Another example of people over-thinking . . . . . . .miami:
Great post, but you could have stopped right there. What would all these people do with their time if there wasn't an album to over-analyze? Yeah, I know, they would over-analyze everything else about U2. The same thing used to happen at the official Smashing Pumpkins forum. Then, all of a sudden it stopped. Why? Because the forum was removed by the band or someone who works for them. What are all those Smashing Pumpkins fans doing with all that free time?
Over thinking has nothing to do with it. It's listening to the album and discussing it--ostensibly with others who might be interested in doing the same. If you don't hear anything amiss with the album, that's great.
I don't think it's a perfect album, it's a good one and one of the better ones in their canon. But the idea of Bono DM and the edge 'cutting and pasting' is hilarious. 'Edge, do you remember that wee diddy you played on the guitar last week, paste it on to the end of cedarwood wood, see if it works, sure they're in the same key aren't they? Wow, that sounds great, see if we can dig out that bassline Adam played a fortnight ago, that might go well with the guitar part in RBW. Actually, see everything we have stored on the computer, why don't we just hit shuffle and see what comes out'.
My point is, making a coherent song by that method would be very difficult. You might argue lady with a spinning head spawned 3 songs by cutting and pasting, and you'd be right, so I've just contradicted myself mid-flow. Oops. They were great songs though, so maybe cutting and pasting is ok then.
I think people are getting hung up on the phrase "cutting and pasting". First of all, it's not difficult at all to construct a song using that method. Anyone with Garageband can (and likely does) do it. It doesn't require remembering some part that was done weeks ago, although it certainly could involve that. Instead, if you record a single part of a song--say, a guitar line during the first verse--and you know that the rest of the verses will need the same basic guitar part, you can--literally--copy and paste the first performance where you need it for the other verses. The problem with that is the song may start to feel too mechanical or "produced", because things start sounding the same. You miss the little nuances that make each part different, and hence more "human" sounding. To some degree, any artist can do this, and you might not always notice. But--I won't speak for anyone else--the cumulative effect of how SOI is produced, at times, sounds like this to me. Things that sound TOO clean and perfect stop sounding organic and human, and start sounding "produced". Achtung Baby, for sure, is very much "produced", but it still has an organic quality to me.
That's my take. Like I said, if you don't notice anything wrong, then that's great. It might not be anything anyone else notices. And as I've noted, I DO like the album over all. This is just one issue I have with it.