New Album Discussion 1 - Songs of..... - Unreasonable guitar album

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They're both awful.

No offense.

I still enjoy The Troubles and Sleep Like a Baby Tonight though.
They're both awful.

No offense.

I still enjoy The Troubles and Sleep Like a Baby Tonight though.
Compared to their 80's and 90's output, for sure. But I would go as far as saying that other songs like Every Breaking Wave, Volcano, Raised By Wolves, Cedarwood Road, and Reach Around are all pretty good when measuring the rest of the post 90's catalog.

The only songs post HTDAAB that reach the heights of those mentioned above for me are NLOTH, MOS, Fez-Being Porn, Little Things, and Lights Of Home (Strings version).
Actually, to piggy back off of my last post, I'm always curious how others here separate U2's catalog. I've always grouped them by separating the 80's/90's and then everything else after.

BUT...recently, I started to group ATYCLB and HTDAAB in the first grouping. Even though there are parts of the latter 2 albums that are trash, in retrospect, I've started to look at those two as part of the larger picture of where U2 was at their creative heights and not overthinking/questioning themselves.

I think NLOTH was the true start of the decline for the band and they have never recovered from an artistic standpoint in which they start with an idea, but are incapable of allowing themselves to fully commit to it, causing delays and poor single choices and choppy albums full of several ideas/themes.

You could potentially even point to HTDAAB as the start of their decline, but they had some huge singles that really cemented their stature at the time. I have my complaints about that album and their were signs of the second guessing already starting to take place but it didn't really rear its ugly head until NLOTH.

This is why I really have zero interest in another U2 album. I'd rather have 1 off singles or EP's at this point. And maybe they should have gone that route much earlier.
I feel like U2s decline coincides with Edge’s lack of “edge” in guitar riffs / playing.

NLOTH had a few moments here and there. SOI meh (see below) and SOE has nothing memorable

Volcano and Reach prob two of his better efforts in the Song Of era.

It’s such shame cause he’s a genius with how simplistic his playing is and the effects. Now i feel like he’s hit George Harrison territory where i honestly can’t even tell he’s playing on the song haha. My view of course….
With a few exceptions, Edge's playing has been for me quite uninspring and unremarkable ever since All That You Can't Leave Behind.

The Ground Beneath Her Feet was the last U2 song I considered to be great.

But they're still a killer live band, and they have 10 very good to great albums (I'm including Passengers), which is one of the highest numbers I can think of among any of the bands I love.
I think All That You Can't Leave Behind was their last truly great album. I love everything about that album, being very cohesive and focused in its themes and music. Atomic Bomb in hindsight is where the decline starts. It could and should have just been a blip ala Rattle & Hum because there's no denying that their smash hit songwriting abilities were still at their peak. The album is scatterbrained and inconsistent - nothing terrible on that album but a good batch of them are merely b-side material.

Unfortunately, that scatterbrained and inconsistent approach kills every album from here on in. And I don't think it's a coincidence that Atomic Bomb is where the habit of 'too many cooks' - i.e. a wide variety of producers - starts to take hold. This ensures every album loses its sonic and lyrical focus.

How a purely led Eno/Lanois collaboration on No Line would have sounded is the biggest 'what if' here. The meditative and sombre atmospheres conjured up in some of these songs were fantastic (Cedars, White As Snow) and what 'big' tunes they had at least contained pulsating Edge soundscapes (Magnificent, No Line). Once Lillywhite and, god forbid, Will.I.Am are brought on board to commercialise and water down the album is when it went wrong. Case in point being Breathe - something which Eno claims had more exotic production and was his 'favourite U2 song' was turned into a bland and cliched 'rawk' music (another habit seen with Miracle, American Soul, Atomic City). It's a shame because underneath that beige guitars, unlike the aforementioned songs, Breathe is actually very good song, but just a poor recording.

I just wish they'd stick with one or two producers and see it through.
I think little things is a good song. But i feel like it’s missing something….more verses / another chorus…..or some instrumental parts to make it a little longer before the big ending.

I don’t really know. Guess I’m left wanting a little more out of it
Boy up and until Rattle & Hum is all driven by inspiration and energy.
Everything after, except maybe Zooropa and that would also have been a dead end to pursue further rather quickly, is still at times inspired but also pretty labored.
It's no coincidence 3 Achtung songs were built out of the same guitar riff. POP was at the same time overproduced and needed another year of work. ATYCLB is equal parts inspired and calculated. Bomb is more calculated than inspired. No Line is heavily labored but saved by enough inspiration. SOI is a bit like POP, but with better songs. SOE is a bit like Bomb.

It says a lot about the band that even though all of that, there is not a bad album there and most of these albums would be highlights in other bands' careers.
They're both awful.

No offense.

I still enjoy The Troubles and Sleep Like a Baby Tonight though.
Why would we be offended? It’s your take, that’s fine. I’m not so insecure that I feel as though everyone has to agree with me, but don’t assume everyone else is so insecure that you having that opinion affects them at all.
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