Be honest, ATYCLB is not a "great" U2 album and the new U2 album needs to be better - U2 Feedback

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Old 07-06-2004, 04:44 PM   #1
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Be honest, ATYCLB is not a "great" U2 album and the new U2 album needs to be better

That's just my opinion I'm afraid - I don't think ATYCLB is a "great" U2 album.

It just doesn't give me that feeling that the other U2 albums gave me. To me it feels bland and derivative. There's nothing wrong with making a more "commercial" album but to me it isn't what you would call a "great" U2 record.

Maybe I'm disappointed because it was billed as "The Joshua Tree Part II" and really it isn't because the Joshua Tree was a rock album and darker in feeling.

Although Beautiful Day is an anthem it doesn't really give me the same feeling that Streets gives me. It's a good song but to me it's no more than that and not in the same class as Streets etc.

Stuck In a Moment...again a good song, just not a classic like ISHFWILF.

Elevation...My favourite song on ATYCLB because it is a poppy funk kind of rock song.

Walk me it just sounds like WOWY Part II but not as good.

Kite...A good song but it just doesn't give the feeling that Red Hill Mining Town and UTEOTW give me.

In a Little While...A really good song...another of my favourites from the album.

Wild Honey...the less said about this song the better. Summer Rain should have been on the album ahead of this.

Peace on Earth..good song but nothing more.


NY...atmospheric but not as good as the "atmospheric" stuff on UF.

Grace...not that good.

There are some good songs but it isn't a great album with great songs.

War, UF, JT, AB, Zooropa and Pop were classic, great U2 albums either because they had great songs or the songs flowed together to take the listener on a journey or the album was innovative.

I liked Electrical Storm and Hands that Built America because they were still with the back to basics approach but darker and with more emotion.

Hopefully the follow up to ATYCLB will be one of the "great" U2 albums.

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Old 07-06-2004, 05:01 PM   #2
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I think ATYCLB was an album with an agenda, for better or worse, it was an album to gain back the ones who dropped off during the Achtung to Pop years. I think there are some really strong songs on ATYCLB (Beautiful Day, Elevation, In A LIttle While, Kite and SIAM). I think there are songs that could've benefited from a little more work (New York -- while I like the album version alot, I think its inclusion was mainly so they could go ahead with the killer live version -- Walk On - I really, really hate that Barry White talking bit Bono does at the begining, I prefer the single version -- and probably Peace On Earth). There are songs that are good (Wild Honey is kind of what it would've been like if Slow Dancing was included on Zooropa, a little jarring, but pleasantly different. ) and songs that are just there (WILATW and Grace. WILATW sounds so much like a b-side to me, there's no real point to it)

I think they know they have the tally of their fan base up again (which was not meant to sound as sexual as that was typed) which is why they've taken so much time on this one. I think they want it to be as close to perfection as they can get. POP, one of my favorites, probably could have been widely acceptted if U2 gave it the time they felt it needed (I like the unfished aspect of the album, it's like techno-punk, raw and polished at the same time)

So this album will most likely have a total concentration on what they do best -- great song writing, inventive sounds, killer grooves, brilliant production and, more importantly, a kick-ass mustache from The Edge.

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Old 07-06-2004, 05:08 PM   #3
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Well I started becoming a fan after "Beautiful Day" and being a fan of an actor who likes U2. I guess I'm technically too much of newbie to really gague (sp) across the full spectrum of U2's albums, but I like ATYCLB. I don't really get what's wrong with it, certainly nothing that keeps me from listening to it.

"Grace" really speaks to me, but maybe it's because I view the song from a Christian perspective.
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Old 07-06-2004, 05:28 PM   #4
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I think ATYCLB is as strong as a War, Pop, or Unforgettable Fire. Personally, its an alright album but doesn't surpass the albums I mentioned and is pretty below the Joshua Tree and Achtung.

With that said, those two albums are pretty high standards to match and comparing ATYCLB songs to "classic" U2 songs won't help you like ATYCLB more. You've got to approach and look at each song on their own (standing on their own merits) rather than comparing them to classics.
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Old 07-06-2004, 05:45 PM   #5
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Disclaimer: I think ATYCLB is a great album and anything by U2 is going to be better than 99% of what's out there.

Now, that said, ATYCLB is U2's worst album in my opinion. Yes, even Wide Awake In America is better. At times, it feels too commercial, too produced, and too much on the pop side. Three songs stand out to me - Beautiful Day, Walk On, and Kite. Beautiful Day is obviously a U2 anthem, Walk On got butchered in the single version but was amazing on the album and live, and I feel that Kite could have had a better beginning but then really turns into an awesome song. I need to be in the mood for Stuck, otherwise it's just pop, and Elevation and New York aren't exactly the best examples of U2. I typically skip In A Little While and Wild Honey, Peace On Earth isn't much special, When I Look At The World isn't bad but I forget about it a bit, and Grace is beautiful and cops too much undeserved flak. If you have the Australian, British, or Japanese version, ATYCLB is really saved by the inclusion of The Ground Beneath Her Feet, which is an awesome track.

U2 definitely cannot repeat ATYCLB, and I don't think they will. If they do, it will be horribly uncreative, and U2 are not the uncreative sort. This new album will surely be darker and more of a classic than ATYCLB, and I can't wait to hear what they've created. Just a little while longer now ...
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Old 07-06-2004, 07:09 PM   #6
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It's not as good as Boy or AB or JT. It is equal to UF or War or Pop. It is better than October, RH, and Zooropa.
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Old 07-06-2004, 07:41 PM   #7
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One thing I can say, is that once this new album comes out we won't be seeing these threads pop up every's like they are on a timed rotation. At least that's my hope.
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Old 07-06-2004, 10:49 PM   #8
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I like it better than Pop, Zooropa, October or Boy. I don't thikn it deserves all the bashing it gets here.
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Old 07-07-2004, 03:26 AM   #9
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I like it, I think it's among their best albums - maybe not in the vicinity of the JT/AB heights, but it will probably go down as the 3rd most recognised album. It helped regain U2 their status after the less-than-flattering POP and Popmart fiasco in US and I for one was glad to hear an album that focused on songwriting again. A positive and optimistic album, at that - I also like how they tried different music styles on it.

I think BD, Stuck, Walk on (a tad overhyped, but still), Kite and In a little while are all great songs. I enjoy Wild honey, a perfect attempt at pop and a true companion to the '98 version of Sweetest thing and I also like New York.
Elevation has groovy music but the lyrics are a bit odd, Peace on Earth and WILATW seem to lack something to make them great, and I have to be in the mood to listen to Grace.

That said, the album has a odd tracklisting in that it looses the punch after first 7 songs.

*edit* I understand why those who like U2's experimental side - the 90's in particular - don't approve ATYCLB but it wasn't about being experimental anyway. (then again, I don't think U2 ever tried soul like Stuck and IALW and pop like Wild honey and ambiental songs like Grace before)
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Old 07-07-2004, 03:41 AM   #10
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I think from the standpoint of pushing themselves to explore new territory, which is something many of us have come to expect from U2, ATYCLB was a bit of a disappointment. It's a collection of great singles, but I think it is a little over-produced and a little too glossy in spots, and not quite as thematically continuous and linear as some of their past albums. It doesn't quite hold together as an album from beginning to end as well as AB, Zooropa, or even Pop, but there is plenty to like in it.

That said, despite my love for the anthem rockers and expertly crafted pop songs in U2's catalogue, I've always been drawn to the experimental side of U2, the side of U2 that did what they wanted regardless of whether it won them new fans or lost them old ones. I don't really hear that experimentation in ATYCLB, and to be quite honest, I really miss it. I miss the blindsides like The Fly, Numb and Mofo, that catch you completely off guard and leave you in a sense of....vertigo (hehehe, I had to work that in). I miss that edginess that was inherent in AB through Pop, that rawness that had nothing to do with "the sound of four guys playing in a room" but everything to do with pushing the boundaries and letting things get a little messy if it feels right.

ATYCLB is tidy. I think we need a little mess.
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Old 07-07-2004, 03:41 AM   #11
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no ma'am, "pop" is above and beyond "all that"!
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Old 07-07-2004, 05:52 AM   #12
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with a distance of nearly 4 years since the release of atyclb the dust has settled now giving a clear view on the value album.

1 - atyclb definitely isn't one of the classic u2 albums
2 - the pearls of the album are:
- beautiful day
- stuck in a moment...
- elevation
- walk on
- in a little while
- grace (!)
3 - beautiful day has always grown on me. at first listening i didn't like it at all. the last 30seconds of this song are full of high dynamic play. they're giving it all (...what you don't have...)

4 - they have to deliver a better new album
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Old 07-07-2004, 06:30 AM   #13
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Yep I would agree...ATUCLB is an album with good songs not great songs and just a safe album...

U2 need to release and album that will give you that chill down the spine feeling...just like Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby did for me...

I am hoping this new album will be more experimental when it comes to the sound of Edges guitar and I so desperately want a strong bass sounding song like with or without you to be on this album...

I am also hoping the name of the album will not be Vertigo...Yuk the name Vertigo is too commercial and not very imaginative...U2 need to also have an album cover that DOES NOT have a photo of the band on the front... THey need an album cover that is different and symbolises the U2 passion...

Anyway just my thoughts..
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Old 07-07-2004, 08:23 AM   #14
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don't remember reading anywhere about it being billed as JTII....
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Old 07-07-2004, 10:20 AM   #15
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Originally posted by U2girl
I like it, I think it's among their best albums - maybe not in the vicinity of the JT/AB heights, but it will probably go down as the 3rd most recognised album.

A positive and optimistic album, at that - I also like how they tried different music styles on it.

*edit* I understand why those who like U2's experimental side - the 90's in particular - don't approve ATYCLB but it wasn't about being experimental anyway. (then again, I don't think U2 ever tried soul like Stuck and IALW and pop like Wild honey and ambiental songs like Grace before)
Those are my feelings too ATYCLB is probably my third favorite U2 album.
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Old 07-07-2004, 10:27 AM   #16
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ATYCLB, to me, is a thorn in U2's career.
It's like they decided to adjust to the catastrophic late 90's music MTV era which were characterised by so-called "pop-stars", boy-bands and nu-metal, creating on ATYCLB unimaginative and unoriginal songs with a simple, commercial and radio-friendly song structure.
Verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus. It was over-produced, too clean and polished, without any imagination.
Beautiful Day - it sums up the whole album. Not very creative, with a chorus that is not exactly a masterpiece. Sounds much better live.
Stuck in a Moment - U2 shouldn't sound like this. Great Edge vocals in the end, but again - lack of guitars and too much production so we can't hear the real U2. Still one of the better tracks on the album.
Elevation - A-ha. Every time I watch the Rattle and Hum movie and I see U2 from that period, I can't believe they will in the not so distant future compose a song called Elevation, with the irritating woo-hoo's, dumb lyrics and guitar work which is one of Edge's worst to date. The Tomb Raider mix is slightly better. I think this song is actually great live, but the album mix is terrible. Again, a production that tried too much.
Walk On - my favorite from the album. Fantastic ending, with a great Edge riff(after the "home" part) which should've been explored more. Too bad the chorus is so poppy.
Kite - again, case of bad production. Kite is fantastic in its live versions - a heart-breaking emotional song which can even compare itself to the heights of One. The album version is so lifeless and bland! It's like life was sucked from this song. Larry's drums sound like they're not there.
In a Little While - A funny little song. The ending lasts too much for my taste(how many times do we need to hear "Slow down my beating heart..."?). Great Bono vocals.
Wild Honey - The chorus is catchy, the rest of the song is bad.
Peace on Earth - Now, what is this? Bono's lyrics have gone too far here. Music is sooooooooo uncreative. This should've been buried as a Z-side!
When I Look At the World - To me, this is the most "mysterious" song on the album. I once read Edge's statement about this song, that it was supposed to be a big rock song. That solo in the middle sure feels like it. It's fantastic! But, the rest of the song is mediocre at best. The chorus is again, unimaginative. Vocals at the end are great. So, I think that the clean production of the album ruined this song. More than the others.
New York - A song which resembles the most to a rock song. Love the part when Edge explodes. Shame that Bono sounds so lame. One of my favorites on the album.
Grace - Possibly the worst U2 song ever. Same as "Peace on Earth". Lyrics - BAD, music - WORSE.

ATYCLB Live is actually one of the better U2 albums out there. Walk On, Kite, even Elevation and Beautiful Day are very good. The studio versions of these songs are butchered, they lack energy and strength. But, it is still better than most of the music out there.
I just hope the new album won't be anything like this effort. And that is why I cringe every time I hear these comparations to ATYCLB. The new album has to bring that energy and originality that characterised U2's best albums. It has to bring back the Edge, which efforts on ATYCLB were minimalistic at best(I mean, one real guitar solo in 11 songs?). From experience, I know that U2 weren't repetitive and each album was different from its predecessor. I just hope that will be the case here and that the band won't repeat they're commercial formula they have used here.
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Old 07-07-2004, 10:35 AM   #17
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I honestly prefer listening to ATYCLB to Achtung Baby and Joshua Tree
while I prefer Unforgettable Fire and Zooropa

if I would limit my choice of music to "exploring new sounds" and "rock!!!" (+ an extra !) I probably wouldn't like it but if you're able to take the album for what it is it's nearly perfectly executed
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Old 07-07-2004, 10:56 AM   #18
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Originally posted by Salome
if I would limit my choice of music to "exploring new sounds" and "rock!!!" (+ an extra !)
I'm not one to care if it's 'exploring' or not, if it's good, it's good if it's not, it's not. That's all I care about!

Originally posted by what a bomb!
don't remember reading anywhere about it being billed as JTII....
I don't either. It was never called that, a few people on message boards or mailing lists might have said that, but the band or its promotion never said that. It's NOTHING like JT. I don't know where that came from
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Old 07-07-2004, 02:37 PM   #19
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I guess I'm the odd one b/c I like ATYCLB for most the the reasons people post they dislike it - it's relaxed, sort of even in tone/volume, not so heavy and deep. U2 has so much other stuff for any mood or experience, but sometimes when I'm just driving around or doing chores around the house I'd rather have some simpler, lighter tunes to sing along to.
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Old 07-07-2004, 03:10 PM   #20
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It's nice to see a good discussion amoung U2 fans before we go off into the new album.

ATYCLB, I have to say sits as the UF. Adam Clayton once said the UF needed to be made and I have to say the same for ATYCLB. Its an album full of simple, but very good tunes. U2 brought in Lanios and Eno to make a album with the sound of 4 guys playing in the same room. I think every song on ATYCLB holds its own in some kind of way. I really thought most of the songs really took life when they were played live. Beautiful Day is great live, classic Edge playing. I really look foward to hearing it again (encore song) on the next tour. Bono said they wanted to make an album where you can put it on at a party and turn heads (Poppy sing along songs).

Its not a bad album. IALW, Stuck, and WH are places U2 never been before, which is soul music. So in that since it had elements of experimental tunes from U2, just nothing inovative like AB, Zoo, or Pop. ATYCLB was just a back to basics album with some soulful tunes. It also helped me cope with 9/11l. I nearly cried watching U2 from London play Walk On on the tribute show. For ATYCLB was a light album that turned dark. It changed meanings with Bono's father and 9/11. I find that very unique for an album.

I know for a fact the next U2 album will blow away everyones mind. It will be different from ATYCLB, every U2 album is different and special in its own way.

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