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Old 10-06-2021, 07:38 PM   #21
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They've been running away from that trying to "Rawk" which is ridiculous to begin with because they've never "Rawked" in the first place.
I like to think that in an alternate universe, they got Mutt Lange to produce The Unforgettable Fire, and that universe's U2 got all the rawk. Closest we got is HMTMKMKM, which definitely fucking rocks.

As for the Sing 2 song, something like The Showman would probably be perfect. I like that song (just like I like Wild Honey), and would like to see them embrace and hone that bouncy, exuberant kind of pop rock, if they insist on both popping and rocking.

B&E think they're better at writing pop songs than they actually are.
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Old 10-07-2021, 08:44 AM   #22
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I honestly had little issue with the style of SOE. My issue was the quasi-laziness of reusing parts of SOI (I get it - it was a companion album, but it was released way too long after SOI, and they didn't lean into the idea that it was a companion album, likely because they didn't want to draw attention to the whole apple thing).

More than anything it was the selection of what to promote. There was plenty of actual "songs of experience", but they went with the vapid "pop crossover' singles instead of the songs that actually fit their age.

The only one they released that was age appropriate was Love Is Bigger Than Anything In It's Way.
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Old 10-07-2021, 10:01 AM   #23
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What about the laziness of having several other random people playing guitar instead of Edge on the album?

I agree that the single choices (aside from Blackout) were the biggest errors, but this one also had too many cooks in the kitchen.
 
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Old 10-07-2021, 10:50 AM   #24
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I really like SOE, but it definitely hasn't stuck with me the same way that SOI has. Raised By Wolves, The Troubles, EBW, the glorious Sleep Like A Baby, Reach, hell even Volcano are all songs that feel right with their age and position. Miracle would make a fine album cut, but shouldn't have been the lead single.

SOE... I get the construct. Bono writing "letters" to his wife, son, daughter, maybe themselves... So there is a narrative quality that you sort of have to understand to appreciate most of the songs. Obviously Love is All, Lights of Home, Little Things, 13, Love is Bigger (that's a lot of love, sigh) Landlady, Red Flag Day all fit into that box. and are strong songs.
I like Best Thing, I think it's a well done pop song. And Summer of Love (oy more love) but not exactly sure it follows the narrative. Get Out would have been better without the political stuff shoved in, but is just a boring song.

This is where SOE falters. There are songs on it that just don't fit like American Soul and The Blackout. I like the latter, but just is miles off from the vibe of the rest of the album. It feels shoehorned in. The Showman I just downright don't like. SOE could have, and IMO should have been a more meditative album from start to finish.

U2's best albums have always had an "atmosphere." Not referring to atmospheric, but a feeling that permeates through the entire album. UF, AB, Zooropa, JT, War, etc... Somewhat with POP. SOI gets really close as well.

They run into trouble when they have these songs that just veer off. Obviously this is most apparent with No Line. A tremendous album that was just wrecked by three songs. And the funny thing is, lots of U2 albums have 3 or 4 bad songs. But it doesn't take down the whole album if those weak songs still feel like they fit into the albums atmosphere.

Then they also run into trouble when they release lead singles that don't represent the album. POP, SOE, somewhat SOI, and obviously No Line.
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Old 10-07-2021, 01:16 PM   #25
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What about the laziness of having several other random people playing guitar instead of Edge on the album?



I agree that the single choices (aside from Blackout) were the biggest errors, but this one also had too many cooks in the kitchen.
 
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Well, yes - it was sad that the most interesting guitar parts on the album were written by One Republic and Haim.

Alas - that's not as high on my list of grievances largely because I actually like both of those songs.
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Old 10-07-2021, 01:23 PM   #26
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I really like SOE, but it definitely hasn't stuck with me the same way that SOI has. Raised By Wolves, The Troubles, EBW, the glorious Sleep Like A Baby, Reach, hell even Volcano are all songs that feel right with their age and position. Miracle would make a fine album cut, but shouldn't have been the lead single.



SOE... I get the construct. Bono writing "letters" to his wife, son, daughter, maybe themselves... So there is a narrative quality that you sort of have to understand to appreciate most of the songs. Obviously Love is All, Lights of Home, Little Things, 13, Love is Bigger (that's a lot of love, sigh) Landlady, Red Flag Day all fit into that box. and are strong songs.

I like Best Thing, I think it's a well done pop song. And Summer of Love (oy more love) but not exactly sure it follows the narrative. Get Out would have been better without the political stuff shoved in, but is just a boring song.



This is where SOE falters. There are songs on it that just don't fit like American Soul and The Blackout. I like the latter, but just is miles off from the vibe of the rest of the album. It feels shoehorned in. The Showman I just downright don't like. SOE could have, and IMO should have been a more meditative album from start to finish.



U2's best albums have always had an "atmosphere." Not referring to atmospheric, but a feeling that permeates through the entire album. UF, AB, Zooropa, JT, War, etc... Somewhat with POP. SOI gets really close as well.



They run into trouble when they have these songs that just veer off. Obviously this is most apparent with No Line. A tremendous album that was just wrecked by three songs. And the funny thing is, lots of U2 albums have 3 or 4 bad songs. But it doesn't take down the whole album if those weak songs still feel like they fit into the albums atmosphere.



Then they also run into trouble when they release lead singles that don't represent the album. POP, SOE, somewhat SOI, and obviously No Line.
Honestly it's just Get Out and American Soul.

They're obvious attempts at creating something poppy and mainstream - complete with the rapper du jour bridge between the two songs - and it just failed miserably.

Best Thing? Eh, I can deal with it. Shouldn't have been the lead single, or any single, but it would have made a nice album track.

If one of the above two had to stay it would be Get Out - but NOT as a single or anything that was promoted or given priority placement on the tour setlist. Just as a song.

The rest of the album has a very "we're old now" feel, which is perfectly fine, and they should have just stuck with that instead of trying, again, and failing, again, to be hip and cool with the kids.

The kids don't like you. It's okay. Accept the oldness.
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Old 10-07-2021, 03:34 PM   #27
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Bring back the dark, atmospheric and experimental U2. Get loose of those poppy songs like Love is bigger.../Get out of....
13 There's a light, would be a nice bridge to that new atmospheric album.
More examples of songs that are in that category: Tomorrow, Drowning Man, Heartland, Unforgettable Fire, Exit, Deep in the heart, Until the end of the world, Gone, Zooropa, Lemon, Velvet dress, Every Breaking wave (album version), Winter, White as snow, Your blue room and ...yes Mercy!!!
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Old 10-07-2021, 05:51 PM   #28
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In fake U2 news the Unforgettable Fire will be on the premier episode of Clash of the Cover Bands next Wednesday on E!
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Old 10-07-2021, 07:57 PM   #29
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Bring back the dark, atmospheric and experimental U2.
I’m convinced that if they spent their final years as a band making weird, dark, artsy records people would go nuts and they’d win the awards and adoration they crave. Might be time to uncouple album and tour concepts again and let them exist on their own.

360 on the streets. Zooropa in the sheets.
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Old 10-08-2021, 02:46 AM   #30
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Edge needs to play guitar. That’s all.

Need riffs. Need atmosphere.

Not a fan of the clean sterile sound that they seem to strive for these days.
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Old 10-08-2021, 08:21 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by wolbersu2 View Post
Bring back the dark, atmospheric and experimental U2. Get loose of those poppy songs like Love is bigger.../Get out of....
13 There's a light, would be a nice bridge to that new atmospheric album.
More examples of songs that are in that category: Tomorrow, Drowning Man, Heartland, Unforgettable Fire, Exit, Deep in the heart, Until the end of the world, Gone, Zooropa, Lemon, Velvet dress, Every Breaking wave (album version), Winter, White as snow, Your blue room and ...yes Mercy!!!
I agree with the sentiment, and most of the songs you list. But I kinda wish people would get over Winter and Mercy. They just aren't that good. I think it's time to admit it.
I'd throw in Love Comes Tumbling, Cedars of Lebanon, Love is Blindness, Wake Up Dead Man, Sleep Like A Baby, or something in the vein of Book of Your Heart would be ok as well.

The expiration date on them doing a "full on rock record" has passed. Would have been cool if they would have done it properly with Bomb, but they most certainly did not. IMO No Line actually rocks more than Bomb, and was more sonically interesting. I think if they could pull off a higher quality No Line, without the horrible attempts at RAWK/POP songs, they could still do it. Some real mature rockers like No Line On The Horizon, Fez, and Magnificent, paired with atmospheric stripped down moments like Cedars, Moment of Surrender, White as Snow.
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Old 10-08-2021, 08:23 AM   #32
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Honestly it's just Get Out and American Soul.

They're obvious attempts at creating something poppy and mainstream - complete with the rapper du jour bridge between the two songs - and it just failed miserably.

Best Thing? Eh, I can deal with it. Shouldn't have been the lead single, or any single, but it would have made a nice album track.

If one of the above two had to stay it would be Get Out - but NOT as a single or anything that was promoted or given priority placement on the tour setlist. Just as a song.

The rest of the album has a very "we're old now" feel, which is perfectly fine, and they should have just stuck with that instead of trying, again, and failing, again, to be hip and cool with the kids.

The kids don't like you. It's okay. Accept the oldness.
Very true. Unfortunately they don't seem to realize that these pop/rawk songs have the same effect that plastic surgery has. Everyone sees it fake and desperate, and it ends up making you look older.
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Old 10-08-2021, 09:00 AM   #33
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Very true. Unfortunately they don't seem to realize that these pop/rawk songs have the same effect that plastic surgery has. Everyone sees it fake and desperate, and it ends up making you look older.
the other thing is - and this may be the hardest hurdle for U2 to get over - i don't think making the "right" decisions on singles and on what tracks to promote will make a huge difference for them at this point.

the "wrong" decisions have a greater negative impact than the positive impact of the "right" decisions.
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Old 10-08-2021, 09:14 AM   #34
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the other thing is - and this may be the hardest hurdle for U2 to get over - i don't think making the "right" decisions on singles and on what tracks to promote will make a huge difference for them at this point.

the "wrong" decisions have a greater negative impact than the positive impact of the "right" decisions.
Definitely true. I know that we put a lot of stock on the apple thing dinging U2's image and standing. But I still say that Discotheque and it's video was the nail in POP's coffin and then to repeat the same identical mistake 12 years later with Boots and it's video is truly just mind-boggling to me. People not actually getting the chance to, or just avoiding listening to the greatness that lies on the rest of those two albums took HUGE chunks of time and standing away from them. And was so easily avoidable. Gone or Staring at The Sun as the first one off POP, and Magnificent off No Line. This is when singles actually mattered. Now with streaming not so much.

Your point is taken on what it means now. Nobody is sitting on the edge of their seat for a new U2 single. I just think that it needs to be a song that represents the feel of the rest of the album. Obviously avoid trying to get to pop radio markets. Hit the adult alternative and rock radio and be happy. Make a full album that holds up in quality and reflects the standing that they have as the elder statesmen. They are only a few that continue to actually try to put out new stuff they want people to hear. I mean, it's down to them and Springsteen, and I guess Green Day, Foo Fighters and Chili Peppers are sort of transitioning to that stage as well.
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Old 10-08-2021, 10:26 AM   #35
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the other thing is - and this may be the hardest hurdle for U2 to get over - i don't think making the "right" decisions on singles and on what tracks to promote will make a huge difference for them at this point.

the "wrong" decisions have a greater negative impact than the positive impact of the "right" decisions.
Very true. But I think The Blackout could still have got into regular rotation on Alt. Rock radio stations like KROQ. I'm not sure what that gets them, but at least less people hear Best Thing and Get Out and roll their eyes.
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Old 10-08-2021, 10:35 AM   #36
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Very true. But I think The Blackout could still have got into regular rotation on Alt. Rock radio stations like KROQ. I'm not sure what that gets them, but at least less people hear Best Thing and Get Out and roll their eyes.
I think the Blackout would have been a cool choice for a first single. Just not for SOE. Nothing else sounds even remotely like it on the album. While I think its a really good song, I almost always forget about it because it is just so out of place on that album.
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Old 10-08-2021, 10:42 AM   #37
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The Blackout is the most ambitious their rhythm section had been in at least 10-15 years. They should have showcased the hell out of it.
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Old 10-08-2021, 10:59 AM   #38
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Since we know that U2 has a "singles" problem. Let's rate their lead single choices from best to worst. It doesn't mean rating the song itself per se. But the appropriateness of that song for its accompanying album, and its overall benefit or detriment to the full release.

For me:

1. With or Without You
2. Beautiful Day
3. Pride
4. New Year's Day
5. Vertigo
6. The Fly
7. Fire
8. Desire
9. A Day Without Me
10. Numb
11. The Best Thing
12. Miracle
13. Discotheque
14. Boots
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Old 10-08-2021, 11:31 AM   #39
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Since we know that U2 has a "singles" problem. Let's rate their lead single choices from best to worst. It doesn't mean rating the song itself per se. But the appropriateness of that song for its accompanying album, and its overall benefit or detriment to the full release.

For me:

1. With or Without You
2. Beautiful Day
3. Pride
4. New Year's Day
5. Vertigo
6. The Fly
7. Fire
8. Desire
9. A Day Without Me
10. Numb
11. The Best Thing
12. Miracle
13. Discotheque
14. Boots
I'd bump Desire up a couple notches. And Discotheque is so fucking good. Even though the US didn't understand it, the quality of the track should bump it up to at least #9 or 10
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Old 10-08-2021, 11:39 AM   #40
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Very true. But I think The Blackout could still have got into regular rotation on Alt. Rock radio stations like KROQ. I'm not sure what that gets them, but at least less people hear Best Thing and Get Out and roll their eyes.
yea i mean - i think at this point of U2's career the single (and general marketing choices) represent the difference between the following scenarios

a) good decisions - the olds get really excited, they get a courtesy invite to a few awards shows for some "aww let's cheer for the old guys" moments, generally good media reaction, they sell a shit ton of tickets (to the olds), interference argues ad nauseum over whether or not they made the right choice

b) bad decisions - the olds go meh, they get mocked in the press, the haters get really loud, they sell a shit ton of tickets (to the olds), interference argues ad nauseum over whether or not they made the right choice
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