Is songs of experience a commentary on depression? - U2 Feedback

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Old 01-19-2022, 08:38 PM   #1
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Is songs of experience a commentary on depression?

Listening to Your the best thing about me and 13 really struck me today. I know they are letters but I am wondering if the life crisis that Bono faced was a suicide attempt or thought. May sound crazy, but the lyrics really struck me that way today. Glad he and the band are ok, but some of the images really struck me that way. Anyway, rant over.
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Old 01-19-2022, 09:57 PM   #2
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I have zero idea if it was as drastic as what you referred to, but I've always felt that depression ran wild over that album.
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Old 01-19-2022, 10:03 PM   #3
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Sometimes
I can't believe my existence
I see myself from a distance
I can't get back inside
Sometimes
The air is so anxious
All my thoughts are so reckless
And all my innocence has died
Sometimes
I wake at four in the morning
Where all the darkness is swarming
And it covers me in fear
Sometimes
Sometimes
Sometimes
Sometimes
I'm full of anger and grieving
So far away from believing
That any song will reappear
Sometimes
The end is not coming
It's not coming
The end is here
Sometimes
Sometimes
Sometimes
Sometimes
Sometimes
When the painted glass shatters
And you're the only thing matters
But I can't see you through the tears
Sometimes
The end isn't coming
It's not coming
The end is here
Sometimes
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Old 01-19-2022, 10:05 PM   #4
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I think it's more of a rumination on one's own mortality and aging which, for some, can be awfully depressing.
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Old 01-20-2022, 01:14 AM   #5
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Listening to this album again for the first time in 2+ years.
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Old 01-20-2022, 03:29 AM   #6
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This album is suffering from “latest U2 album” syndrome. People are overly critical.

It has its obvious clunky points, but these kind of layers, and the strength of good chunks of the lyrics make it a very solid late career effort.
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Old 01-20-2022, 06:17 AM   #7
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It is all I ever expected, and probably more, from a U2 album in 2018.
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Old 01-20-2022, 07:54 AM   #8
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When you think about it, Bono has had a rough decade.

- iTunes backlash
- Bike Crash
- Major Health Scare
- Physical Aging
- State of Politics
- Pandemic

Some of these affect all of us, but it’s not like he’s had it easy over the last 10 years.
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Old 01-20-2022, 08:00 AM   #9
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IMO, the state of politics should’ve made it easy on him/his songwriting/live presentation, but he too often tries to have it both ways.
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Old 01-20-2022, 12:16 PM   #10
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He's always had a touch of depression in a lot of his lyrics. It's part of why I'm very interested in the autobiography, whenever it is that it finally comes out. I think there's more there than we know
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Old 01-20-2022, 01:44 PM   #11
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He's always had a touch of depression in a lot of his lyrics. It's part of why I'm very interested in the autobiography, whenever it is that it finally comes out. I think there's more there than we know


Bono get shit on a lot, often unfairly by cynical jerks, and has for his entire career.

It can’t not have affected him.

Granted, he’s achieved many things upon which to build a healthy self-regard.
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Old 01-20-2022, 02:17 PM   #12
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He's always had a touch of depression in a lot of his lyrics. It's part of why I'm very interested in the autobiography, whenever it is that it finally comes out. I think there's more there than we know
Completely agree. I may have overreacted a bit in my original post but some lyrics really struck me last night. I was re watching the BBC special and 13, in particular, stood out and really sold on that theme.
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Old 01-20-2022, 07:18 PM   #13
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I think there's more there than we know
Don't get Leo's hopes up.
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Old 01-21-2022, 01:10 AM   #14
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Little Things is a great song. So of course they resigned it to the scrap heap in favour of their really shit songs live.
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Old 01-21-2022, 03:50 AM   #15
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He's always had a touch of depression in a lot of his lyrics. It's part of why I'm very interested in the autobiography, whenever it is that it finally comes out. I think there's more there than we know
Absolutely! It's been there from the beginning and I'd be very interested to see it expanded upon if he so chooses in that autobiography.

I do feel that SOE is more of a commentary, directly and personally, on mental health and depression specifically than anything before it.

It stood out to me immediately at first listen. Showman, Little Things, 13. Best Thing "when you look so good the pain in your face doesn't show," of course, but also the video. Getting lost in the lights and bustle of NYC as a way of escaping those feelings for a little bit. At least that's how I interpreted it. "Blackout" is political, sure, but also personal and to me, could be someone desperately attempting to learn to claw oneself back from the darkness. "Learn to see....." Dealing with the lows, learning what works as a coping strategy, etc, etc.

In fact, the run from The Showman through to 13 could be seen as a long narrative on the topic. The facade we put up (showman) What it feels like at its lowest points (little things). The loved ones who we come back to for comfort and support (landlady). Finding one's way back from the darkness and/or learning to live with it (blackout). Reminding ourselves and others that life is finite, but love is forever and transcends all (love is bigger). Accepting the darkness and your attempts to work through it and advising others that there's always a light. Even when it appears hopeless (13).

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Bono get shit on a lot, often unfairly by cynical jerks, and has for his entire career.

It can’t not have affected him.

Granted, he’s achieved many things upon which to build a healthy self-regard.
For sure.

I don't know anyone who is more misunderstood or shit on more unfairly.

At this point, it's just a cheap and predictable way for commentators and critics to score points.

Did you see the recent Guardian article on the "I can't stand our songs" comments?! They blew the entire thing up into tax evasion, Bono thinking Africa needs him and other rich celebrities to "save it" on and on and on.

I thought the comments he made were stupid. I mean, we all know he's said similar before because we're super fans. We all know what he means by them. But this was not the time to make them again. In this environment.

I get that he doesn't like the way he sounded when he was 20. Enough already, though. Never mind Vertigo. I rate it way higher than most here. It's not quite BD, but I happen to think it was their last hit for a damn good reason. If Bono can go back and listen to NYD then Get out of your own way next and honestly tell us he hates NYD, I don't know what to tell him.

Anyways, I digress. Point is, I was pissed at him when he made the comments a few days ago. I read that Guardian article and then did a 180. I was pissed at THEM and felt bad for Bono. Why? Because there is this over-the-top vitriol every time he opens his mouth. That to me, is way more off putting than anything Bono says or does.

It's just disappointing and sad. I'll never lose sleep over it as Bono will be the first to tell you his life is way better than he or anyone else ever dreamed it would be. You and I have a hell of a lot more to worry about than he ever will. I'd just like fairness. It's quite noticeable how the people in pop culture/media who actually interact with Bono and U2 as a whole on the regular absolutely love them. Kimmell, Fallon, etc. Ditto for anyone who has ever met Bono. I met him back in 2009 when I worked concert security.

Much more importantly, I met many people in the industry who have known him over the years and they all confirmed my impression of the man from our brief conversation was accurate. Polite, humble, down to Earth and thoughtful. I was standing at a back door to the Somerville Theater. It was 38 degrees and heavy mist.

About the worst possible weather. When Bono exited the Suburban, my first image of him was walking through a sea of cops and shaking every hand. He then specifically noticed and greeted various Boston industry people who were there waiting. LiveNation all the way down to radio stations. Then he must've signed for all 100 or so fans waiting at the barricades because he was out of my site for an hour before coming inside. Edge and Adam joined him for a while.

I didn't see that from anyone else over 5 years in that job. And you can name the big act that toured from 2006-2011 and I likely saw or met them.
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Old 01-21-2022, 05:55 AM   #16
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I think it's more of a rumination on one's own mortality and aging which, for some, can be awfully depressing.
I think its this, but turned up to 11 given his recent health scare and the other issues he's had over the last while.
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Old 01-21-2022, 08:01 AM   #17
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i never thought Blackout was political. People just assumed that because of the quote about going back to rewrite things based on the US election and the "democracy is flat on its back" line.

i actually think Blackout specifically addresses the aftermath of the SOI release - from the backlash from the iTunes debacle (which had to hurt when SOI was such a personal record lyrically) to the bike crash.

think of the song in that vein and then go back and re-read the lyrics.
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Old 01-21-2022, 11:18 AM   #18
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i never thought Blackout was political. People just assumed that because of the quote about going back to rewrite things based on the US election and the "democracy is flat on its back" line.

i actually think Blackout specifically addresses the aftermath of the SOI release - from the backlash from the iTunes debacle (which had to hurt when SOI was such a personal record lyrically) to the bike crash.

think of the song in that vein and then go back and re-read the lyrics.


The last-minute shoehorning BS replaced what was probably a more interesting personal lyric. Meanwhile, while the vocals on the change in Little Things (from “tasks are so thankless” to “thoughts are so wreckless”) stick out like a sore thumb, the lyric itself was an improvement.
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Old 01-21-2022, 11:41 AM   #19
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The last-minute shoehorning BS replaced what was probably a more interesting personal lyric. Meanwhile, while the vocals on the change in Little Things (from “tasks are so thankless” to “thoughts are so wreckless”) stick out like a sore thumb, the lyric itself was an improvement.
i don't necessarily think the democracy in Blackout is political. there is also democracy within a band - especially one that has prided itself on having each member have an equal say, equal cut, etc.

i think the political shoehorning was limited to Get Out and American Soul.
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Old 01-21-2022, 11:59 AM   #20
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Certainly makes me depressed when listening to it.
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