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Old 05-22-2002, 07:54 AM   #41
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I'd like U2 to do whatever they want to do no matter what everyone else thinks, "everyone" including the hard-core fans who want them to make a super-experimental album. I may not like the next album, but hey, you gotta allow that possibility if you really want your favourite artists to do whatever they want to do. I don't think much about the idea of them competing with Radiohead; for one thing, I don't find Radiohead's new direction that terribly interesting. I feel that the acclaim it gets has more to do with the brand name rather than the music itself.

I agree that it takes guts to change your sound and be uncompromising, but IMO there's a mirror side to it, too. If say, you wrote this song that you really, really like, but -horror, horror- it sounds too much like your earlier stuff and suddenly you're afraid of being labelled "going backwards" by everyone - wouldn't that fall into the category of self-censorship? And there're also times when experimentation starts to look too much like blatant trend-chasing. I've heard a few people observe that the reason they dislike Zooropa & POP is because they feel that U2 were soooo desperate to make themselves look "cool" and "progressive" (I disagree with that but I can see where they're coming from).

I'd disagree with the observation that ATYCLB is the first U2 album that is only innovative to U2 and not really innovative to the outside world. Each U2 album borrowed -heaps- from the other artists. You can hear other punk and new wave bands in their early stuff; Rattle'n'Hum was a tribute to the roots music; Zooropa and POP were innovative albums for U2 to make, but it's not as if lots of other artists didn't play around with dance and electronic music before them, and IMO often with much more success.

[This message has been edited by Saracene (edited 05-22-2002).]

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Old 05-22-2002, 09:55 AM   #42
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Originally posted by martha:
I want it to ROCK!
Me too! Ala "Bullet The Blue Sky" or "Pride" or "Wire"

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Old 05-22-2002, 10:39 AM   #43
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I'd love to see them do a more experimental album, but ultimately I just want them to do what they want to do. They've always done this (and I have no doubt they will continue to do so) and I've never been disappointed by it.
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Old 05-22-2002, 12:47 PM   #44
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This band has never really disappointed us. With each album they bring us something new, yet something very familar.

I do see them going in a different direction than ATYCLB. Yet I do think there will be some things on the album that may remind us of a song or two from ATYCLB.

I hope U2 keeps true to their word with their saying of "no reverse gears". I also hope that they don't throwaway a excellent song because it may be a little 80ish or 90ish or whatever.

I guess if I have to pick.....I would like something that takes what they do and push the limits. I don't want computer sounds, I would like very interesting arrangements.

i dunno what i want.......except maybe doctorwho. "For his is a butt that won't quit"
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Old 05-22-2002, 01:06 PM   #45
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No experimenting for me. They already went down that road with Zooropa and Pop, and Passengers.

I would LOVE it if the next album would concentrate on the songwriting like ATYCLB.
Musically, i'd like to see more soul stuff like Stuck or In a little while.
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Old 05-22-2002, 01:21 PM   #46
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Depends on what you mean by "experimental".
Seems a lot of folks think that term means "like Pop or Zooropa", but since they already did that they wouldn't be "experimenting" anymore now would they?

It's good to be careful what you wish for so I won't give a blanket vote just for "experimental". I'd be none to happy if they "experimented" with bluegrass
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Old 05-22-2002, 03:16 PM   #47
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I wouldn't mind a darker, spacier sound that rocks in places, similiar to The Ground Beneath Her Feet & Stateless. Those tunes seemed a little more experimental in away than most of the tunes on ATYCLB IMHO. If they replaced Peace On Earth with Stateless, and Grace with TGBHF on ATYCLB, I'd probably say that ATYCLB was my favorite U2 album. ATYCLB does contain some of my favorite U2 songs though. Still, it might be nice to see them push the envelope a little further next time.
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Old 05-22-2002, 03:32 PM   #48
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Originally posted by Lemonboy:
well as long as it rocks my world you can call it what you want!!!

Yes. If it's great and experimental, go for it. If it's great and fairly traditional, that's fine too. But if it's experimental and also sucks, forget it. I'll take good songs over experimenting for the sake of experimenting.

I guess that on balance I would rather have something great and experimental than great and traditional. It would be awesome to have something new that was both wonderful and totally unlike anything we'd previously heard from U2. But I think the "great" is the main part for me. ATYCLB satisfied me in that regard. The fact that it had good, solid, and fairly straightforward songs did not disturb me in the least. Experimentation can be very overrated.

I don't know how other people feel about this, but I would love to hear a whole U2 album that was heavily influenced by Celtic and maybe Arabic sounds. If they feel like they could do that and do it well, I want to hear it.

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After the flood all the colours came out

[This message has been edited by scatteroflight (edited 05-22-2002).]
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Old 05-22-2002, 03:47 PM   #49
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Originally posted by scatteroflight:
But if it's experimental and also sucks, forget it. I'll take good songs over experimenting for the sake of experimenting.

Experimentation can be very overrated.

The way I feel is summed up in her statements here. I really think some of you who are screaming for 'experiments' are Pop fans who do not like the fact that U2 decided that the second statement up there was true and decided to do what they do best. Well I hope they never make that mistake again, and I really hope they would never do it just to say they did or to impress anyone. I hope they do whatever comes to them when they are sitting in the room when God walks through. They should be true to themselves and what they do best and not give a crap if anyone thinks they've done it before.

Right now, consider that U2 are men in their 40's with a well established career and a hard-fought-and-won- back title of best band in the world. They would be complete FOOLS to throw that away by taking some stupid risky chance. If they did that and fell from grace, I would NOT 'admire' them I would think they were lame and blew it. Be careful what you wish for too. They might just 'experiment' with rockrap, teenpop or death metal. Then what would you say?

I agree with Scatteroflight that I would like to hear some Celtic or Irish traditional sounds mixed in with their sounds. The Arabic I don't know, didn't like it when Plant and Page did it.

I was very happy with ATYCLB and think it was the best thing they could have done. Obviously most fans agreed, judging by its success. They say the new album is rocking hard, and that sounds fine with me. U2 are a rock band, and that's what they do best. I want U2 to be U2 and not something they are not just to prove something and impress a very small number of fans. Be yourself guys, because what you are is great. I know what they give us will be wonderful as long as it comes from their hearts and souls.

"I've been all over,
and it's been all over me!"

[This message has been edited by GypsyHeartgirl (edited 05-22-2002).]
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Old 05-23-2002, 04:13 AM   #50
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I'm hoping for a safe album.

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Old 05-23-2002, 01:19 PM   #51
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Can I just say how much Pop, Zooropa + Acthung Baby aren't experimental. They may be innovative, and unique but they aren't experimental. They aren't pushing back any boundaries with what they're doing. They may be making great tunes, and coming up with some awesome sounds, but its not experimenting. The music on All 3 albums is very simple. The sounds may be complicated, but speaking as a musician, on a nuts and blots, down-to-earth, musical scale, what they're are doing is very simple. iof course there more too it than that, but the music is not experimental.

(this is excluding passengers).

There is one song on the Acthung Baby, Zooropa, and Pop which I consider experimental, and that's If You Wear that Velvet Dress.

I personally would not like to see U2 experiment on their next album, because its not what they're about, and its not what they're good out. What they're good out is making wicked songs, with inspired lyrics, beautiful sounds which make kick-arse live songs.

btw, not trying to be snobby here, but I think people who say that the popularity Radiohead's music is due to teh sensationalism of it being experimental just say it because they don't understand the music which Radiohead are trying to make. Fact is, There is much more experimental stuff out there than Radiohead, its just not in the public eye to the same extent. Fact is, Kid-A and Amnesiac is not Rocket-science, its just 5 blokes from Oxford trying to do something a bit different, and not just for the sake of being different.

Watch More TV, ITs your world you can change it, taste is the enemy of art, Every thing you know if wrong, mock the devil, and he will flee from thee
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Old 05-23-2002, 07:41 PM   #52
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I knew I should have written "experimental" in quotation marks.

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Old 05-23-2002, 10:26 PM   #53
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You know Michael, Ive been thinking about the question you proposed for discussion in this thread...and I have to admit I cant come to a conclusion, LOL, because I love ATYCLB, just the way it is. But I have an example of the kind of sound I would love to hear from them in the next album, and its something like Stateless. In fact I think some songs from the Million Dollar Hotel soundtrack, although theyre not U2 songs, can be classified as experimental...and I love them all.
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Old 05-24-2002, 12:57 AM   #54
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Anticipation is a liar.
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Old 05-24-2002, 02:06 AM   #55
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In my opinion, U2 have a style that stays somewhat consistant as they grow with each album. So, whether an album is more "experimental" or more "rock" than others matters little to me. It is the Edge's approach to his guitar. Bono's approach to his lyrics and vocals. Adam and Larry's approach to their instruments. There is a certain formula (like a secret recipe) when U2 decide on a sound. That is what I love about U2's music. Songs like Gone and Please can sound just as beautiful stripped down a la Joshua Tree. Songs like Streets and Bullet can sound just as beautiful with Pop-ish innovation.

It is not their sound that matters.

It is their style.

ps- however, for purposes of this vote, I will vote ROCK!

"Pull the trigger on a rock n' roll nigger bigger than Jesus on a bumper sticker!" -Bono, Bullet the Blue Sky.
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Old 05-24-2002, 03:00 PM   #56
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Brian Eno would be the first person to tell that Complexity does not mean experimental. Because a certain piece of music is simple does not in of itself mean that it is not experimental.
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Old 05-24-2002, 05:29 PM   #57
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You know what Mike, I would like a little bit of both.

Some of the more structured songs are great (Walk On, Elevation, BD), but I have to admit that sometimes songs that sound unfinished have a lot of mystery...and I like trying to figure that out.

I guess you can't really have both but I think that U2 will go a little more experimental just because they don't repeat themselves.
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Old 05-24-2002, 05:38 PM   #58
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Ok, here's the deal. I don't want to put words in anyone's mouth, but i think when the majority of people speak about U2 doing something experimental, we are meaning, experimental for U2, not for all of music in general.

To me, They experimented with atmospheric sounds on UF, some American music with JT (a little), lots of American music, soul and blues with R&H, dance, industrial, techno a bit with AB, more of the same with a bit more atmospheric/minimalist feel on Zooropa, Pop was experimenting of the same nature, ATYCLB a little more experimenting with pop music, and different song writing styles.

So what i'm saying is, i don't think any of us are planning on U2 coming out with some totally new and undiscovered musical experimentation, but they may delve into a territory that they haven't in the past (are there any left?)

And just to add a reply to the Nshaiks radiohead comment, i do think that radiohead got SO much praise for OK Computer that they did head more in strange/experimental direction knowing that this was something that would garner them an even bigger following and more critical acclaim. I don't really hold it against them, other than the fact that i would love to hear more "Bend's type" music, but it's what they do, and i'm sure they enjoy it. Just like Brittany enjoys dancing around in tube tops, she knows that's her bread and butter and i'm sure she enjoys it too.

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Old 05-24-2002, 09:07 PM   #59
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I few clarifications:

By "experimental" I don't mean re-inventing the wheel(s) of music. I simply mean music that comes from somewhere you haven't really been. Maybe this quote by Bono (during the making of ATYCLB) will shed a little light: Paraphrasing: "With our previous records, it always felt like we were pushing something up that mountainside, whereas on this record [ATYCLB], it feels like we're on the other side of the mountain, running after it. It's the easiest record we've ever had to make..."

What I get from this quote, is that ATYCLB was a formulation of everything the band learned up to that point in time -- it was a culmination of the practical side of their musical education, the result of where they had been, a vantage point where they could sit back and understand how and why, musically, they arrived at that particular place (album) in time. That is why, it took the least effort. Nothing terribly new had to be created. Just simple (and mostly outstanding) songcraft.

I also want to reiterate that I do think U2 did experiment on ATYCLB to some extent. They experimented with conventional pop song structure and style -- which is why it doesn't seem very new, because it isn't. When my friend first heard 'Stuck In A Moment', he said he'd sworn he'd heard it before, and I said, "Well, that's probably because you have." There are millions of songs with that type of structure. Thinking off-hand, even the melody of 'Stuck' is similar to at least one song ('People Get Ready' by Curitis Mayfield). But that's really besides the point: U2 experimented with the "pop" song, on ATYCLB -- and that's great. They've done it before, but now they've got a whole album full of them.

My initial point was that in the past, their music sounded experimental, regardless of whether it actually was or not (although I do believe it was). That is because no other band was making "pop" music that sounded quite like that. And that's really the result of where U2 came from, musically -- which was from practically nowhere. They came from an island, and not just in a geographical sense, but also, because of this, in a musical one. (I think isolation may sometimes bring the best art.) They weren't influenced, relatively speaking anyway, from the contemorary music scene of the early 80s. They never sounded like their contemporaries, actually. When new wave and synth key-board music was going huge, U2 came out and declared WAR (so to speak), and the result was a badly needed breath of fresh air in a land of stagnently filled wall-paper music. U2 has always shaken up the musical landscape.

Now, enter ATYCLB. We have an album that doesn't sound like everything else in the mainstream (in terms of songwriting), but sounds like something that was once mainstream -- but not in the 80s, but instead, the 60s and 70s (yet contemporized through its delightful production). And that's not a bad thing. I personally think it's great. I love Van Morrison and Otis Redding and The Beatles, etc. I love them all. I think it's great U2 made an album that tries to pick the favourites and put them all together into a contempory feel. It's also a very U2 record, in that it's emotionally U2, no question. No other band could have made ATYCLB, but U2. (Why do I feel I must defend ATYCLB? -- That's not the point at all.)

Someone said that U2 has never been experimental. It depends which definition you are using. I personally believe that if at anytime you are stretching out into any kind of sound or structure you are unfamiliar with, you are then "experimenting". So, like I said, U2 did experiment on ATYCLB, but not in the same way they usually have. This time, they did so while also reaching back.

Achtung Baby, for example, was, really, not that experimental in terms of songwriting. They're all big pop songs, even 'The Fly' -- which is a HUGE pop song. But the sonics used on that album weren't mainstream at the time. It is, at times, abrasive in a manner that gnaws at the ears -- yet it is within that "gnaw," that the melody detangles in a strangely beautiful way. And that, to me, is experimentation -- creating something you didn't know about out of something you did know about.

I would like the next album to do that, but only if U2 does, too. (And I believe they do.

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Old 05-25-2002, 02:38 AM   #60
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experimetntation, with a kick arse edge

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