However, my favorite quote is when Bono says, "Why is it not like Zoo Station? Why is not like Zooropa? It is not an experimental album. It's an album of songs. That's what we want. We do what we want. Our last album was full of experimentation. This is a different kind of experimentation...it is as easy for me to blow your mind sonically...set off fireworks sonically. U2 can do that all day. We did it in the 90s. We did it our last album a bit. WE'LL DO IT ON THE NEXT ALBUM EVEN MORE. But this is about songs. They are very difficult."
Hmmmm it's interesting....To me, SOI does have many catchy melodies, and some very interesting production. But many of the songs do sound 'pieced' together to me; in other words, great parts but they sound a little cut and paste.
In the interview, Bono talks about wanting to write 'timeless songs, busking songs, songs you'd hear waiting to catch the subway or on a street corner', etc. And I'm trying to think of which U2 songs actually fit this criteria....I don't think that the tunes on SOI meet this but perhaps it's actually the production getting in the way (kind of the opposite of the point he was trying to make).
The first example of a song of that nature that jumped into my head was 'Wonderwall' by Oasis. Simple, I think there are 4 maybe 5 chords in the whole song, with just a simple change in the chorus, but an absolutely timeless song that everyone sings along to - even if just in your head- when you hear it.
I just don't think U2 captured that here and I would love it if they had. I'm thinking maybe a song like 'One', definitely 'Stay' has that quality. But how do you define that quality? Again I think it is a very simple chord progression with a call and response type of melody in the verses and then a soaring chorus hook. And Bono is accurate when he says that's one of the most difficult tasks of all. And that's a hard bar. I mean, think of a song like the Beatles' 'Yesterday' for example - much less of an experimental song than much of their later stuff but timeless and really quite perfect. Or Dylan with 'Blowing in the Wind'. Simplicity yet the lyrics and melodies and progressions in these songs transcend and rise above the chaff to become timeless classics.
And again I say I don't think U2 have achieved that with SOI - even though there are some great hooks, some emotional moments. What do you guys think?