Author Topic: Has U2 Finally Become Lyrically Bankrupt?  (Read 6495 times)

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Offline striker

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Re: Has U2 Finally Become Lyrically Bankrupt?
« Reply #120 on: February 13, 2013, 07:37:30 AM »
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And right after I posted that, I started listening to "City of Blinding Lights" and rediscovered what a great line "Neon heart, day-glow eyes, city lit by fireflies, they're advertising in the skies for people like us"

Maybe I need to stop spending so much time on this forum. Ironic how my love of U2 has compelled me to come here...where my love of U2 gets torn apart by supercritics.
Yeah, don't lose that innocence.

Jick, do you happen to write songs? I'd like to hear your work if you do.

Offline jick

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Re: Has U2 Finally Become Lyrically Bankrupt?
« Reply #121 on: February 13, 2013, 08:21:44 AM »
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What about Every Breaking Wave, jick? I couldn't help but notice you left it out of your criticism of the new songs.

Every Breaking Wave was not released to the public so it is "unfinished."  That would be tantamount to me criticizing the HTDAAB-era demo of "Mercy".

Meanwhile, Mercy was released in Wide Awake In Europe while North Star was in the Transformers movie.

There is a valid distinction right there.

Cheers,

J

Offline jick

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Re: Has U2 Finally Become Lyrically Bankrupt?
« Reply #122 on: February 13, 2013, 08:24:52 AM »
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And right after I posted that, I started listening to "City of Blinding Lights" and rediscovered what a great line "Neon heart, day-glow eyes, city lit by fireflies, they're advertising in the skies for people like us"

Maybe I need to stop spending so much time on this forum. Ironic how my love of U2 has compelled me to come here...where my love of U2 gets torn apart by supercritics.
Yeah, don't lose that innocence.

Jick, do you happen to write songs? I'd like to hear your work if you do.

I don't write songs, I prefer to listen to songs and critique them. :)

As for the praise of "City Of Blinding Lights", I do love the line "Time won't leave me as I am / Time won't take the boy out of this man."  It is a motto I live by.

Cheers,

J

Offline U2runnr

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Re: Has U2 Finally Become Lyrically Bankrupt?
« Reply #123 on: February 13, 2013, 02:56:03 PM »
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What about Every Breaking Wave, jick? I couldn't help but notice you left it out of your criticism of the new songs.

Every Breaking Wave was not released to the public so it is "unfinished."  That would be tantamount to me criticizing the HTDAAB-era demo of "Mercy".

Meanwhile, Mercy was released in Wide Awake In Europe while North Star was in the Transformers movie.

There is a valid distinction right there.

Cheers,

J
No, it is not a valid distinction. All songs are unfinished as we have heard them.

Offline emalvick

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Re: Has U2 Finally Become Lyrically Bankrupt?
« Reply #124 on: February 13, 2013, 03:05:10 PM »
You know, a lot of the arguments are dependent on the listener, too.  Many who are critical of U2's lyric writing of late are older fans who identify with the lyrics U2 wrote before 2000.  I'm critical of what they write now as much as anyone, but those who really like what U2 have done recently find more meaning and greatness in lyrics than even I do.

A case in point is that I have found HTDAAB a lyrically weak album, yet there are many that think it is quite a strong album. Given some of the metaphors pointed out in other discussions, they would not be bad.  Yet, my instinct is still that they aren't that great. 

It all goes back to U2 trying to stay relevant.  In the process of gaining new fans they are alienating a lot of us older fans who struggle, can't, or even won't identify with their lyrics.

Offline Inishfree

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Re: Has U2 Finally Become Lyrically Bankrupt?
« Reply #125 on: February 13, 2013, 05:23:36 PM »
Love U2, but Bono is not the greatest song writer.  I will run off and hide now.

Offline So Cruel

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Re: Has U2 Finally Become Lyrically Bankrupt?
« Reply #126 on: February 13, 2013, 06:19:43 PM »
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Love U2, but Bono is not the greatest song writer.  I will run off and hide now.

At his best he's right up there, definately not as consistent as greats like Dylan or Springsteen, but his best work can go head to head with anyone.

Offline jick

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Re: Has U2 Finally Become Lyrically Bankrupt?
« Reply #127 on: February 13, 2013, 11:36:00 PM »
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What about Every Breaking Wave, jick? I couldn't help but notice you left it out of your criticism of the new songs.

Every Breaking Wave was not released to the public so it is "unfinished."  That would be tantamount to me criticizing the HTDAAB-era demo of "Mercy".

Meanwhile, Mercy was released in Wide Awake In Europe while North Star was in the Transformers movie.

There is a valid distinction right there.

Cheers,

J
No, it is not a valid distinction. All songs are unfinished as we have heard them.

POP was the only album U2 has declared as "unfinished" in an official publication, U2 By U2.

Hence, I have been more lenient  with it and not too critical of its lyrical shortcomings.  It was actually a very good exercise - lyric-wise - for unfinished U2 work.

It is their more recent direction that makes me question their lyric bank.

Cheers,

J

Offline emalvick

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Re: Has U2 Finally Become Lyrically Bankrupt?
« Reply #128 on: February 14, 2013, 09:08:05 AM »
It seems to me that U2 is better off with lyrics when they are rushed or "unfinished".  Look at early versions to their songs (Native Son) or even rushed or quick albums, Zooropa or Pop.  The lyrics are actually quite good.  I feel like the lack of finishing on Pop only hurt on the basis of production and mixing.  More time probably would have made a cleaner production, but they would possibly have rewritten lyrics for the worse.

Offline So Cruel

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Re: Has U2 Finally Become Lyrically Bankrupt?
« Reply #129 on: February 14, 2013, 02:09:39 PM »
I had No Line on in my car today and had to cringe at some of the awful lyrics in the middle of the album

Everybody needs to cry or needs to spit
Every sweet tooth needs just a little hit
Every beauty needs to go out with an idiot

I'm gonna fall down if I can't stand up for your love

C'mon, ye people ,We're made of stars
C'mon, ye people, Stand up then sit down for your love

You free me from the dark dream
Candy floss, ice cream

That's someone's stuff they're blowing up
We're into growing up


Those are pretty bad, but then you see a song like Moment of Surrender and it shows that Bono still has the ability, he's just not that consistent anymore, or maybe he isn't putting the effort needed.
 

Offline The Exile

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Re: Has U2 Finally Become Lyrically Bankrupt?
« Reply #130 on: February 14, 2013, 02:27:02 PM »
And for as cringeworthy Unknown Caller is, I love the opening line: "I was lost between the midnight and the dawning, in a place or no consequence or company." Best line on the album, and maybe in the decade, to me.

Offline Johnny Feathers

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Re: Has U2 Finally Become Lyrically Bankrupt?
« Reply #131 on: February 14, 2013, 02:32:58 PM »
I will say this: while many folks seem to criticize Bono for going back to the well, I don't think that's really the case.  NLOTH, as much as I loathe the album, was at least, in part, an attempt to write differently, by using the third person POV.  It's something he hadn't really done before, writing "in character", or at least so specifically from a character's point of view.

That said, those lyrics So Cruel mentioned are just abysmal.  One more album like that, and I will happily stop following the band.  Except for reissues, or whatever.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 03:55:24 PM by Johnny Feathers »

Offline So Cruel

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Re: Has U2 Finally Become Lyrically Bankrupt?
« Reply #132 on: February 14, 2013, 02:43:57 PM »
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And for as cringeworthy Unknown Caller is, I love the opening line: "I was lost between the midnight and the dawning, in a place or no consequence or company." Best line on the album, and maybe in the decade, to me.

That is a great opening line, kinda has Led Zeps Kashmir feel to it. To bad the song goes to sh*t with the computer talk chorus.

Offline jick

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Re: Has U2 Finally Become Lyrically Bankrupt?
« Reply #133 on: February 17, 2013, 06:22:10 AM »
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And for as cringeworthy Unknown Caller is, I love the opening line: "I was lost between the midnight and the dawning, in a place or no consequence or company." Best line on the album, and maybe in the decade, to me.

That is a great opening line, kinda has Led Zeps Kashmir feel to it. To bad the song goes to sh*t with the computer talk chorus.

It seems there is a lot of disdain for tech-geek-gadget lyrics.  And I confess that I am one of those not really fond of the computer choruses in Unknown Caller, or the "ATM Machine" in Moment of Surrender.  I have also read elsewhere in this forum a lot of cringing for The Killers' "Here With Me" when the chorus goes "I don't want your picture in my celphone."

Just want to ask, is there any artist our there who has successfully incorporated tech-geek lyrics to a song without making it cringeworthy?

Or is the sentiment here that when artists start getting tech-savvy with their lyrics, it is a sign of being lyrically bankrupt?

Cheers,

J

Offline dirtdrybonesandstone

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Re: Has U2 Finally Become Lyrically Bankrupt?
« Reply #134 on: February 17, 2013, 08:30:25 AM »
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I feel like the lack of finishing on Pop only hurt on the basis of production and mixing.

I thought IGWSHA was great lyrically but had nothing to back it up.    I think this was the biggest 'missed opportunity' for them as a result of being under the gun to finish things up.