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Old 08-27-2006, 05:07 PM   #1
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You sometimes just have to fall in love with a different band (no, not a new song!)

I am new to this forum (sort of....well, new again), and I've noticed many people agonizing over the fact that U2 just aren't the same band they were, say, 15 years ago. Some people seem quite depressed over recent output, style, Bono's hair, Bono's weight, U2's recording loacations, U2's principles of late, even how much time they spend in the South of France, and the fact they record there....and the list goes on. I've come up with a solution that some of you may like, or some of you may toss in the garbage.... but it's what I've been doing with U2 lately, and it seems to work quite well:

Fall in love with a different band.

Not a band NOT known as U2. But a different U2. Read this again. Let it sink in, cause its meaning may not be as obvious as you think. U2 are not the same band as they were when they released Achtung Baby, or even The Joshua Tree...or even Passengers. The trick is to like this U2 as a seperate band, as though they are not the same band at all as the one we knew 10 or 15 or 20 or 25 years ago. Because they really aren't. The minute we blanket them with the paradigm mapped out from their previous work, we put them under a set of false expectations, as this is a band that is never the same. We need to love this era of U2 as though we are interested in a band we just heard for the first time a couple years ago.

For example, my favourite U2 existed between 1984 and 1991. I realize that we will never see that band again. Another band I really am beginning to love is the U2 of 2000 to present. It's a band that provides mellow, uplifting guitar soul, in the way mid to latter day Beatles did. I am eager to see what this U2 does next....and what U2 they become a few years from now. It makes it a pretty interesting ride.

The cool part is, they are a "new" band with a stunning back catalogue, and memories of other incarnations of this band. We should all be so lucky to have this kind of new favourite band!

Anyway, hope that helps....and if not, sorry to have wasted your time.
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Old 08-27-2006, 05:14 PM   #2
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I can see your point. While I recognize that they're not making the exact same styles of music that they have in past "eras," I prefer to see each stage as a progression of the last. Each album/stage builds in some way from those that came before it. In even the biggest jump that people talk about---RAH to AB---there are hints of AB/ZooTV in RAH (God Part II anyone?).

For me, I actually appreciate each stage of the band more--including and especially the current stage--after looking at all of the things that brought that stage into existence.
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Old 08-27-2006, 05:34 PM   #3
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Liek Coldplay?
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Old 08-27-2006, 06:02 PM   #4
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Welcome back Michael!

I agree, U2 has changed over the years but they had too. Few bands have the continuous longevity of U2 and even fewer are willing to change. Aerosmith for example has two eras, before & after the Run DMC remake. U2 has reinvented itself many times over much to the chagrin of many of their fans. But they are humans who like anyone else change as they grow older.

If you don't like the present U2 and long for the old U2, oh well, move on. OR as Michael suggests take a different look at the present U2 and appreciate it for what it is.
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Old 08-27-2006, 06:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Canadiens1160
Liek Coldplay?
And KISS?

Quote:
I agree, U2 has changed over the years but they had too. Few bands have the continuous longevity of U2 and even fewer are willing to change. Aerosmith for example has two eras, before & after the Run DMC remake. U2 has reinvented itself many times over much to the chagrin of many of their fans. But they are humans who like anyone else change as they grow older.
KISS has survived over 3 eras but ended the actual KISS era when they went disco for that one year in 1979...Not a great year for them selling out over thousands of fans
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Old 08-27-2006, 11:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by trevster2k
Welcome back Michael!

I agree, U2 has changed over the years but they had too. Few bands have the continuous longevity of U2 and even fewer are willing to change. Aerosmith for example has two eras, before & after the Run DMC remake. U2 has reinvented itself many times over much to the chagrin of many of their fans. But they are humans who like anyone else change as they grow older.

If you don't like the present U2 and long for the old U2, oh well, move on. OR as Michael suggests take a different look at the present U2 and appreciate it for what it is.
Hey, thanks Trevor...I guess the blue crack has got the better of me once again!

I think it's important for any band to change because it's a sign of creatively challenging yourself as an artist. To not change would be to give in to a certain stagnation....and muddy waters aren't the best for your paintbrush...or something like that!

I find it so ironic that many of the people who were into the so called U2 reinvention (ie, "the experimental U2") of the 1990s are the very ones who want them to return to their former sound! Seems to me like it wasn't so much the experimenting they liked, it was more the type of music they were making. Well, that's fine. But I wish more people would either admit it, or even see it for what it is. That way they can come to accept that that particular U2 is no longer around and, if they choose, can get into what U2 is today.
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Old 08-28-2006, 12:58 AM   #7
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I'll agree with you that the U2 of today sounds like an entirely different band. Actually, they sound like another band trying desperately to sound like vintage 80's U2. And failing miserably.
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Old 08-28-2006, 01:09 AM   #8
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Im starting to fall in love with the band that u2 were in the early 80's. Didnt care much for them at first but now im starting to see the light. Kinda nice discovering them while this new band is in between albums. October is the masterpiece that never was. Damned lost lyric book!!!
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Old 08-28-2006, 01:12 AM   #9
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Originally posted by ozeeko
I'll agree with you that the U2 of today sounds like an entirely different band. Actually, they sound like another band trying desperately to sound like vintage 80's U2. And failing miserably.
How can they fail at sounding like themselves?

I think of it as what we wouldve gotten anyway had they not veered off into the whole experimental thing in the 90's.
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Old 08-28-2006, 01:21 AM   #10
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Originally posted by ozeeko
I'll agree with you that the U2 of today sounds like an entirely different band. Actually, they sound like another band trying desperately to sound like vintage 80's U2. And failing miserably.
Ah...well, that's probably why you don't like U2's current music then. You feel it's trying to be like their old stuff. I don't see that at all. To me, the 2000 era U2 is a different animal than the 1980s - completely different. The songwriting is much more classic rock centric now. About the only similarity I see is plugged in guitar, bass, and drums. When I first heard ATYCLB, I had never heard U2 sound like that before. Pop songs ala The Beatles and Otis Redding, et al. No bombast, unlike earlier soul efforts. Traditiional arrangements, with pop hooks. And a completely different Bono - a soul singer. I don't see any similarity to the 1980s, other than Edge's signature sound....but this has always been the case, even on Achtung Baby.
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Old 08-28-2006, 03:42 AM   #11
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I don't get it...do you mean fallin love with a different aspect of U2? Or a different band all together?

And I don't see U2 trying to copy themselves in the 80's. Do you really think that would go through their minds? "We can't think of anything else creative, so we'll just try to recreate the 80's."
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Old 08-28-2006, 04:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by COBL_04
I don't get it...do you mean fallin love with a different aspect of U2? Or a different band all together?
U2 is not the same band as they used to be. So it's like falling in love with a different band altogether. That's the trick with this band. Always has been.
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Old 08-28-2006, 05:40 AM   #13
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i only listen to achtung baby/zooropa/pop/JT/WAR
im getting back into u2 because they are releasing ZOO TV on dvd (those bastards lol)
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Old 08-28-2006, 06:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Michael Griffiths



I find it so ironic that many of the people who were into the so called U2 reinvention (ie, "the experimental U2") of the 1990s are the very ones who want them to return to their former sound! Seems to me like it wasn't so much the experimenting they liked, it was more the type of music they were making. Well, that's fine. But I wish more people would either admit it, or even see it for what it is.
That's very true

still I don't see U2 as an entirely different band now. I view this era the same as any other era in U2's career. Different music and image and all, but it's still Larry, Adam, Bono and Edge. It's still U2, and the things that make U2 great are still there (namely - the music itself).
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Old 08-28-2006, 09:09 AM   #15
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The U2 of today is a no way the same band they were in the 1980's or in the 1990's. The U2 of today is a band that feels comfortable with themselves and with their sound. It's a band that after the derivation through so many styles and songmaking, they're restablishing as the band they want to be.
That's why some folks don't like it.

I agree with the suggestion of falling in love with another band or artist. I often make that when I get tired and put my love to the test about my favourite artists/bands.
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Old 08-28-2006, 09:38 AM   #16
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i will say it now. michael griffiths, i love you.
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Old 08-28-2006, 04:09 PM   #17
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I'm really getting into the Daltons
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Old 08-28-2006, 06:14 PM   #18
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Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
i will say it now. michael griffiths, i love you.
Let's see....

9:38AM.... Monday morning....

Headache, are you drunk?



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Old 08-29-2006, 12:24 AM   #19
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Originally posted by Michael Griffiths

Ah...well, that's probably why you don't like U2's current music then. You feel it's trying to be like their old stuff. I don't see that at all. To me, the 2000 era U2 is a different animal than the 1980s - completely different. The songwriting is much more classic rock centric now. About the only similarity I see is plugged in guitar, bass, and drums. When I first heard ATYCLB, I had never heard U2 sound like that before. Pop songs ala The Beatles and Otis Redding, et al. No bombast, unlike earlier soul efforts. Traditiional arrangements, with pop hooks. And a completely different Bono - a soul singer. I don't see any similarity to the 1980s, other than Edge's signature sound....but this has always been the case, even on Achtung Baby.
You're missing my point. U2 have always changed things up, trying different styles, sometimes doing subtle throwbacks to their earlier work, and right up until now, I believed in (for the most part) every musical choice they have made. October and Zooropa may be world's apart musically, but to me they are both successful products borned out of U2's creative intergity. Even ATYCLB, which has some vintage U2 moments, and more like The Joshua Tree than anything from their 90's output, sounds to me like a band having a great time and, for a change, writing some straightfoward songs that aren't aiming to be too epic or experimental. With their latest offering, however, I don't feel the integrity. I don't feel the sincerity. It sounds like U2 are blatantly trying to recapture their earnest, bombastic 80's image. Where as ATYCLB was a seamless transition into the 21st century and musical maturity, HTDAAB sounds like a bunch of old guys out of touch with themselves and their music, who wrote some songs that were merely "good enough" for today's musical scene, and shoved them thru the "anthemic, earnest U2 of the 80's" fail-safe filter. Every song has Bono in "Savior mode", pleading desperately to the heavens, except maybe "one step closer"- where they put a boring song thru the Zooropa filter, hoping we won't notice the lameness, and "a man and a woman" where I'll admit they ride an original decent groove, until the chorus decides it wants to be a Julio Iglesias song. Coming from the man who wrote lyrics both twisted and beautiful in "With Or Without You", I just can't buy his lyrics to the chorus in this song. "The mysterious distance between a man and a woman" Sorry, but that line to me seems like a cop-out due to the absence of a better idea. After all, I have by this point in my life been able to pick up on differences between the sexes. It's all news to me. And he had something to say initially: "I could never take the chance of loosing love to find romance"..sorta intriguing..but the line that caps it off about men and woman just seems tacked on and actually irrelevant to what came before it. I just went off on a tangent, but I just wanted to get that off my chest.

In closing, besides the two aforementioned songs, everything else is pretty much run-of-the-mill 80's U2, minus the great songwriting. "Vertigo" strives to be a Boy-era pseudopunk song, but saying "hello, hello, hola" when you're in your forties is a lot more pathetic than when you're in your teens (for example, stories for boys' hello hello). They were barely 20, they didn't know any better! That's why it worked!
"Miracle Drug" tries to morph itself into an October song, but the theme behind this song lacks that album's desperation, and comes off pretty contrived and way too "after school special" like.
"Sometimes" starts out like it could be a One contender, until they attempt to inject their 80's bombast thru it. (People made fun of them in the 80s for being larger than life, but that was their thing and they did it well! A song like Pride, where Bono screams his head off, was about something! "Sometimes You Can't" wants to be about something, but the execution is wrong! There's a lack of drama. Instead it's Bono screaming his head off, because he thinks by doing that it will make the song better. I say no! And I believe my thoughts, because I can tell there was a much rawer and interesting song to come out of this. But in the end, it wants the catharsis of a song like Bad, without using the proper built-up of drama that would ultimately earn it.
"Love And Peace" is a U2 Rattle and Hum outtake. And deservedly so, cuz that past U2 would've scrapped this when they realized they had such a hard time playing it. And they do here, it's clunky, lacks groove, and overall a complete mess.
"City Of Blinding Lights", which I've said in the past, is trying to replace "Where The Streets". Ehhhh, i've had enough. I'll probably get slaughtered for "bomb" bashing. Just remember...it's my opinion.
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Old 08-29-2006, 12:55 AM   #20
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I found it easy with ATYCLB. In my opinion, it's a weak U2 album, but as someone else said, there's a real sunniness to it, and even what I would describe as the very weak tracks (eg Elevation) sound like they had a very organic birth. HTDAAB I just can't buy into. It's not about sound or style, definitely not that. I just find it incredibly weak and forced and lacking everything that makes U2, umm, U2. U2 can swing through virtually all styles of music, all range of songs, even a range of quality and 110% hold my attention because no matter what it is it has a distinct U2 spirit running through it. The Bomb is the first album of theirs where I haven't felt that at all, in any track. They sound like a band mimicking U2 (and not because of any throwback sounds). It's a 10/10 pop rock album, a stunning success for any other band, but to me a stunning failure for U2. The songs are completely and totally empty to me. It can be in any shape, style or sound for all I care, just keep the spirit. Don't even compare HTDAAB to 90s albums or 80s albums, just weight it up honestly against ATYCLB and tell me what you really hear between the two. There is a massive distance between the two albums. Either God is dead, they changed the locks, or tried to create him themselves because he never made it into the room on this one. I've tried HTDAAB from every angle, I've really wanted to like it, but it's simply not there for me.
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