U2 Feedback

U2 Feedback (http://www.u2interference.com/forums/)
-   Everything You Know Is Wrong (http://www.u2interference.com/forums/f189/)
-   -   No Line On The Horizon: the most underrated album? (http://www.u2interference.com/forums/f189/no-line-on-the-horizon-the-most-underrated-album-220866.html)

brooklynmike 04-12-2017 12:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gvox (Post 8154105)
Oh this topic again.

Yes, MOS could have been something to lead off with.

I took a stab at a radio friendly edit back then for fun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUe4TqBNDS4

Even at almost 5 min it's way too long for radio, but there's so much goodness it that song it was hard to figure out what to yank. The ATM machine lyrics were a pretty obvious choice tho lol

Listening back to it now some of the chops are a little clunky, but I literally did it in under 10 min on a shitty computer as I recall. Maybe I should do it again armed with the tricks I've learned since then ;)

They could have done something like this. Precedent: New Year's Day

I'm just catching up here, but this is good shit :up:

I always kinda liked MOS but something about the length always let me down. Too long or some dud lyrics. I can actually seeing a slightly tighter version of this being solid single.

CosmoKramer 04-12-2017 07:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elevated_u2_fan (Post 8153787)
there is a lot to like about Unknown Caller but yeah, the lyrics are pretty clunky.


Very clunky! What I assume to be the raw version that was featured in a video of the band during the recording session had much more relatable lyrics and it elevated the song to the next level for me.

The final version falls very...very flat and find it to be almost unlistenable.

I'm going to listen to it again today as it's been a while.


Sent from my iPhone using U2 Interference

BigMacPhisto 04-13-2017 01:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Headache in a Suitcase (Post 8154050)
The initial OMGz new UTewZ!!! reaction to new material wore off​ quicker than any other album with No Line, and I recall it as the first U2 album I had to convince myself that I liked it.

There are some gems there, but overall it was an album that missed it's point, and the first sign that they were losing some of their sack when it came to taking bold risks with their direction.

Yes, many would say that atyclb and htdaab were those signs, but those albums were what they set out to be. No Line set out to be one thing and ended up being something entirely different out of fear that it wouldn't be accepted. That was new from this band.


This is exactly how I feel and you absolutely nailed it. I think the honeymoon ended pretty fast with the record due to the lack of any truly great song. HTDAAB had classics like "Vertigo" and "City of Blinding Lights" that even the casual audience members at concerts go ballistic for, but I don't think they've delivered a single song since on that level.

Absolute agreement that they went out there trying to do an out-there experimental album as a six piece and then tilted everything back towards the center for no reason. Whereas the previous two albums benefited from a re-think as they weren't quite cooked, NLOTH ended up being left on the burner too long.

SOI is obviously worse and the next step in what's been diminishing returns for over a decade now, but it also didn't really trick anybody into loving it as the bigger music fans felt unchallenged and bored by it, hence the worst reviews of their career.



For me, personally, October will always be the most underrated. I just can't believe that the general fanbase hasn't really taken to it all that much. Gloria, I Fall Down, I Threw A Brick Through A Window...the list goes on. It's absolutely loaded with great gems full of emotion and wonderful atmosphere. The overtly religious side to the lyrics and the real lack of Edge make it an interesting change of pace in their catalog.

BigMacPhisto 04-13-2017 01:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick66 (Post 8153855)
But for me there's something missing on SOI that prevents the songs from jumping from the merely good to great. I don't know if it's over produced, or over thought, but it just feels to me like it's the product of a long and lengthy compromise period by a group of musicians with unlimited resources. It's technically fine, and better than pretty much what any other rock band of U2's age would be capable of producing, but it lacks spark and (ironically given the subject matter) feels uninspired. At least to me.

It's a mixture of weak songwriting and poor production. After seeing them live, I could vouch for Every Breaking Wave and Iris being truly great songs, but they sound absolutely horrid on the album. The band talked about the last album lacking "masculinity" because of the overproduction and those are two good examples.

But then there's tracks like Song for Someone and The Miracle that are just clearly the work of people going through a brief lack of imagination.

Nick66 04-13-2017 03:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigMacPhisto (Post 8154720)
The band talked about the last album lacking "masculinity" because of the overproduction and those are two good examples.

Interesting, I hadn't heard this, and I didn't know that the routine distancing themselves from last record by dissing it had already started for SOI. It was inevitable, of course, but usually they wait until the next record comes out before the disinheriting begins. But perhaps the JT tour is a proxy for the new record in this case.

lazarus 04-13-2017 10:32 AM

I love how they spend way too long overthinking these albums, and then turn on them so quickly.

I'd have more respect for the former if we didn't keep seeing the latter.

trevgreg 04-13-2017 10:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigMacPhisto (Post 8154710)
SOI is obviously worse and the next step in what's been diminishing returns for over a decade now, but it also didn't really trick anybody into loving it as the bigger music fans felt unchallenged and bored by it, hence the worst reviews of their career.

The reviews for it actually seemed okay or better for the most part. The release method was the only thing that people really latched on critically.

Quote:

Originally Posted by lazarus (Post 8154758)
I love how they spend way too long overthinking these albums, and then turn on them so quickly.

I'd have more respect for the former if we didn't keep seeing the latter.

Almost every band does the same thing though, whether we know it or not. The only difference is that either we aren't paying attention to other bands' comments post-release, or this particular one does more interviews than your average one. But almost every band out there probably does the same thing... be excited about the new music they just created, then look at it with a more critical eye as time goes along.

I sort of think the same thing when it comes to the "overcooked" or "perfectionist" talks. We'd be kidding ourselves if every band wasn't doing the same thing to some extent. People re-write songs and aren't happy with the fully mixed results all the time. Sometimes you look at something you wrote and think, "Hey, I can do better here." Again, the only real difference here is that this is a popular band whose comments we follow to a 't' (and a few of us use that to justify that earlier versions of songs that possibly existed are somehow automatically better). And, maybe to a lesser extent, our frustration with the long gaps recently between albums compounds that all too.

Nick66 04-13-2017 11:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by trevgreg (Post 8154765)
Almost every band does the same thing though, whether we know it or not.

But almost every band out there probably does the same thing... be excited about the new music they just created, then look at it with a more critical eye as time goes along.

We'd be kidding ourselves if every band wasn't doing the same thing to some extent..

Hmmmmm. Really? Like who? I hear a lot "we don't like to look back" from most bands. But distancing themselves from their most recent work? I don't know who else of U2's profile does that on a regular basis.

In any event, whether this is true or not, in U2's case it's all the worse because every record is is overhyped and the "best record we've ever made"...which makes the inevitable fall from grace all the more stark.

But Bono's a salesman. First he's selling a product, then he's selling the next version of it which is "new and improved"....all the while recognising what his customers didn't like about the last model. And I'm being serious about this. The band is very sensitive to public opinion, and they almost always change course as a result of it. Every U2 record is in many ways a reaction to the reception and critical consensus of the last one.

trevgreg 04-13-2017 12:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick66 (Post 8154770)
Hmmmmm. Really? Like who? I hear a lot "we don't like to look back" from most bands. But distancing themselves from their most recent work? I don't know who else of U2's profile does that on a regular basis.

These are two examples I can come up with off-hand, via other bands I like.

Here's what Dave Grohl said in the lead-up to their 2002 release, One By One...

I can't f***ing wait for this album to come out. 11 songs. The best we've ever written. All recorded (re-recorded) in the course of 3 weeks. The way we should have done it in the first place. Quick and to the point(less). We wrote these songs specifically for live performance...

Here's a rundown of the tunes for you.
* 1. All My Life. Killer
* 2. Low. * * * * Killer
* 3. Have it all. Killer
* 4. Times Like these (One way motorway). Killer
* 5. Tired. * * * Killer
* 6. Burn Away * *Killer
* 7. Lonely As You. *Killer
* 8. Halo. * * * *Killer
* 9. Overdrive * *Killer
* 10. Disenchanted Lullabye. *Killer
* 11. Comeback. * Killer.

There you go. That's the album preview. I was gonna go into detailed descriptions of each song, but I think I just about summed it all up right there.


Then here's what he said about One By One three years later before releasing their follow-up after that...

"I was kinda pissed at myself for the last record... four of the songs were good, and the other seven I never played again in my life. We rushed into it, and we rushed out of it."

John Taylor from Duran Duran also gets some grief from that fan base for seemingly hating on each previous release no matter what. I think it's more of the situation I tried describing, but we'll use their two most recent releases for example.

In 2011, they released All You Need is Now, which was probably their most liked album in years and had a producer (Mark Ronson) which tried to guide them into a direction of re-visiting the bands first few albums. John had this to say in some comments during press for the album... the first one, he refers to working with Ronson. Seemingly, this was a good thing at the time.

It seemed to me that he had a magic touch, and I like him a lot. You mention the retro soul thing, and we did go for a retro sound on this record, but it was different: he moved his microscope from 60s soul to 80s electro-pop, and he applied the same kind of detail. He's a master forger. But I was OK with that, because I felt we'd gone so far out with Timbaland and we lost our way. So Mark's idea was to go back and reference the early 80s... he wanted to have that quirky, dark pop thing the first few Duran albums had. It definitely helps to have a direction and a concept when you start out. He wrote these rules out and stuck them on the studio wall. There was this undercurrent of attitude. It helps that he's such a huge fan, and even the way he looks. He's this walking, talking advertisement for early 80s cool. It made us think 'Yeah, we can do that'.

And this...

“We didn’t have to consider all the time whether what we were doing was valid or whether it had any kind of contemporary currency,” he says. “Mark encouraged us to be ourselves in a way that we hadn’t had the confidence to be in quite a few years... Duran Duran is this chemistry of these musical personalities working off of each other, and those personalities are back on this album.”

Then during the lead-up and recording of their 2015 album Paper Gods, he said this...

"I think the important thing is that we make a great album an album, something that impress people, because I don’t think we all feel that way about the recent album, we all got reservations about it."

Then this year, he added this, which the fan base thinks also referred to the All You Need is Now album.

We've tried making an album that was meant to sound like it was recorded in 1985 — it just doesn't work. It doesn't work when you try to rewrite your hits from earlier. You can't go back. You've got to keep moving forward. And to do that convincingly, you've got to have confidence.

Now, do bands do this every time after releasing something new? No, probably not. But the point I was making was that most musicians are going to look back on their work a bit critically, no matter what. The only real difference with U2 (and maybe the two other bands) is that they're going to do a lot of interviews and, if they want, they might make some remarks on their last record or ones before that and say something that makes it look like they're not happy with it. Then we're going to be the ones who consistently read things they say and think they feel a certain way, while maybe other acts have similar thinking for all we know.

I know Bono caught some flack on here for calling NLOTH "esoteric" or whatever afterward, but he still maintained that he liked the album. I don't know if Larry ever directly commented on it, other than others saying he wasn't a fan of the final product, but I find it doubtful that most musicians like all their material equally in hindsight anyway.

Hollow Island 04-13-2017 12:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick66 (Post 8154770)
Hmmmmm. Really? Like who? I hear a lot "we don't like to look back" from most bands. But distancing themselves from their most recent work? I don't know who else of U2's profile does that on a regular basis.

In any event, whether this is true or not, in U2's case it's all the worse because every record is is overhyped and the "best record we've ever made"...which makes the inevitable fall from grace all the more stark.

Noel Gallagher distanced himself from Be Here Now, Standing on the Shoulder of Giants and Heathen Chemistry. And sure, he hyped Be Here Now as the best record ever but he had a raging coke habit to blame it on - I doubt that U2 are saints, even at this point, but no way does Bono have 1997 Noel Gallagher habits.

Bowie eventually distanced himself from his 80s work. REM distanced themselves from Around the Sun. Damon Albarn has distanced himself from The Great Escape...there aren't too many examples of an artist pissing on their own work, let alone doing it constantly.

Nick66 04-13-2017 02:35 PM

I understand, but in U2's case it seems like they're disowning records based on the commercial and critical response, not based on a re-evaluation of the record's artistic merits. I think U2 by and large measures a record's worth on its public reception more than on whatever intrinsic artistic value it might have. To U2, if a song is commercially successful, and enters the public consciousness, it's a good song...if it doesn't, then they think they've failed, no matter the artistic merits of the record. Bono's comments on Pop more than bear this out. In other words, is there anyone who thinks that had Pop, or NLOTH, been JT and AB level performers that U2 would have disowned them? When U2 says Pop was a failure, it's because it didn't sell. Well, Bono would deny it, he'd say it's because it didn't enter the public consciousness or cultural zeitgeist. But if a song does that, it generally means its selling.

That's why I'm somewhat bemused about the comments about how U2 should just make the record they want and not worry about sales and relevance. And if they made the record they really wanted to make, it would be some experimental, cutting edge thing. But the thing is, U2 wants to make records that sell, and that become part of the public consciousness. I think U2 wants to make pop songs that people like. That's their goal with a record. If a song catches fire, it's a success. U2 would trade a hundred MOFO's for one Vertigo. To U2, based on their own criteria, Vertigo's a better song, period. They're not content to be Radiohead and just plug along without caring who listens. That's not them, never has been, and never will be.

If it sounds like I'm criticising U2 for this, I'm not. They have to be true to their nature. They've always had imperial ambition, they've always wanted to be the biggest band in the world and they've always wanted to make hit records. And they've always defined their success by that measuring stick. What's so remarkable about U2 is that they were able to make music that was both popular and superb at the same time for so long.

Irvine511 04-13-2017 03:29 PM

i don't think it's so much about popularity, in terms of sales or radio play, but i think they judge a song's success based on audience reaction. they cannot consider a song/record successful if it doesn't work live. the live show has overtaken the recording process, as i think we're seeing with the SOE delays and the extreme caution they seem to be taking. i think they want to sell albums and have hit singles, but what they really want to do is sell concert tickets and play to audiences who know every single word and are swept along by every single song.

that radio edit of MOS is great. it could even lose another minute. it's really what they should have done as either the first or second (after NLOTH) single.

lazarus 04-13-2017 05:16 PM

Ehh, I'm not sure that's the band's only criteria for success is how it's received live or if it turns into a hit. They knew very well Fez--Being Born, Cedars of Lebanon, Sleep Like A Baby would be neither. None of them have catchy choruses or were ever going to be singles or make it to a live set. So it's clear they are still interested in doing something purely for reasons of artistic expression if it feels right.

Irvine511 04-13-2017 05:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lazarus (Post 8154816)
Ehh, I'm not sure that's the band's only criteria for success is how it's received live or if it turns into a hit. They knew very well Fez--Being Born, Cedars of Lebanon, Sleep Like A Baby would be neither. None of them have catchy choruses or were ever going to be singles or make it to a live set. So it's clear they are still interested in doing something purely for reasons of artistic expression if it feels right.



agreed it's not the only, but it's the major criteria -- there's little daylight between what happens on the album and what happens live. i would imagine they at least tried to make some of those songs work live, possibly out of the need for variety and pacing in a 2+ hour setlist. Fez probably not since it's so clearly an album interlude, but i can see them having attempted SLAB and COL. they tried OSC for i/e.

Nick66 04-13-2017 06:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lazarus (Post 8154816)
Ehh, I'm not sure that's the band's only criteria for success is how it's received live or if it turns into a hit. They knew very well Fez--Being Born, Cedars of Lebanon, Sleep Like A Baby would be neither. None of them have catchy choruses or were ever going to be singles or make it to a live set. So it's clear they are still interested in doing something purely for reasons of artistic expression if it feels right.

Well of course. That goes without saying. But no of those songs were singles (AFAIK). They didn't try to sell those songs.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:58 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com