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Old 11-24-2004, 11:53 AM   #1
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Negative Reviews are Fascinating

HTDAAB has mostly received positive reviews but the negative ones are both fascinating and instructive.

An example: Several of the reviews that have criticized the album for not being adventurous enough have rapturous things to say about MD, Sometimes and COBL probably the most traditional songs on the album. These same reviews have panned LAPOE and AMAAW, probably the most adventurous sounding tracks on the album.

It's an interesting trap U2 find themselves caught in. If they make a traditional sounding album like HTDAAB they draw heat for playing it safe from a small minority of fans and critics.
If they make an "arty" alternative record they get the living bejezus beaten out of them by most of their fan base and by many critics (Zooropa, Pop and Passengers).

Even the critics who want them to make less mainstream music usually have negative things to say about Pop and Zooropa.

U2 is so big and has such a diverse fanbase that they'll never be able to make everyone happy anymore.

Except for me apparently. When I joined the U2 bandwagon in 1984 they didn't tell me I couldn't like both the traditional songwriting and experimentalism of the band.
Heck, I love Pop and UF. Zooropa and JT. Apparently, I'm insane.
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Old 11-24-2004, 11:56 AM   #2
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Old 11-24-2004, 11:57 AM   #3
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I feel that the neg. reviews are from people who dislike the idea, popularity of U2 first, and let that notion hinder their objectivity. See Pitchfork.com. Poser website. Too cool to embrace anyone, anything over the age of 25.
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Old 11-24-2004, 12:01 PM   #4
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heh, when I became a fan in '01, I never even knew U2 existed in the 80's (wasn't big on music before high school). Anyway, you present an interesting argument. I was reading the Pitchfork review and their main problem with the record was that it was too "safe" and formulaic, yet also maintaining the belief that the last time U2 made a decent record was "Achtung Baby" (which, imo, is one of the band's most commercian outtings). I've come to love all forms of U2
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Old 11-24-2004, 12:01 PM   #5
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A lot of people still hate U2 for the sake of it or because of Bono. Some magazines rise above this - the NME has always reviewed their albums quite fairly regardless of their stance on the band itself.
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Old 11-24-2004, 12:03 PM   #6
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my problem is that I love every u2 album they've ever released, REALLY love each one...it really sucks
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Old 11-24-2004, 12:04 PM   #7
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I came on board as a "hard core" fan with Zooropa. I like every U2 album -- 80's, 90's, 00's. I'm quite happy with their work. So, you are not alone nor insane.
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Old 11-24-2004, 12:06 PM   #8
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I don't care about negative reviews as long as the positive ones are in majority.

I think reviews like Pitchfork or Jim Derogatis' from Chicago Times with the see-through "I hate U2/Bono" agenda have no credibility.
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Old 11-24-2004, 12:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2girl

I think reviews like Pitchfork or Jim Derogatis' from Chicago Times with the see-through "I hate U2/Bono" agenda have no credibility.
I think his comparison that u2 are now the rolling stones might be the worst statement I've ever heard in music. Seriously, it might be.
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Old 11-24-2004, 12:44 PM   #10
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Everyone should know that Jim D. writes music reviews for a paper that us chicagoans fondly call the "scum times" (Sun Times). There you have it.
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Old 11-24-2004, 01:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by EXIT_TO_THE_NORTH
I feel that the neg. reviews are from people who dislike the idea, popularity of U2 first, and let that notion hinder their objectivity. See Pitchfork.com. Poser website. Too cool to embrace anyone, anything over the age of 25.

Bingo! I read that Pitchfork review as well. I think what has happened is that it's become cool to NOT like U2 with that crowd. Like you said, it's viewed as too mainstream or too popular to be cool. now-a-days you have to run a list of obscure bands to be 'cool'. It's almost become their motto to say, "Yeah... I liked U2 through Joshua Tree and now they just suck." I go ape-shit when someone says that to me anymore. It's so typical and predictable of certain people! Drives me nuts! Half of these people weren't out of diapers for Boy and War!

And Bono haters... don't get me started! They talk as if it was a bad thing that he's doing all of this charity for Africa! I literally heard one person call him a 'whore for charity' like it was a sin! The man could win the Nobel Prize and people would talk smack!

Who got me started on this tirade?!
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Old 11-24-2004, 01:47 PM   #12
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Re: Negative Reviews are Fascinating

Quote:
Originally posted by Matthew_Page2000


It's an interesting trap U2 find themselves caught in. If they make a traditional sounding album like HTDAAB they draw heat for playing it safe from a small minority of fans and critics.
If they make an "arty" alternative record they get the living bejezus beaten out of them by most of their fan base and by many critics (Zooropa, Pop and Passengers).

Even the critics who want them to make less mainstream music usually have negative things to say about Pop and Zooropa.

U2 is so big and has such a diverse fanbase that they'll never be able to make everyone happy anymore.

You are so right. They are so big and so loved at this point that people will look for negative things no matter what.

I have to say I was expecting better reviews for this album, the few U2-bashing ones are expected, but many reviews are not that good. This is especially true of the local stuff where I live.

I have no problem with critics being critical, and U2 has to measure up to themselves which is a great challenge. But I can help to notice that most rather negative reviews do not seem to care if the album is actually GOOD or not, but only that U2 have failed to reinvent themselves once again.

I also happen to love every single U2 album, they have been impressively constant in terms of quality IMO.
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Old 11-24-2004, 02:11 PM   #13
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I think that people somehow get it in their heads that they like a particular group or artist. Then, around the fourth or fifth album or something like that, they start to attack everything about the artist. They simultaneously aren't like they used to be and aren't changing enough. Anytime any artist changes a little, everyone says they've sold out, and while this is often true, this charge is often lobbed without anything to back it up. All of my favorite artists went through popularity, then everyone forgot about them or said they'd changed and had lost their talent. You've got that fringe group of fans so obsessed with a certain point in the artist's career that nothing else is ever worth the trouble of listening to. Bob Dylan once said something along the lines of, "People don't liek the new style of music I do, but I could release 'Blonde on Blonde' tomorrow and they'd say it was old-fashioned." It's easy to criticize others, I suppose. I wonder how many critics have presented their art to others...
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Old 11-24-2004, 02:12 PM   #14
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Dead On

Yep, you are dead on. They have so many different factions of fans.. that they are undoubtedly going to piss off one faction or two with every single album or move they make. Fact of life for being around this long. Also, the negative reviews I find funny too. I immediately disregard any review that mentions the iPod or U2's marketing. A review is about the album, the songs... nothing else. You aren't reviewing their marketing campaign, you aren't reviewing their performance on SNL, you aren't reviewing the iPod commercials nor Bono's hair... so don't even mention these things. The "Atomic Dog" review, that was pure, "out to get" writing and hateful at that. I completely disregard it and I think 90% of normal people will too.
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Old 11-24-2004, 02:25 PM   #15
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When you have over 25 years and 400+ songs worth of experience its hard to make EVERYONE happy. so why bother?
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