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Old 07-31-2020, 01:14 PM   #961
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Unreleased and Released disc
That ought to cover everything pretty well.
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Old 07-31-2020, 04:28 PM   #962
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shuttlecock XXIV: it's the little swings

I thought the idea that ATYCLB is their worst album was gone after SoI/SoE?

I don’t think it’s great by any means, but certainly like it more than their last two.
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Old 07-31-2020, 04:36 PM   #963
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The last time I listened to ATYCLB I was shocked at how distracting the production/mixing is. Probably even worse than Bomb. Everything seemed to have a super tinny sound to it. Is it just me?
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Old 07-31-2020, 05:00 PM   #964
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ATYCLB is to U2’s catalog as a song is to an album with a story. It’s far more appreciable when you know the whole album. ATYCLB on its own... eh.
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Old 07-31-2020, 05:12 PM   #965
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I thought the idea that ATYCLB is their worst album was gone after SoI/SoE?

I don’t think it’s great by any means, but certainly like it more than their last two.
The last two albums have lower lows, for sure, but they have higher highs. And the same goes for the writing. Some forehead-slapping embarrassments, but the autobiographical elements are more interesting to me than the saccharine platitudes around across most of ATYCLB.

Most importantly, the last two just have more energy.
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Old 07-31-2020, 05:50 PM   #966
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I always thought it was generally the notion that How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb was regarded as worse than All That You Can’t Leave Behind.
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Old 07-31-2020, 05:54 PM   #967
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The last time I listened to ATYCLB I was shocked at how distracting the production/mixing is. Probably even worse than Bomb. Everything seemed to have a super tinny sound to it. Is it just me?
I can kind of understand what you mean about the tinny sound, but it's never been an issue for me. But Bomb is the worst production of their career, easily.

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I thought the idea that ATYCLB is their worst album was gone after SoI/SoE?

I don’t think it’s great by any means, but certainly like it more than their last two.
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Originally Posted by lazarus View Post
The last two albums have lower lows, for sure, but they have higher highs. And the same goes for the writing. Some forehead-slapping embarrassments, but the autobiographical elements are more interesting to me than the saccharine platitudes around across most of ATYCLB.

Most importantly, the last two just have more energy.
I somehow simultaneously agree and disagree with Laz. I don't really get why SOI/SOE aren't held in higher regard here in B&C. The whole second half of SOI, Little Things, Summer Of Love, Landlady, Book Of Your Heart, all some of their best work of the 21st century. There are also low points - American Soul, The Blackout(sorry, not a big fan) - but I generally appreciate those two albums, especially SOI, and it's disappointing to me that a handful of you think they're crap.

That said, I also don't share the negative opinions about ATYCLB. It's some of the warmest, most melodic, most feel-good stuff they've ever written, and it lacks the overcooked quality of Bomb/NLOTH middle 3/American Soul/etc.

And while Laz is right that Bono was using a lot of platitudes in those days, there are also some legitimately good lyrics on the album - the Stuck coda(and if the night runs over etc), all of Kite(except perhaps the last verse), "A man dreams one day to fly" etc from IALW, "When the night is someone else's/and you're trying to get some sleep/when your thoughts are too expensive/to ever want to keep" and "I'm in the waiting room/can't see for the smoke/I think of you and your holy book/while the rest of us choke" from WILATW. I also like New York a lot, though I'm probably in the minority on that.

Musically, I legitimately like every song on the album, except for maybe Peace On Earth(the chorus is good, but it takes too long to get there). Even Wild Honey, silly lyric aside, is such a feel-good melody and warm guitar sound.

I also have always consider TGBHF to be a part of it in spirit, both because it was a bonus track internationally, and because the band originally wanted it on the album(the label didn't want it because it'd already been on the radio and had a video).

I have a huge soft spot for it and get immensely nostalgic about it(I got into U2 in 98 so it was my first 'new' album).
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Old 07-31-2020, 07:01 PM   #968
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Yea I just can't get on board the shit on All That You Can't Leave Behind train in any way.
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:05 PM   #969
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I still return to ATYCLB on a fairly regular basis, but I can't remember the last time I listened to SOI or SOE.

Beautiful Day is one of the best pop/rock singles of the 2000s and Walk On, Kite, New York and When I Look at the World all appeal to me a lot more than their 2010s material. It's not close.
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:16 PM   #970
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shuttlecock XXIV: it's the little swings

Quote:
Originally Posted by LemonMelon View Post
I still return to ATYCLB on a fairly regular basis, but I can't remember the last time I listened to SOI or SOE.

Beautiful Day is one of the best pop/rock singles of the 2000s and Walk On, Kite, New York and When I Look at the World all appeal to me a lot more than their 2010s material. It's not close.


My feelings exactly. It isn’t great by any means compared to their previous output, but it’s a record I have no problem putting on. I can’t say the same about SOI/SOE.
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:37 PM   #971
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I return to New York fairly regularly when I listen to the band. I've always enjoyed the atmosphere of the song.
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:14 PM   #972
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I always thought it was generally the notion that How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb was regarded as worse than All That You Can’t Leave Behind.
Nah that's the one album from the last two decades with a decent number of songs that hold up for me. Perhaps I should say "era" rather than "album" because some of my highlights are not on the record, like Smile or Native Son.

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I thought the idea that ATYCLB is their worst album was gone after SoI/SoE?

I don’t think it’s great by any means, but certainly like it more than their last two.
To be honest I can't even be bothered trying to rank ATYCLB, NLOTH, SOI, and SOE. They're all albums I don't particularly care to hear outside of one or two songs.
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:28 PM   #973
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I return to SOI all the time. I don’t think I ever finished SOE.

I never return to ATYCLB.

I return to NLOTH sometimes.

I literally pick at Bomb like a vulture.
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:33 PM   #974
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SOE is unimpressive in the strictest sense. I listened to it once all the way through when it first came out, threw Summer of Love on a shuffle list, and never felt compelled to go back to the album again. I can't remember how any of the singles went.
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:36 PM   #975
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I still return to ATYCLB on a fairly regular basis, but I can't remember the last time I listened to SOI or SOE.

Beautiful Day is one of the best pop/rock singles of the 2000s and Walk On, Kite, New York and When I Look at the World all appeal to me a lot more than their 2010s material. It's not close.
Agree. Comfortably their best album since Pop for mine.
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:45 PM   #976
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SOE is unimpressive in the strictest sense. I listened to it once all the way through when it first came out, threw Summer of Love on a shuffle list, and never felt compelled to go back to the album again. I can't remember how any of the singles went.


I find it asinine that SOI and SOE are lumped together.
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:49 PM   #977
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I just listened to ATYCLB earlier this week, and as I said, it's a very pleasant listen. I don't think there's a bum track on it in terms of songwriting. But as to El Mel's comment, Beautiful Day is without a doubt my least favorite song on the album. Musically it just comes off as recycled glory days to me, and it's emblematic of the anemic production found on the rest of the album. It doesn't have the stripped down simplicity of Wild Honey or In A Little While, or the gravitas of Walk On, Stuck, Kite, or Peace on Earth, and it's not as fun as Elevation.

Come at me.

Keep in mind this is coming from someone who worshipped Pop and loves every song on there, and found ATYCLB's sonic retreat to be a giant letdown, and even a betrayal to a certain extent. So the fact that I even like the ATYCLB at all is saying something.

It's hard for me to take seriously the opinion of those who are like OMG IT WAS MY FIRST U2 ALBUM I'LL ALWAYS LOVE IT. You don't really have any objective vantage point. And if you think Eno's strategy was a good one, you've lost sight of what this band is at their best.
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Old 07-31-2020, 11:05 PM   #978
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SOE is unimpressive in the strictest sense. I listened to it once all the way through when it first came out, threw Summer of Love on a shuffle list, and never felt compelled to go back to the album again. I can't remember how any of the singles went.

Similar here, I listened to it in full twice after it came out. Haven't since. There are nice moments throughout but not still not compelling enough to drag me back in for further listens.
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Old 07-31-2020, 11:49 PM   #979
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I just listened to ATYCLB earlier this week, and as I said, it's a very pleasant listen. I don't think there's a bum track on it in terms of songwriting. But as to El Mel's comment, Beautiful Day is without a doubt my least favorite song on the album. Musically it just comes off as recycled glory days to me, and it's emblematic of the anemic production found on the rest of the album. It doesn't have the stripped down simplicity of Wild Honey or In A Little While, or the gravitas of Walk On, Stuck, Kite, or Peace on Earth, and it's not as fun as Elevation.

Come at me.

Keep in mind this is coming from someone who worshipped Pop and loves every song on there, and found ATYCLB's sonic retreat to be a giant letdown, and even a betrayal to a certain extent. So the fact that I even like the ATYCLB at all is saying something.

It's hard for me to take seriously the opinion of those who are like OMG IT WAS MY FIRST U2 ALBUM I'LL ALWAYS LOVE IT. You don't really have any objective vantage point. And if you think Eno's strategy was a good one, you've lost sight of what this band is at their best.
I still dig Beautiful Day. Musically, what makes that song for me is the bassline. Edge isn't doing anything particularly interesting, but Adam is. It's still probably Adam's greatest moment of the last 20 years.

I don't know what you mean when you say "Eno's strategy"? What strategy are you talking about?

Calling it a "betrayal" is a bit dramatic.

And if you're referring to me with the underlined, I didn't say it was my first album, I said it was my first new album - I'd already gotten into the whole pre-2000 catalogue before ATYCLB came out. And I'm not saying I'd rank it all that highly - it's middle-of-the-pack for me - I'm just saying I have a soft spot for it.
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:19 AM   #980
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I don't think U2 fans can discuss Beautiful Day objectively anymore. It's been forced on us every gig for 20 years and has been rewritten again and again in that time frame. The song has overshadowed 21st century U2.

But man do I love that song. It has never once sounded forced or desperate to me. All the pieces lock in perfectly like great pop songs, the kind written by specialists in the field, so often do. The lyrics, curiously written in second person, reach out to the listener instead of preaching to them and convey optimism in a very grounded way.

Sure, the production is a little sugary and dated. It's not the most atmospheric or dynamic song instrumentally. But everything just works and flows naturally from one section to the other without feeling boring or static.

U2 was a better band in the Achtung Baby days, sure, but you don't keep a lid on a hit like Beautiful Day. For many people, The Cure was better as a goth rock band, but that doesn't stop Just Like Heaven from being a masterpiece. The problem comes in chasing those songs at the expense of your strengths, like U2 did.
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