SOE 31: Yes, we have no bananas - Page 14 - U2 Feedback

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Old 11-02-2017, 11:02 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by ChurchBay View Post
Working with one or two producers only would help rather than an army of different producers coming in at different times and totally obscuring the and cluttering the sound and vision. With that you get, at best, a collection of songs as opposed to an actual album.
I agree 100%, but I also have a feeling that the writing process has changed significantly over the last 20 years and that has altered how they go about the entire recording process as well - which may make using just one producer/production team more difficult.

There's been so much talk in recent years about songs needing to be good enough to be able to be played with just an acoustic guitar... Regardless of intention behind this sentiment (HITS!!!) this, to me, implies that Edge and Bono (with his relatively new approach to having completed lyrics before recording) are sitting down the two of them and hashing out songs for a good portion of what has made up the majority of their output since the turn of the century. I'm not saying they never did this before, but songs like Bad, AIWIY, WOWY and even One definitely all came from dicking around with a riff or something.

What I'm getting at, is that this form of writing - for U2, at least - might actually necessitate as many producers as possible so that each song gets its own approach. Whereas Eno and Lanois more or less create a sonic landscape for an entire body of work, the Tedder/Lillywhite/Jacknife/etc. crew focus on a sonic something-or-other for one piece of a larger collection.

Just my 2 cents. I'm not defending the multi-producer approach, but this is how I've come to rationalize it.
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Old 11-02-2017, 11:07 AM   #197
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Mate, Beautiful Day and Vertigo were 17 and 13 years ago! Sure, having a radio hit counted for heaps then (even if the iTunes ad is what did more for Vertigo than anything else). But, hell, in 2000 I was a 13 year old who listened obsessively to the radio, and even by 2004 the only reason I ever heard the radio was when the temperamental cassette player in my mother's car decided not to work. By 2009 it didn't matter a jot that Boots tanked; 360 could remain the biggest tour the band ever do.

You can have a huge hit that's part of the culture of the time without radio, quite easily. If U2 are all about snaring a younger audience, go where they are. And that's not the radio.P eople 30 and under aren't exactly sitting around cranking the radio waiting for their favourite tune. They're on Spotify, on YouTube, on social media. That's why starting the promo with The Blackout on Facebook was a good idea - not great, since Facebook has become the ubiquitous social media platform over-40s have discovered and ruined for their kids, but a very positive step anyway. A proper social media blitz would've done more for the band than getting Best Thing to 20th or whatever on Hot AC or Trending CF or Modern Rawk Hitz or Double AABBCC.
I think your right, I suppose radio has been replaced by youtube, spotify, and other social media. Right now in the United States, "Feel It Still", by Portugal. The Man, is the most played song on U.S. radio. Its been the number 1 played song for a couple of weeks now. But the sales of the album it comes from are only at 45,000, the single has sold only 600,000 and the youtube video is only at 45 million hits, not exactly what one would expect from the biggest hit at radio. But like you said, radio is not where its at anymore, it helps, but not in the way it did 10 years ago.

So I would say U2 still desire to have a HIT on whatever is the most popular medium for making contact with new music is. Not knowing exactly what or where that is makes it even more difficult to have a hit.
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Old 11-02-2017, 11:10 AM   #198
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Radio is dead, Fred.
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Old 11-02-2017, 11:18 AM   #199
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Well, at least we will get a new episode of U Talkin’ U2 To Me? I’m curious what Scott will think, perhaps a C+.

They liked SOI, though Aukerman seems more keen to my sensibilities of U2’s music. I think they will get a kick out of “refujesus” albeit how can you not? Though I sense Adam may be more forgiving of it (his favorite album is HTDAAB, which always surprises me, considering he’s a lifelong fan too). Nice to know that album has its fans though.

Who knows? Maybe neither will dig SOE at all (unlikely though).
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Old 11-02-2017, 11:21 AM   #200
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I really hope we'll hear the snippets from the fender video in SOE. (The song at 0:45 is really great, and the outro riff is badass too!)
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Old 11-02-2017, 11:24 AM   #201
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They make good songs. My opinion is that they could still make great songs.

My number one issue since HTDAAB is Bono. I won't even get into the lyrics, instead another poster said it and it matches up well with what bothers me.

There's a constant wall of sound on U2 songs now, and it's Bono's voice. His vocal delivery / writing has evolved into trying to cram as many words/sentences into a verse. So it's just a constant sound that compresses the rest of the band. Part of the reason I don't think we hear much from Edge anymore is because Bono's voice doesn't give any other instrument a chance to breathe.

If the band were to write Streets today, I feel like Bono would have put the entire lyrics into the first two verses.

The band still have shown they can write music that has that space (Irvine calls it magic). MOS, Bono gives the band room to be heard. Magnificent has some of this. The Troubles to an extent.

For me, U2 are at their best when Bono stretches the vowels, versus the compression of them to make his direct writing style work.

It all comes across as very technical, and U2 isn't technical at all. They needed that space to make it as a band. The fact that Edge didn't/does't play a lot of notes/chords, the echo was used to fill those gaps. And with that space Bono could paint a landscape, versus a 4x4 picture frame.

I still love this band. I know these songs will come off better live, partially because Bono won't be able to sing as fast as he does on record. So there will be a natural expansion of the band's sound.

I look forward to the rest of the album, and I'm working on trying to manage my expectations. Clearly this is the sound of the band going forward for this album. I still hope they have more albums in them, and my hope is that after this one they pursuit a different path than relevancy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pacemaker View Post
I agree 100%, but I also have a feeling that the writing process has changed significantly over the last 20 years and that has altered how they go about the entire recording process as well - which may make using just one producer/production team more difficult.

There's been so much talk in recent years about songs needing to be good enough to be able to be played with just an acoustic guitar... Regardless of intention behind this sentiment (HITS!!!) this, to me, implies that Edge and Bono (with his relatively new approach to having completed lyrics before recording) are sitting down the two of them and hashing out songs for a good portion of what has made up the majority of their output since the turn of the century. I'm not saying they never did this before, but songs like Bad, AIWIY, WOWY and even One definitely all came from dicking around with a riff or something.

What I'm getting at, is that this form of writing - for U2, at least - might actually necessitate as many producers as possible so that each song gets its own approach. Whereas Eno and Lanois more or less create a sonic landscape for an entire body of work, the Tedder/Lillywhite/Jacknife/etc. crew focus on a sonic something-or-other for one piece of a larger collection.

Just my 2 cents. I'm not defending the multi-producer approach, but this is how I've come to rationalize it.
These two posts are a great primer for anyone who's confused about where the constant dissatisfaction comes from. I don't think most people are having a kneejerk response but rather are frustrated by seeing the same issues pop up again and again with new material.
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Old 11-02-2017, 11:26 AM   #202
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I just want to go on record and clarify (if it wasn't already) that I love that there are opinions on all sides, positive and negative. We are bound to get the hyperbolic on both sides, and that's cool too. Its an exciting time right now, and passion either way at least means the band is driving discussion and interest.

I would truly hate to come to this forum and just read - "wow, another great tune right everyone?!"

Interference is a great place because people can let their love or hate for things fly, and maybe we get called a c**t once in a while, or talk about banana insertion, and that makes it all the more special to me.
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Old 11-02-2017, 11:28 AM   #203
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These two posts are a great primer for anyone who's confused about where the constant dissatisfaction comes from. I don't think most people are having a kneejerk response but rather are frustrated by seeing the same issues pop up again and again with new material.
I definitely see that point. It can be really frustrating when you see the band break away and do great things on 4 or 5 songs on an album, and then hit the same pitfalls (or new ones) on the other tracks.

If Bono's fashion is any indication, they just don't have people around them willing to tell it to them straight.
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Old 11-02-2017, 11:30 AM   #204
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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.
You're responding to strawman arguments that no one is making.

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I gladly welcome criticism of this band.
No, you don't. If you did, you wouldn't have posted this rant. You would have just respected that other people have different opinions than you, and not questioned their reasoning or suggested that they've "lost perspective" because they don't like songs that you do.
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Old 11-02-2017, 11:31 AM   #205
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The "this is the worst thing ever created" posts are equally as bad as the "this is the greatest thing ever, ehhhrmagad U2 can do no wrong" posts.

Both are nauseating in their own special way.
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Old 11-02-2017, 11:32 AM   #206
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Interference is a great place because people can let their love or hate for things fly, and maybe we get called a c**t once in a while, or talk about banana insertion, and that makes it all the more special to me.
Can we put this up as a banner or plaque somewhere??
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Old 11-02-2017, 11:34 AM   #207
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i think it's clear when people are fairly criticizing the music vs criticizing for the joy of mocking others and as a means to flatter themselves.
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Old 11-02-2017, 11:42 AM   #208
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Somehow I keep missing these "This is the worst thing ever created posts".
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Old 11-02-2017, 11:43 AM   #209
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they're still capable of giving us a great song - every record has at least one great song (htdaab aside)
Really? I don't think they have written an absolute classic since Stay. That's what's been lacking in their albums since Zooropa imo, the truly great songs.
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Old 11-02-2017, 11:46 AM   #210
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Really? I don't think they have written an absolute classic since Stay. That's what's been lacking in their albums since Zooropa imo, the truly great songs.
I'd put MOS in their Top 5 songs of all time.

And there are several songs from the 00's I'd put in the Top 20. Though nothing from SOI onwards would come close.
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