The Magic of U2 (is it in the Bomb?) - Page 3 - U2 Feedback

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Old 11-18-2004, 06:54 AM   #31
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I wore out on Lemon and MOFO afterabout a year or so.

In reading this thread I think of Bono's line "take this mouth, so quick to crititicize." It's the "quick" part that really stands out.

An album is not like a movie - where you are usually suppose to see once and have an opinion.

I would like to point out there are some observations here that are just factually wrong. For instance, the constant complaint that this album is just rehashed U2. What prior U2 song does Vertigo, Miracle Drug, and All Because of You sound like? Give me a break. Everyone thinks because a bass line or an echo sounds familiar that just ripped it off.

I am 34, and I have been a die hard fan since War. Up until now, Achtung Baby has been my favorite. But it didn't become my favorite until the tour. This is U2's first album where I want to hear Every song played live.

When the dust settles - this album will be remembered as one of U2's greatest.
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Old 11-18-2004, 07:24 AM   #32
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Originally posted by U2_Guy


Me too. With tunes like MOFO or Lemon you can explore the sounds for years and years without getting bored. On the contrary, songs like AMAAW are good for a little while, then there's nothing to explore anymore and it becomes a good song to sing or hum while you wash the clothes or clean the house.
You know, this band has been around for 25 years or so. For the majority of this time, they were in most instances, at the leading edge of music. Now, they are the elder statesman - how would U2 sound if they produced an album similar to The Killers/Razorlight etc? Singing about things that only young/confused men can sing about. You have to remember the band members are now approaching mid '40s. They are not young men anymore. With age, comes mellowing/reflection/thoughts of own mortality etc. I find these messages in the lyrics and the music of the new album. I love Mofo, Lemon and I also love AMAAW. Different songs from different periods of the bands life.

I wonder if people want U2 to come out with an album full of hip-hop beats, just to be seen as experimental or relevent. IMHO, I think the band are making music that fits where they are at right now. I would love if they experimented more in electronica (more passenger-esque or Pop), but I judge this album on its own merits, not what has preceeded it and to me, the album is brilliant.
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Old 11-18-2004, 07:27 AM   #33
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Originally posted by AEON
I wore out on Lemon and MOFO afterabout a year or so.
I hope I never wear out either of them!
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Old 11-18-2004, 08:11 AM   #34
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Seperate. I even stated that you can't define U2's magic.
As far as balls, why would you fathom I would be talking about the earlier work? I am talking about an overhaul of their sound after their most brilliant success (JT/RH into Achtung/Zoo era) but moreso the gigantic balls of the image overhaul. That is risk at it's greatest. The elaborate tour, something which had never been attempted, much less by an already decade-long established critical darling rock band. Risk risk risk balls balls balls. Following up two album re-inventions with an album they didn't even title as recorded by U2 (Passengers) that's at least confidence. And then after 4 or 5 years of all that, they trup it on Pop and more pointedly POPmart. The largest TV screen ever constructed (at the time) and a gigantic mirror balled lemon.

This is what I am talking about when I use the term "balls"

And I was just using it to offset the difference between U2 in say, 1998 and what U2 became in 99/00 and have furthered with HTDAAB in 2004.
"Balls", "risk" whatever term you use, it's the same meaning to me.

And with that in mind, I actually agree. U2 did not take too many risks with either ATYCLB or HTDAAB. Still, it's not as if they've abandoned all experimenting either. I've never heard "Stuck in a Moment..." on any other U2 CD. Never heard "Fast Cars" either. Even "Love and Peace..." with its Moby-like beginning, is also experimental (and oddly enough, the one track many fans and critics don't like - I can't help but wonder if this is because this is one of the more experimental songs on the album).

But I see your point, the image is not revolutionary. Most likely the tour won't be either. The band looks great, but they aren't revolutionizing their appearance as they did for ZOO TV or PopMart. The Elevation tour was brilliant - far better than PopMart, IMO - but it wasn't as risky.

However, this brings about the following questions: does a band HAVE to be risky to be good, no, great? Does a band constantly have to reinvent their sound to be great? Does a band have to change their look? Does a band have to come up with revolutionary thoughts each time? When is it O.K. for a band to sound like a band?

The Beatles, long revered as one of the best bands ever, sounded very similar on their first few albums - as did U2. They made a mid-career shift, as did U2 ("Revolver" compared to UF and JT). They continued with an even larger shift and image change, as did U2 ("Sgt. Pepper" compared to AB). And then, for their last few albums, they changed again, but sounded like the Beatles ("Abbey Road" compared to ATYCLB and HTDAAB). The Beatles didn't revolutionize their sounds, rather, they worked within their own sound. They didn't drastically change their appearance, but gave a more natural look. That's what I'm seeing here with U2. U2 are working within their sound - exploring what makes U2 sound like U2. They are incorporating new sounds into their music. Their image is natural. They aren't trying to shock anymore. Just like the Beatles, U2 has already done this.

This then leads to the next question - what do you WANT U2 to do? What would be risky to you?

Quote:
The last few points. Sure, AChtung wasn't revoltionary in terms of innovation, but U2 don't innovate, they incorporate. They were brave or "ballsy" to do what they did for that entire era. For themselves, for their own music, it was revolutionary, but not inoovative neccessarily.


See, you even say this yourself - U2 don't innovate, they incorporate. And that's what I'm hearing on HTDAAB. They are incorporating other sounds, including their OWN sound.

The difference is that this isn't unique. Plenty of bands have incorporated their own sound into their music. However, in doing so, they sound stale, stagnant. Their new music sounds like their old music. There's nothing fresh. U2 differs in this area - they still sound fresh and invigorating. If they didn't, I doubt we'd be here discussing this.

AB stood out as radically different thanks to JT and R&H. If AB came out after HTDAAB, I highly doubt we'd view it as so revolutionary. Likewise, if HTDAAB came out after "Pop", we'd all be singing U2's praises about how once again U2 sound radically different. How they once again changed their image (as it's different from all other eras of U2). But we have ATYCLB "buffer". And because of ATYCLB, U2 come across as playing "safe" on HTDAAB.

I'm not sure that's fair to say, but I see the argument. Still, I contend that U2 were safe many times before in their careers.

For me, HTDAAB sounding like a polished ATYCLB isn't a problem. However, if U2 release another album that sounds like ATYCLB and HTDAAB in a few years, then even I will be disappointed. U2 have explored this sound. They've fully explored their past. They've examined the U2 sound and what makes U2 sound like U2. They did this beautifully on 2 albums now. If they come out with a third that sounds this way, then I think it should be their swansong, because that suggests that the ideas are starting to run on low.

For now, U2 have 11 tracks that pretty much shine. Unlike on JT, AB and ATYCLB, while I have my favorites, I don't hate any song on HTDAAB. I skip at least 2 songs on JT and at least 1 on AB and ATYCLB every time. But I'm not hearing this on HTDAAB.

Quote:
U2 sounding like U2, is fine if you discount a whole chunk of their catalogue as not sounding like U2. I guess what I would say is it all sounds like U2 to me. I get the point you make, and don't mean to parse words, but I think Lemon and Mofo are not trademark U2, but it is part of what a lot of us love about them.


I agree, "Lemon" and "Mofo" don't sound like U2 - but I never said they did. What I said was that JT sounds like U2. "War" sounds like U2. Even AB sounds a lot like U2 - just a darker more rocking side of them. U2's more experimental work is on "Zooropa", parts of "Pop" and a lot of the Passengers' album. Hence my comment, we can't deride U2 for sounding like U2 on HTDAAB when they've done that plenty of times before. And, I'll argue that songs like "Stuck..." and "Fast Cars" and "Love and Peace..." are still experimental songs for U2 as they don't appear elsewhere in the U2 catalog. They are just as unique as "Lemon" and "Mofo". So for a band that sounds like itself, they seem to have quite a few tricks left!

That's it!
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Old 11-18-2004, 08:54 AM   #35
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this is an impressive thread. really gives one, especially a mere listener to music as against being an in depth analyst, a lot of things to learn about appreciating music and songwriting.
something just came to my mind though as i was reading all of the above when the question of magic cropped up. being a fan, just as important to me is if the band felt if the magic was still there when they are doing their music. because if they still feel that magic, then it flows into the music they are creating and then flows down to their listeners.
having heard only 3 songs so far from downloads - MD, Yahweh, SYCMIOYO and watched and heard Vertigo on tv and radio, I can say yeah the magic is definitely there. Even the photo ops they had for the publicity are proof of that IMO. They are in their mid 40s alright (just like me) and at this age we still know the feeling of magic. It might not be at the same level as teenagers but it's magic alright. When musicians feel good about their work and i mean honestly feel good about it, then everything else follows. As a fan, if the boys are happy with their work then i feel happy too. Can you imagine for example a band with warring members producing good music?
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Old 11-18-2004, 09:03 AM   #36
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Originally posted by doctorwho

That's it!
Well put.
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Old 11-18-2004, 10:00 AM   #37
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magic?

yes
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Old 11-19-2004, 08:40 AM   #38
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From the Boston Herald, I think this sums up this thread the best...

"In striving to maintain its current position as the world's greatest rock band, U2 has reduced its music to a winning formula -- but a formula nonetheless. How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb substitutes familiarity for revelation. Not that that's all bad. "
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