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Old 12-22-2004, 01:30 AM   #1
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What really makes this album great - uncontrived heart pumping, blood flowing emotion

Just thinking about why this album is working so well for so many people. Not just old fans but new as well, and in the charts.

I was expecting something a bit more anti-war or aggressively political. But if that wasn't what was coming out musically and lyrically then it is a damn good job U2 didn't try to contrive it. The only area where this might be occuring is Crumbs and that's why it elicits a mixed response from fans round here. It does sound a bit like four guys sat around drunk one night saying ok we'd better get one out about churches and Africa.

The truly great stuff - Sometimes, Miracle Drug (which could of course be about Africa), Original of The Species, All Because of You, and One Step Closer are great because they are so personal. I don't imagine any record label exec/manager saying to Eminem/BritneySpears/a Simpson girl/Justin Timberlake or whoever go ahead and sing a song about your guitarists daughter your god-daughter (even if they had real guitarists) or how about singing a song about the handicapped kid in your school. If they did then it would likely be sickly sweet.

U2 pull this off though. I think one of their great strengths as they mature into their late 40s, and hopefully early 50s, is that they can sing about these kind of topics without sounding corny. And the reason they don't sound corny is because they've lived it. There are some great voices out there now - e.g. Joss Stone the teenage soul singer or Norah Jones - amazing voices. But sometimes they leave me a bit cold. It is like the passion or emotion they put into a song is contrived. I can't help feeling that someone so young can't really have the depth of feeling and experience needed to sing from a true place about some of these topics. And when you hear some of the current major albums the tone throughout sounds in some way the same - the passion used to sing about breaking up with their girl/boyfriend whilst being strong matches the intensity used to describe a trip to the shops - a bit over the top you know.

Of course it also helps greatly writing your own lyrics. I like U2s lyrics so much on this album because they articulate real feelings I have and haven't even consciously realised I had whether it be parts of Sometimes, Oots or One Step Closer.

End of babble.
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Old 12-22-2004, 08:17 AM   #2
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I've said it before and i'll say it again
"this album is fuckin' ace".25 years on and they can still do the business,god i'll miss them when the're gone
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Old 12-22-2004, 02:16 PM   #3
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paulrg I love your post! I totally agree with you and its so great to read an honest and open response to the album without feeling the need to compare it to past ones, rate each song and compare it track by track to songs on another album!
I think that people are looking at their age and saying that it must be the last album, the last tour etc. Why should it? They just keep getting better and better BECAUSE of the experience they bring. This is an amazing album. I'm so excited about the tour and the fact that Bono is talking about the next album in 2006!
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