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Old 07-31-2015, 08:04 PM   #1
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A New Yorker article:

U2: Bring Back the Irony - The New Yorker
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Old 08-01-2015, 12:52 AM   #2
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I like the article, and agree, but it's just nostalgia. The band is in a totally different place now.
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Old 08-01-2015, 01:43 PM   #3
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Maybe we don't actually like U2 (or wouldn't actually like any other artist) being honest and sincere, but it's U2's central redeeming value of this latter part of their career.

The problem with this return to irony idea isn't necessarily nostalgia (though the author is clearly guilty of this). The problem is that U2 couldn't pull off the irony anymore. Too much has happened in those 18 years that would have betrayed the 'trick'.

The purpose of irony is to put yourself forward as something you're not in order to say something. 21st century has tried to be 'all of the above'. Combined with previous ironic statements, there is simply no unique irony available to U2. No new ground.

I will give the author of that piece some credit. First this statement regarding U2 in their ironic phase of the 90's.

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The band’s great subject became the separation of meaning from meaninglessness.
Well said. Then this...

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Aesthetically, U2 has become what it once critiqued.
No question about it. Finally, I wanted to comment on this...

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Even so, it’s hard not to miss the U2 of the nineties. The band was a pop phenomenon that acknowledged the limits of populism; it explored the overlap of anxiety and piety; it was in touch with the times; it knew that sincere statements always evoke their opposites, and must struggle to survive them. For that version of U2, the combination of innocence and experience wasn’t more innocence, but irony—a useful attitude in a world overflowing with pop culture, pop politics, and pop spirituality.
It's hard not to miss U2 of the 90's because they were brilliant, especially in the context of the time. They were doing something few other artists were doing and most importantly, doing it amazingly well. But irony has been totally overplayed in the 21st century. It's not the weapon of art it used to be. It's commonplace. From comedy to film to whatever. And even if U2 could be effectively ironic (highly doubtful) there is nothing to gain artistically.

There is nothing left for U2 to do from here on out but create great songs (if they can) and do the best they can to abandon their ridiculous ambition to be more than they can be.

Stop trying to appeal to a bunch of young people that mostly couldn't give a fuck less and even if they do...would rather hear a (rendered) obscure track like Mofo than the nine millionth version of a revisionist "hit". I'm not talking staples that are absolutely vital to the U2 legacy. Average Concertgoer deserves those songs. I could stand to never hear Pride played live again, ever, but I will never blame them for playing it. I will never blame them for playing anything that truly made them the great U2. I'm talking about the pseudo-hits like 'Stuck In A Moment' or whatever, that wasn't much a "hit" but only serves as a supposed relevance bridge between 80's and the new stuff.

Stop trying to revise history. Zooropa, Passengers and POP happened and most of the U2 fans left adore this work. Ignoring it is a function of their idiotic ambition to try and stay relevant in pop music. U2 as mere pop music robs U2 of what always made them great. Also, rediscover "fucking up the mainstream" in a creative way that doesn't scream "we did this just to try and have a hit record". Having a hit record is fine but do it on your own terms...not bending over backwards for it.

I don't know that I see anything they could do in concert that would be a great improvement aside from song selection. I don't see a big problem here. The problem resides in the studio, where they have changed how they write the material - to the way country and pop artists write songs. Seeking "hits" and not incredible musical moments. I think criticizing their live show and calling for more irony misses the point. If they had just made another POP, and were touring to support something great (even if controversial and not universally beloved), nobody of any sort of sophisticated taste is sitting there thinking "what this show needs is Bono in an ironic muscle shirt". I think the author is nostalgic for that music more than the ironic theater. Nobody needed another pure pop song from U2. What everybody needs is a U2 that is creatively relevant. The music would deliver almost all of that package to you...provided it is creatively relevant itself. In other words, whatever they would have done live - would have been hard to screw up.
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Old 08-01-2015, 08:41 PM   #4
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i think that article's a Ziggy
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Old 08-03-2015, 08:58 AM   #5
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I disagree with the article.

I think U2 are perfect right now in terms of the aesthetics and the music and the attitude. They're old farts in rock now. I do not miss the 90s' U2. I think the 20-teens' U2 is right where they need to be -- doing what they do best. The key matter is that Songs of Innocence is a really good record that's getting better with the passing of time, which was not the case with any albums for 20+ years.

My perception of U2 today (not having seen any of the live shows since 2006, so maybe I'm not really an expert on this) is that they're focused on the music now. That is all I want.

I just wish they'd release music more frequently, and that Bono would lose his ham-bone, but hey, let's at least be realistic...
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:05 AM   #6
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Mmm, Nipples post with a double dash, that's the shit


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Old 08-07-2015, 07:08 AM   #7
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I 100% agree with the article.

I mean it took all the way to SOI for me to FINALLY realize that we were never, ever gonna get something as brilliant as the run of AB, Zooropa and Pop ever again.

But goddamn... that was a good run. Everything since then (craftsmanship, lyrics, musical exploration, live shows) has paled in comparison.
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Old 08-07-2015, 11:19 PM   #8
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I 100% agree with the article.

I mean it took all the way to SOI for me to FINALLY realize that we were never, ever gonna get something as brilliant as the run of AB, Zooropa and Pop ever again.

But goddamn... that was a good run. Everything since then (craftsmanship, lyrics, musical exploration, live shows) has paled in comparison.
Indeed. And I'm grateful I became a fan just when U2 had reached their creative apex. U2 trying to be "ironic" now would be laughable, painful even. They would be accused of trying too hard, and it would invite unfavorable comparisons with how they did it "correctly" in the Nineties. Best stick to being the largely unimaginative mutton-dressed-as-lamb rock incarnation that they've been for a while now. It may not be particularly inspiring, but at least it's not (too) embarassing.
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Old 08-09-2015, 02:27 PM   #9
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Old 08-10-2015, 09:19 AM   #10
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When there's a big error in the lead it takes away from the article. I'm not mathemetician, but I'm fairly certain that at no time, ever, were all of Adam, Bono and Edge 16 at the same time. But I digress. That's a minor point.

It's a good article, but definitely nostalgia driven. Irony works great when you have people's attention. The problem now is the band generally only has the attention of people who already got the ironic messages of the 90s.
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Old 08-14-2015, 07:39 AM   #11
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I don't miss 90's U2 at all and prefer millennial U2.

Achtung Baby was brilliant and trumps all albums since but Zoo & Pop....not so much for me.







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Old 08-14-2015, 04:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achtung Ya'll View Post

I mean it took all the way to SOI for me to FINALLY realize that we were never, ever gonna get something as brilliant as the run of AB, Zooropa and Pop ever again.
.
Well, that´s the matter of opinion. I think we´ve just got something better than the whole Pop and then at least the half of the Zooropa
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Old 08-15-2015, 06:54 AM   #13
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Well, that´s the matter of opinion. I think we´ve just got something better than the whole Pop and then at least the half of the Zooropa

I agree 100% with you Mr. thavidesco!


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Old 08-15-2015, 09:24 AM   #14
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Check yourself into the nearest hospital ASAP


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Old 08-15-2015, 09:37 AM   #15
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If I was stuck on a desert island somewhere, I would rather have Zooropa and Pop than all of the last four albums combined. I really don't think I could put together 22 tracks out of those 44 that would be a better listening experience for me.
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