just flat out isn't their fault. The muse doesn't hang around forever, and God has other rooms to walk into.

So yeah, it is hard accept that the band who recorded Bad made these songs, but there it is. As Mikal said, these might be among the last songs we ever get from U2, and we should appreciate the band now, because when they're gone, they're gone.

It's just in many ways that band has been gone for a while anyway....though you can still catch glimpses of them if you manage to catch them on the right night.
Totally agree with you, but I don't know if Eno and Lanois can save them. In order for that to happen the band need to listen to them, and I think their motivation (and arguably taste) have changed to much over the years to make their opinions irreconcilable with those of Eno & Lanois.

In the old days...man, it hurts to type that...there was nothing to justify in U2 songs. There was no, "oh, it's good if you overlook that part" bullshit. Bad parts make bad songs! A song with a bad chorus or noticeably bad lyrics or distractingly bad singing or a bad mix are, at the very best, not good songs. They're not necessarily bad, but they're not good.
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Old 11-02-2017, 09:39 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by Headache in a Suitcase View Post
Alright.

So is Get Out Of Your Own Way the most inspired pieces of songwriting in the world? No.

But it's good. It's not as much Tedder bullshit as I feared when I started seeing the reviews come in, and if you don't like most of post 2000 U2 then yea, you're going to think this sucks. And I get that.

And those who are like "ehhhrmagad this is the greatest song ever I'm dying" are pretty dumb. coughcoughSilCoughcough

But it's pretty good. I think it's better than Best Thing. It's definitely a push in the All That You Can't Leave Behind direction.

Haven't given American Soul a whirl yet.

I do have hopes that this is going to be a very good album. Not ground breaking, experimental, or on par with Joshua Tree or Achtung Baby... but filled with good, listenable songs.

For some that's a disaster, and I get that. But honestly I'd rather have good songs that aren't necessarily the most ground breaking thing in the world than have a quasi-experimental bull crap like what No Line was.
Just saw this post. Pretty much sums up everything I'm feeling right now overall.

I'm getting the impression (so far) that this album will end up just a shade under my opinion of SOI, or just a shade above. I don't think there's enough remaining material to make it miles above SOI for me. And the songs so far have been solid enough where i don't think it will be much worse than SOI.

For context - SOI, is my fifth favorite U2 album, above all other post 2000 material.
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Old 11-02-2017, 09:41 AM   #154
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Ok what about production aspect of thw tour, what can we except?
Screen will defo be new to match jt30 tour resolution, what else?


I don’t think we’re going to see much change at all from that aspect. We’ll see a new arc and new video but that’s it.

The JT and iE technology is different so I’m not sure if you can match the resolution and still have it transparent and do the things the iE screen does
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Old 11-02-2017, 09:42 AM   #155
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Radio will definitely be a tough nut to crack. I don't even know what radio stations they're hoping to be played on. Classic rock and "alt rock" stations won't touch this stuff because it's too pop. Sonically it's most in line with top 40 radio, but it's not fun or dance or Latin or rap enough to land there...and they're also an old rock band. The only song that could be generously classified as rock that I've heard on top 40 over the last few months is Coldplay/Chainsmokers, and I guess Imagine Dragons.
I've heard The Best Thing a few times on AAA radio since its release. Modern AC might be a viable option here as well.

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It's an interesting contrast between this and the quote DeVaul posted. The chase for radio play strikes me as kind of old fashioned. The band are at a point where any tour will sell on the strength of their overall career, any album is a hot chance at number one, and they'll accumulate heaps of streaming stats too. Radio might be a tough nut to crack but do they need to crack it?

I can't help but feel that a less radio-centric approach would still reap sizeable rewards. I just wonder if some aspects of modern promotion have passed them by and/or working as a heavily corporatised machine makes it hard to move away from the old established approaches. And, well, trying something "new" with SOI burned them hard.
The way I see it, they've always been a band with a guitar, bass and drumset in the mix. They've always used I–V–vi–IV progressions in their songs. I don't even know if their songwriting acts have actually changed all that much in the long run, aside from just getting weird for the sake of weirdness rather than trying to write actual songs in the end. Other than the stuff they say in interviews, there's no real way to know if anything would be that much different, other than people just wishing they created a particular style of music they'd want to hear from them. And even then, that answer's going to be completely different depending on who you ask.

Personally, I wouldn't want a whole album to sound like the exact same style anyway (unless its, obviously, something as drastic as country-sounding stuff vs. rap material... the pop-rock world usually has a wide variety of plateaus to explore though).
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Old 11-02-2017, 09:50 AM   #156
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Come on Ax. You're better than that.

I'm neither a fan of the line or offended. In terms of the vocal delivery, I think that side of it is done well.
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Old 11-02-2017, 09:50 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by BEAL View Post
Longest song on the album is Little Things at 4:55pm

Doing quick math the 13 songs clock in at just under an hour
So laz's prediction was right - although it's the most studio songs on a U2 album, it's shorter than Pop in total duration (and Achtung?).

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Originally Posted by trevgreg View Post
The way I see it, they've always been a band with a guitar, bass and drumset in the mix. They've always used I–V–vi–IV progressions in their songs. I don't even know if their songwriting acts have actually changed all that much in the long run, aside from just getting weird for the sake of weirdness rather than trying to write actual songs in the end. Other than the stuff they say in interviews, there's no real way to know if anything would be that much different, other than people just wishing they created a particular style of music they'd want to hear from them. And even then, that answer's going to be completely different depending on who you ask.

Personally, I wouldn't want a whole album to sound like the exact same style anyway (unless its, obviously, something as drastic as country-sounding stuff vs. rap material... the pop-rock world usually has a wide variety of plateaus to explore though).
I'm generally with you here. To me, the main problems are the production, the lyrics (I really don't think there's any debating that these have declined to some extent, the debate is about how great that extent is), and the sort of making-an-album-by-committee that robs it of a lot of spark and spontaneity and replaces it with an over-thought blandness. Between 1980 and 1997 there are few directions that U2 took that put me off - going a bit too Americana in the late eighties isn't to my tastes, but only a couple of songs, like Trip, go too far. ASOH, Zooropa, New Year's Day, very different but all very great. The common thread is not sonic but something deeper about what the band wanted and how they got there. That's changed. That, and the distinctiveness relative to their most prominent contemporaries/trends that was discussed earlier.

Hell, even in 2000 there were hints at a different direction along the lines of Stateless and TGBHF that was never fully explored, and I suspect a lot of people here wonder if U2 have more of that in them but choose not to make it for whatever reason. I suppose you could take the likes of MOS, One Step Closer, Cedars of Lebanon, White As Snow, The Troubles, et al. as glimmers of that direction poking through. And often they're some of the best, most sonically rich, most conceptually vivid and engaging material.
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Old 11-02-2017, 09:56 AM   #158
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Come on Ax. You're better than that.

I'm neither a fan of the line or offended. In terms of the vocal delivery, I think that side of it is done well.
...not sure what you're referring to? One of my refu-Jesus posts?

I'm undecided yet whether or not it's worse than the little old lady line. It's definitely one of Bono's two worst lyrics anyway. As I posted elsewhere, when I first heard it I actually exclaimed "WHAT. NO." and burst out laughing. I genuinely can't believe nobody in the band or their entire corporation persuaded Bono it's not clever, but so very cringey.

It especially annoys me because I think the song musically is engaging. I'm definitely not going to follow Cobbler and say American Soul is U2's worst song ever or anything. I've already said that if it weren't for refu-Jesus and Volcano's chorus, I'd rank it fairly close to The Blackout in quality. But these moments make me facepalm and there's no defending them. Hollow Island's got a point that you don't need to make excuses for good songs, or overlook some mis-step to argue they're good. I'd never think of needing to qualify something in touting the virtues of, say, UF or WOWY or One Tree Hill or The Fly or whatever. Hell, I don't feel the need to qualify anything in Cedarwood or The Troubles in promoting their virtues - they're legit good songs. Cringeworthy mis-steps can sink an otherwise meritorious song and that makes them all the more frustrating. Red Light is just shit. American Soul could've been saved.
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Old 11-02-2017, 09:58 AM   #159
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...not sure what you're referring to? One of my refu-Jesus posts?

I'm undecided yet whether or not it's worse than the little old lady line. It's definitely one of Bono's two worst lyrics anyway. As I posted elsewhere, when I first heard it I actually exclaimed "WHAT. NO." and burst out laughing. I genuinely can't believe nobody in the band or their entire corporation persuaded Bono it's not clever, but so very cringey.

It especially annoys me because I think the song musically is engaging. I'm definitely not going to follow Cobbler and say American Soul is U2's worst song ever or anything. I've already said that if it weren't for refu-Jesus and Volcano's chorus, I'd rank it fairly close to The Blackout in quality. But these moments make me facepalm and there's no defending them. Hollow Island's got a point that you don't need to make excuses for other songs, and overlook some mis-step to say they're good. I'd never think of needing to qualify something in touting the virtues of, say, UF or WOWY or One Tree Hill or The Fly or whatever. Hell, I don't feel the need to qualify anything in Cedarwood or The Troubles in promoting their virtues - they're legit good songs. Cringeworthy mis-steps can sink an otherwise good song and that makes them all the more frustrating. Red Light is just shit. American Soul could've been saved.
I was referring to your comment towards those that like the lyric.

Personally, lyrics are one of the last things I look at because I'm more into the music and vocal delivery so things like this generally don't bother me. For example, Crazy Tonight, I don't really have a huge problem with the lyrics but the vocal delivery when he goes into falsetto on "Haven't Heard" really pisses me off. So I think it's all about perspective and what's important to people.
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Old 11-02-2017, 10:02 AM   #160
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I was referring to your comment towards those that like the lyric.

Personally, lyrics are one of the last things I look at because I'm more into the music and vocal delivery so things like this generally don't bother me. For example, Crazy Tonight, I don't really have a huge problem with the lyrics but the vocal delivery when he goes into falsetto on "Haven't Heard" really pisses me off. So I think it's all about perspective and what's important to people.
I was being somewhat tongue-in-cheek, hence the wink.

It's funny, I probably seem like a huge lyrics guy. It's not really that. I tend to take most elements of a song fairly evenly, with my biggest bias usually towards guitar, and there are a lot of albums I rate where I'd struggle to sing along with the words. Hell, I've been to gigs and discovered songs I'm really passionate about, I don't know half the words. Happened tonight in fact!

But a dreadful lyric is like being slapped in the face with a squid. Takes me right out of the song.

I suppose some off-key guitar notes or the drumkit falling over would take me out of the song too, but you don't tend to let that shit make the final mix. There seems to be a much greater willingness to accept lyrical blunders than instrumental ones.
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Old 11-02-2017, 10:03 AM   #161
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SOE 31: Yes, we have no bananas

Other than maybe little things, I don't hear any inspired songs here. I'm hearing calculated, safe, and relevancy reaching background music. I think Bono particularly is having trouble finding that "ache" as some of you have mentioned in his song writing. He's writing from the perspective that he's dead, letters to his kids, letters to America blah blah. I just don't think he feels it and until I hear otherwise from the rest of the album he hasn't convinced me yet and I'm just not impressed. And I think Edge has a LOT to do with the production. I think he doesn't want to sound like their traditional rock selves at all. He's mentioned this lately in interviews that there's been hip hop influences and taking what they are doing to where the culture is going. Rather than have Kendrick Lamar spit off some pastoral bullshit, I'm sorry but it's a gimmick, why not have Bono go into a heartfelt ending or "letter" with actual singing to the song there to end it? Again, relevance and what some of you had said it just wreaks of trend chasing. Also, we have volcano "sampled" into a new song, a Haim song "sampled" which I think they are on background vocals as well, Lady Gaga on background vocals, and the previously mentioned Kendrick Lamar. Why can't they just be themselves and put out a U2 record? I don't get it. I can't help but believe this whole thing is a way just to continue to be tour monsters with new music as a gimmicky afterthought.
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Old 11-02-2017, 10:10 AM   #162
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Ok, I feel like I can weigh in a bit now. Last night, i quickly scrolled through comments on several threads. Tons of negativity and the overall theme of "why of why can't U2 be making great music like they used to" stuff. I was really bummed. A lot of comments by members that you never see around here, but just swooped in to take a dump.

Fuck man. It sounds like a bunch of old people on rocking chairs wondering why kids are wearing their pants so low! In MY day we had suspenders!!!

Are we seriously wondering why a band isn't making the same music they were making 20, 30, hell, FORTY YEARS AGO?!?!?!?! Forty years man. That is not a small amount of time.

You do realize that we actually still have this band because they aren't making music like they did 30 years ago! If they had stayed on a certain path, they would have been GONE long ago. They continually changed things up, and yes, some of those changes I liked better than others. And of course you will too! But I didn't throw in the towel with Rattle and Hum or Pop or HTDAAB (i was close) or No Line.
Each album, although flawed, brings me something great, something i still can't find with another band in the same way.
And sticking through some pretty bleak and blah times, brought me to SOI, which I really love and appreciate.

So, yes, i struggle with some moments both musically and lyrically in each album, especially post-2000. But to be fair I think we have canonized and put past albums on such a pedestal, that any new stuff just gets an initial heap of scrutiny and cynicism that probably isn't really that fair.

The band is using new production techniques, new producers, new songwriting styles than they did decades ago. Yes, that's life. and sometimes we like it and sometimes we don't. But it also doesn't make it THE WORST SONG EVER CREATED!!! OOOOHHH MYYYYY GOOOOODDD, WHAT WERE THEY THINKING!?!?!?!

It would be like me sitting at work and saying - You guys go ahead and fiddle your MacBook Pro's, I'm doing JUST fine with my Brother II Word Processor thank you very much!!

I gladly welcome criticism of this band. In fact i love that we have opinions all over the place. But I think some perspective is being lost.

Are U2 making music like they did 20-30 years ago? no not really, although in some ways yes (ie. The Blackout, SLABT, EBW, RBW - even Get out sounds like it could have been on the18 year old ATYCLB)

Are they churning out consistently utter shit? Nope

Are they churning out consistintly utter classics? Nope

Are they still capable of giving us greatness, even if it might but up against some not so great stuff?
Definitely.
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Old 11-02-2017, 10:13 AM   #163
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My take on the songs already available (or known):

The Best Thing - best debut single since Vertigo. It's not an all time hit but has beautiful verses and a catchy melody. 7/10

Get Out of Your Own Way - very cool song. Wonderful rhythm and I love the vocal melody throughout the song. 7.5/10

American Soul - there are two songs in it: the chorus and the rest. The chorus is awful - I understand the idea because the Glastonbury riff is quite good but it doesn't match anything at all. The rest of the song is very good. I would give 8.5 without the chorus, with the chorus I rate it at 5/10.

The Little Things That Give You Away - The same room where Moment of Surrender lives. A nice melancholic melody with a simple yet beautiful message. I will probably listen more often to Blackout or Get Out but I rate it at 9/10.

The Blackout - Doesn't have the best lyrics neither has the most creative melody. It's U2 meets Arctic Monkeys and it's pretty solid and cool, I imagine it will kick ass on a live setting. 8.5/10

In geral the songs we already know are pointing more towards the spirit of All That You Can't Leave Behind and less Songs of Innocence. For me SOI has some of their greatest tunes ever - from Raised by Wolves until Crystal Ballroom I rate it overall at 9/10. The first half of the album is just a 6 for me. SOE will for sure be better than SOI's first half (at least, all known songs allow me to think this way) but won't probably be as innovative, atmospheric and groovy as SOI's second half. I was probably expecting more of the later, but I'm not disappointed at all with this new songs. I would just prefer more Danger Mouse vs Tedder.
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Old 11-02-2017, 10:14 AM   #164
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We just found the three people whose lyrical opinions should be forever ignored. I bet you even like the little old lady lyric in Stand Up Comedy.
ok it's my guilty secret - it even makes me smile haha

but come on, i'm the first to be excessively vocal and hammer my opinion home when i really dislike something, so far in here, mainly Spiderman and Glastonbury - seriously when B-man sang "YOU ARE A POCKET FULL OF SUNSHINE" IT MADE ME WANT TO PUNCH HIM IN THE FACE (and i am not a violent person)
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Old 11-02-2017, 10:22 AM   #165
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My take on the songs already available (or known):

The Best Thing - best debut single since Vertigo. It's not an all time hit but has beautiful verses and a catchy melody. 7/10

Get Out of Your Own Way - very cool song. Wonderful rhythm and I love the vocal melody throughout the song. 7.5/10

American Soul - there are two songs in it: the chorus and the rest. The chorus is awful - I understand the idea because the Glastonbury riff is quite good but it doesn't match anything at all. The rest of the song is very good. I would give 8.5 without the chorus, with the chorus I rate it at 5/10.

The Little Things That Give You Away - The same room where Moment of Surrender lives. A nice melancholic melody with a simple yet beautiful message. I will probably listen more often to Blackout or Get Out but I rate it at 9/10.

The Blackout - Doesn't have the best lyrics neither has the most creative melody. It's U2 meets Arctic Monkeys and it's pretty solid and cool, I imagine it will kick ass on a live setting. 8.5/10

In geral the songs we already know are pointing more towards the spirit of All That You Can't Leave Behind and less Songs of Innocence. For me SOI has some of their greatest tunes ever - from Raised by Wolves until Crystal Ballroom I rate it overall at 9/10. The first half of the album is just a 6 for me. SOE will for sure be better than SOI's first half (at least, all known songs allow me to think this way) but won't probably be as innovative, atmospheric and groovy as SOI's second half. I was probably expecting more of the later, but I'm not disappointed at all with this new songs. I would just prefer more Danger Mouse vs Tedder.
I'm not seeing the connection between The Blackout and Arctic Monkeys at all haha. Is there an album or song in particular that you see a similarity with?

But as a side note, there are some Arctic Monkeys songs that are influenced by U2.
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