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

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The news that Lillywhite and Jacknife Lee are steering this makes my heart sink. It's a very safe road, sticking with people they know. Lillywhite's arrival coincided with the sinking of NLOTH and I don't care for HTDAAB at all.

And, while we blame Ryan Tedder (rightly) for the blunt edges of Songs of Experience, it's worth remembering that Lillywhite has a smattering of production credits on that record and that Jacknife Lee steered the following monstrosities:
-- American Soul
-- Landlady
-- Blackout
-- Love is Bigger

Looking back, Danger Mouse was a properly push-the-boundaries-while-staying-close-to-the-mainstream producer, but they seem to have ditched most of his work. I've just listened back to Songs of Innocence for the first time in an age - to my ears, the strengths are concentrated in the tracks where Danger Mouse is the sole producer:
-- Sleep Like a Baby
-- This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now
-- The Troubles
-- Crystal Ballroom (who is advising them that they didn't think this warranted inclusion on the album?!?!)
Actually, 'monstrosity' is a bit harsh for Blackout, but the others I stick by. Love is Bigger is so saccharine, you can feel your teeth rotting as you listen.
 
And that we’ve even had 4 tours (if you count Sphere which I kinda am) in the last 10 years is crazy.
Yes! Crazy and far from something I would have predicted in 2014. Even as someone with high expectations of and faith in them! Even more, if you told me after 2 of those tours, I'd be able to say I saw all of JT and AB performed, I'd have thought you were completely insane!

I honestly don't know what more fans could have reasonably expected from them going back now to around the "Ordinary Love" fall 2013 time period!

Yeah, they only put out 2 albums. So what? As Headache said, most old bands aren't around anymore! They far from spent the decade eating, drinking, sleeping and playing 15 hits in a few markets here and there. I'd also say they would've had at least one, likely two more albums had Bono not had his near-death episode! Ditto for COVID not happening.
 
Actually, 'monstrosity' is a bit harsh for Blackout, but the others I stick by. Love is Bigger is so saccharine, you can feel your teeth rotting as you listen.

The Blackout.... the verses are great, maybe not the lyrics but the overall vibe is cool. And then they self sabotage it with that cut and paste generic chorus with generic lyrics. You can tell that's probably Tedders input there, that cliched 'reach the sky' chorus. 'When the lights go out, throw yourself about'? Give me a break.
 
Yeah, they only put out 2 albums. So what? As Headache said, most old bands aren't around anymore! They far from spent the decade eating, drinking, sleeping and playing 15 hits in a few markets here and there. I'd also say they would've had at least one, likely two more albums had Bono not had his near-death episode! Ditto for COVID not happening.
Last 5 years their activity seems to be especially in the States. According to recording...we've got some lame RSD-releases and streaming stuff, and SOS, they should have released some great deluxe boxsets/JT30 blu ray. Last 5 years are the most dull u2-years to me as I wasn"t been able to get to the Sphere.
But it's personally of course.
 
Lee’s work on the Surrender shows in particular makes me optimistic… and as I’ve said before, Atomic City is very promising - the guitar and bass stuff in particular.

I’d love to see how the dynamic in the studio works these days when they’re not working with someone like Lilywhite, Eno etc. I’m sure the buck stops with them, but there have been some weird artistic decisions taken over the last while.
 
And, while we blame Ryan Tedder (rightly) for the blunt edges of Songs of Experience, it's worth remembering that Lillywhite has a smattering of production credits on that record and that Jacknife Lee steered the following monstrosities:
-- American Soul
-- Landlady
-- Blackout
-- Love is Bigger
Look, I agree with you that Danger Mouse's work stands tall above anyone post-Lanois/Eno, and that Lillywhite and Jackknife do not inspire confidence. But you're not going to get a lot of people here to agree with you that all 4 of those above titles sound bad. I dislike the production on Best Thing and Get Out (both Tedder), and am not a huge fan of American Soul, but I think those other ones all sound great. Love is Bigger isn't nearly as corny or anemic as Origin of the Species (much better in its live incarnation), which is its closest relative.
 
Look, I agree with you that Danger Mouse's work stands tall above anyone post-Lanois/Eno, and that Lillywhite and Jackknife do not inspire confidence. But you're not going to get a lot of people here to agree with you that all 4 of those above titles sound bad. I dislike the production on Best Thing and Get Out (both Tedder), and am not a huge fan of American Soul, but I think those other ones all sound great. Love is Bigger isn't nearly as corny or anemic as Origin of the Species (much better in its live incarnation), which is its closest relative.
Yes, I appreciate the divergence of opinion - and I can understand why people like those songs. But when I listened to SoE yesterday, I was struck by the realisation that I hadn't gone back to these songs at all since 2017. There was just something soulless about them all.

Having said that, I'll paraphrase the Big Lebowski to admit, that's just, like, my opinion man.

I also suspect that the following is true:
The blame for any watering down, or any change in direction, is not Steve Lillywhite's fault whatsoever. It's not even Ryan Tedder's fault.

It's the band's fault. That's it. It's on them. No one else.

Specifically, Edge's creative radar seems to have gone awry since HTDAAB. Where once his creative side outlets were things like the Captive soundtrack and Passengers, since the mid-2000s it's been things like Spiderman and that awful Euro 2020 song.

That's not to say that there haven't been flashes of inspiration in the past two decades (see parts of NLOTH, plus songs like Little Things) but without the counterweight of Eno and Lanois, it seems like the sharpness (deliberate pun) is dulled. Parts of SoS are good, too, but most of it veers into very similar territory. Interesting for a few listens, but largely unmemorable.

And the final thing to say on Edge is that Larry's comments about the band having become a benevolent dictatorship might be the greatest insight into their process that we have. I suspect that Bono and Edge always dominated the song-writing process, but Larry's comment suggests that the route for him and Adam to dissent from the others' vision for U2 has now largely closed.
 
I liked We are the people, Ahimsa and Atomic City. YSSML isn’t high art, but it suited its purpose. There haven’t been any dead stinky songs since American Soul
 
it seems like the 2-to-1 tours-to-albums ratio over the past 15 years is giving the fans what they want: hits, and nostalgia.

i want new music, but i don't think you average casual really cares, and i think they know this. and they also know that most of the die hards are impossible to please (and the rest of us are morally corrupt bootlicking rubes).
 
They’d please everyone by doing 2 (or more) night residencies in the top 10+ markets and properly communicate the plan and stick with it.
Night 1: a handful of new songs and THE HITS. Let them prove their new stuff belongs with/works alongside the classics.
Night 2: slightly larger selection of new songs and deep cuts - only the hardcore care about both, 4 song encore of One, Bad, Streets, 40

Good lord they’d need to learn 40-50 songs but could also finally deliver on the type of setlist plan they had a decade ago.
 
They're just not that sort of live band. Even at the Sphere, Bono announced that they'd be highlighting a different album after the opening Achtung Baby sequence. It was Rattle and Hum 3/4 of the time with some other classic 80s tracks sprinkled in.

Best hope for deep cuts is that they become a regular part of the set (An Cat Dubh / Into the Heart, Zooropa, Acrobat), but them dropping regular surprises night to night or rehearsing two completely different setlists are pretty low.
 
Are their songs that difficult to play ? Edge has an entire studio for effects at his disposal. Larry basically plays the most basic beat for any song now, and with Bram I’d figure you got someone with the energy to be up for it.

Bono has a monitor for the lyrics so it really is quite baffling. They don’t need an elaborate effect for screen etc.

Maybe it’s the rehearsal time they don’t want to commit to
 
Are their songs that difficult to play ? Edge has an entire studio for effects at his disposal. Larry basically plays the most basic beat for any song now, and with Bram I’d figure you got someone with the energy to be up for it.

Bono has a monitor for the lyrics so it really is quite baffling. They don’t need an elaborate effect for screen etc.
So clearly, it's Adam's fault. :LOL:
 
They’d please everyone by doing 2 (or more) night residencies in the top 10+ markets and properly communicate the plan and stick with it.
Night 1: a handful of new songs and THE HITS. Let them prove their new stuff belongs with/works alongside the classics.
Night 2: slightly larger selection of new songs and deep cuts - only the hardcore care about both, 4 song encore of One, Bad, Streets, 40

Good lord they’d need to learn 40-50 songs but could also finally deliver on the type of setlist plan they had a decade ago.
As great as that would be, I just don't ever see it happening with this band. They claimed we'd see it on i/e and it never materialized. Doubt there's any chance that they'll pull it off now that they are 10 years older.
 
Yeah, as a musician, I can confidently say that the static setlists are BS. They always have been. It's really not that hard to pull out a random song from your catalog or have a pool of up to 60-70 songs to play at any given time.
 
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