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Old 08-01-2020, 03:45 AM   #981
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I don't know what you mean when you say "Eno's strategy"? What strategy are you talking about?
Eno's strategy going into this album was "more time writing, less time recording". I thought that was a widely-known thing around here. Maybe he was just being lazy and didn't want to put in all the studio time.

So you wind up with these "well-crafted" songs that were never given the time to breathe, or better yet metamorphose into something more interesting. As I said, this is not what the band does at its best but I guess the mainstream crowd digs this kind of thing.

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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.
There's still too many syllables at times in the verses, so I wouldn't call it "locking in perfectly". It's an instant preview into one of Bono's worst 21st century tendencies. Read the lyrics to yourself and tell me some of those couldn't be pared down.

And. The. Reason. That. You. Had. To. Care.

Also, "someone you could lend a hand in return for grace" is a pretty awkward sentence grammatically.

I've also never understood "you love this town/even if it doesn't ring true". What the fuck does that even mean?

I can forgive the occasional concession to a pop gift delivered from above, as you pointed out with The Cure. But Beautiful Day isn't even fit to hold Friday I'm In Love's jockstrap, let alone Just Like Heaven's.
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:49 AM   #982
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I'm with you. I can understand people being upset they went from the transgression of Pop and Popmart to ATYCLB in three, four years. But I think people hate ATYCLB more for what it represents (the tonal and image shift that laid the template for the next 20 years, the fact that it's clearly a record they're proud of and continue to feature prominently in setlists, U2 chasing saccharine hits at the expense of their strengths, that's really well put) than what it actually is, which is, barring a couple of meh tracks, a pretty exceptional pop/rock record with a lot of heart and emotion. I still enjoy Beautiful Day the song. Is it overplayed and the first symptom of a path I wish they'd not taken? Definitely. But when I listen to the song, I'm like, damn, this is fucking genius. Great, simple instrumentation, a universal, thoughtful, uplifting lyrics, a great chorus and a terrific coda.
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:27 AM   #983
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Eno's strategy going into this album was "more time writing, less time recording". I thought that was a widely-known thing around here. Maybe he was just being lazy and didn't want to put in all the studio time.



So you wind up with these "well-crafted" songs that were never given the time to breathe, or better yet metamorphose into something more interesting. As I said, this is not what the band does at its best but I guess the mainstream crowd digs this kind of thing.







There's still too many syllables at times in the verses, so I wouldn't call it "locking in perfectly". It's an instant preview into one of Bono's worst 21st century tendencies. Read the lyrics to yourself and tell me some of those couldn't be pared down.



And. The. Reason. That. You. Had. To. Care.



Also, "someone you could lend a hand in return for grace" is a pretty awkward sentence grammatically.



I've also never understood "you love this town/even if it doesn't ring true". What the fuck does that even mean?



I can forgive the occasional concession to a pop gift delivered from above, as you pointed out with The Cure. But Beautiful Day isn't even fit to hold Friday I'm In Love's jockstrap, let alone Just Like Heaven's.
Maybe it's just my mainstream crowd brain but golly gee I just never found pairing up the days of the week with some fairly simple rhymes to be a lyric of Shakespearean genius.

Good song, tho
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:41 AM   #984
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I've also never understood "you love this town/even if it doesn't ring true". What the fuck does that even mean?
You love your town, your city, your home, even if isn't perfect. That's what I've always got out of it.
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:09 AM   #985
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You love this town
Even if it doesn't ring true
You've been all over
And it's been all over you

I immediately identified with this lyric. I read it as someone who has a love hate relationship with the place grew up. It made you who you are - for better and for worse. You're proud of it, identify with it... and wish it had been something better at the same time.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:42 AM   #986
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I hate to try to defend ATYCLB because it really ranks really low on my list. Overall, I think it's an album that is worse in retrospect than at the time it was released, because we now know that it foretold what came after it. If it was a one-off attempt to capture some ideas that they had at the time, I think most of us would have no problem with it. As a fan of 1990s U2 who got into the band mostly during Zooropa/Pop, it's a greatly disappointing album because it marked the end of their more experimental side (within the constraints of what experimental can mean for the biggest band in the world).

But aside from its place as an inflection point in U2's musical evolution, I can't help thinking that it is an album that inadvertently managed to capture the naiveté of the late-1990s, pre-9/11 optimism. It's almost preserved in amber in that way for me. Call it nostalgia, but I think there's more to it. The crashing of the world order that started with 9/11 made U2's aging process more evident, as well as the inadequacy of Bono's lyricism to reflect the subsequent zeitgeist .

But musically? I would play ATYCLB everyday of the week before I put on SOI or SOE. It's a record that I don't mind having in the background. For all the personal appeal of SOI or SOE, I don't find them interesting in any way. Bono's lyricism does not manage to transcend his personal stories or unearth emotions that I find compelling. ATYCLB's worst moments, like Stuck or Elevation, are nowhere near as bothersome to me as those that came later. And it contains some truly great moments like Kite or When I Look at the World (Walk On's coda ranks up there for me too). I think the production serves the album well, particularly over the much maligned Side B. The drones that kick off the album create a mood that comes back in different spots, like New York or Grace. It's more cohesive than their latter efforts. It's not a terrible Saturday morning record.

On the production, given what we know now, I'm not sure that having the band "write more and record less" is a terrible idea.
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Old 08-01-2020, 11:09 AM   #987
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The only songs on Songs of Innocence that I ever come back to on purpose are Crystal Ballroom, Invisible, The Troubles and occasionally the live cut of Raised By Wolves.

So two B sides and a live track.

And a clear preference for Mr. Brian Burton.

I think the idea that an album is better because they tried and missed the mark is silly. I also think disliking an album or an era because the success of said era made them make bad decisions later on is absurd.

The shifts in tone and experimentation of the 90s was in much a response to the critical backlash of Rattle and Hum as All That You Can't Leave Behind was a response to the reaction to Pop. They all came from the same place - a desire to remain on top. That goal of being the biggest band in the world served them well for a long, long time.

The main issue of the band over the past decade has been an inability to see that their time as a cultural force is over. It lasted longer than most, but it's don, it's never coming back, and for fucks sake stop chasing it. Be comfortable in your old skin. Don't be the old guy at the club.

Regarding style? They've been so diverse that it will be impossible to please everyone. Depending on whether you found them on the 80s, 90s or early 2000s your opinion on their sound will be vastly different.

All I ask is that they stop trying to play to another generation of young people and just be comfortable being them. It's okay to be dad rock to a bunch of young whippersnappers. You're fucking granddads. Accept it.
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:54 PM   #988
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Hear hear man. Well said
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:14 PM   #989
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If U2 wants pop they should sign up with Jack Antonoff.

Otherwise honestly I think they were with the right producer with Danger Mouse.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:15 PM   #990
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Abandoning Danger Mouse at the end of the recording process continues to piss me off to this day.
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:43 PM   #991
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Danger Mouse told Bono that rhyming feel with kneel, soul with hole, and heart with shart all on the same song was a bad idea. He had to go.
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:57 AM   #992
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If U2 wants pop they should sign up with Jack Antonoff.

Otherwise honestly I think they were with the right producer with Danger Mouse.
I've been thinking about this too. Clearly, going for arty, experimental, bold producers like Danger Mouse isn't working for the band. They either burn them out or write over their work.

But Jack Antonoff does seem to have the ability to write and produce big songs that are also more interested or vibrant than the zeitgeist. Lorde's Melodrama was the best pop album of the last decade, and I am a full-throated defender of St. Vincent's Masseduction.

He may be a decent fit for the band. There are two major issues though. 1. Antonoff produces multiple records a year and clearly likes to work fast. U2, as we know, clearly doesn't. 2. There's only so much a producer can do. U2 needs to pick a direction for an album, stick with it and try to find some way to evolve outside of the box they've built around themselves for the last 20 years.
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Old 08-04-2020, 12:35 PM   #993
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Random: The U22/From The Ground Up fan club two-fer is low-key one of the band's best official live releases(I consider them two parts of the same whole), and certainly their best of the 21st century. Also a far superior document of 360 than the Rose Bowl DVD.

First off, the sound quality is absolutely pristine, off-the-charts good. I don't know if it was the equipment they were using to record or the natural outdoor acoustics or what, but it almost feels like I'm there when I put the headphones on.

Second, there's a treasure-trove of non-warhorse goodies here.

You've got uber-rarities like Your Blue Room and Electrical Storm, which were both performed only a handful of times ever, all on this tour, are immortalized here.

I was actually at the Giants Stadium show this recording of YBR was taken from, and I've always felt lucky to have been in one of the few audiences that got it. I think they nailed it.

I know ES has its fans and detractors here, but I really dig this performance. The guitars in the chorus here are piercing, almost like sirens, and are actually sonically more interesting than on the studio versions, which feature more straight-ahead riffage.

Then you have a handful of tracks that are getting their first official release ever:

Ultraviolet(ok, this one was on the Rose Bowl DVD as well, but this is a better performance and better sound quality) - definitive live version imo.

Zooropa - This ended up on the I+E release too, but that was a different version without the guitar parts, played as an extended intro to Streets. This one is better imo(even though it irks me that they omitted the 'I have no religion' verse).

Spanish Eyes - Pretty good performance here. The song was played at the Denver JT show that the R&H footage was culled from, so there's a high-quality version of it on YT, but it was never officially released. This is the first official release, I think.

Scarlet - Great to hear this one, even if the little speech about Aung San Suu Kyi didn't age well.

Then you have a few more that had official releases before but hadn't seen the light of day in a long time:

HMTMKMKM - I absolutely love this version, I think it's much better than the Popmart versions. Monstrous, huge, has that cinematic feel of the studio version. Makes me wonder why they don't play it more. The definitive live version.

TUF - Returned to the stage after a 20+ year absence. Like UV, this was on the Rose Bowl DVD too, but this version is better. Yes, I would've liked to have heard all of the lyrics, but outside of that, they did the song justice.

Love Rescue Me - They hadn't played since Lovetown. I think I actually prefer this version to the studio version.

Finally, this has EBTTRT, which was played for the first time in its original key on that tour, which sort of gave the song new life live. It's great.

As an addendum, they may not be 'goodies' per se, but these are my favorite live versions of COBL/Vertigo, as well as all the NLOTH tracks that are here(in particular it was good to get such a high-quality version of Breathe after it was only available in less-than-stellar quality on the Rose Bowl bonus disc).

Just wanted to give these releases some love.
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Old 08-04-2020, 12:44 PM   #994
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Agreed. I come back to this collection often.
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:03 PM   #995
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where can i get access to it?
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:28 AM   #996
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where can i get access to it?
Fair question - I downloaded it a long time ago from someone here in the Music On The Internet section, and it's been in my iTunes ever since, so I guess I've sort of taken it from granted.

Fortunately, a quick search shows that the whole thing is on YT - somebody put all the tracks in one video roughly in order of how they'd be in a 360 setlist...

Note: You should actually click through to the site, because the description of the video has links to all the individual songs within the video.

Note 2: Love Rescue Me is not listed in the description because it's part of AIWIY. It's at 1:21:28 of the video if you're interested.

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Old 08-05-2020, 11:07 AM   #997
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I just realized the Edge's Picks I have in my iTunes library doesn't include those bonus tracks. I have other bootlegs from the tour but need to get these high quality, curated versions.

It's interesting that the person who posted this YouTube link wove the bonus tracks into the main setlist instead of tacking them on at the end, although wasn't the No Line title track typically in the #2 slot? I wish there was an easier way to excise these separately from the long video.

ETA: this guy posted them all, I believe. Here's the first one, you can search his account yourselves for the others:

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Old 08-05-2020, 09:04 PM   #998
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I've got a present for you all... a bunch of my best mates recreated WOWY. Enjoy.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/128I...sW5WwYY53/view
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Old 08-05-2020, 09:20 PM   #999
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At first I thought it was just a cover and was very concerned with the outfit
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Old 08-05-2020, 09:39 PM   #1000
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That's my girlfriend at 40sec, and throughout, btw. She wears my super cool U2 snapback that I forced a street artist in Paris to create for like 80 Euros. He didn't really get it.
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