Author Topic: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees  (Read 27281 times)

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Offline The Exile

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U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« on: April 13, 2017, 02:47:28 PM »
Recent developments such as the Kendrick Lamar collab and the JT30 Tour have made me realize how diametrically opposed U2's entire approach is to what I wish it were.

At this stage in the band's career -- with millions of albums sold and a live track record that is second to none -- U2 should not be scouring the music world searching for the hippest acts they can find in order to ingratiate themselves with kids who weren't even born when Beautiful Day came out.

It's beneath them, and they should know it and act like it. They should be way more elitist.

The coolest thing for U2 to do (or, to have been doing) is to continue making daring, artistically challenging music for their fans and touring that music in theaters and other smaller venues. They started out as an underground, hard-to-pigeonhole type of band -- kind of like a secret known to this tribe of die-hard followers. They've had unparalleled success since then, and they should do the respectable thing and naturally recede back into something more subtle and underground.

If they did, people would respect and admire them even if they're not into their music. But in a few days what will happen is a bunch of kids who like rap will be moaning about how these old guys are ruining a song by one of the best rappers out there.

I know, I know: It's too late, and U2 is what it is. But it just depresses me to see them tarnish their legacy by all this hat-in-hand pandering.

</rant>
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 04:21:54 PM by The Exile »



Offline Blueyedboy

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2017, 02:52:24 PM »
Exile, it's not 1997 any longer. Move on.

Offline The Exile

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2017, 02:54:17 PM »
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Exile, it's not 1997 any longer. Move on.

Ironic, as it seems to me that it's U2 who need to be reminded of what year we're in....

Spacejunk69

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2017, 03:00:26 PM »
Couldn't agree more Exile.

monopoly

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2017, 03:08:26 PM »
the JT tour which I will be seeing 3 times is the only thing that gave me a little confusion since it goes against what they've always said but whatever, it's a u2 show and I won't miss it. They did s collaboration with Swiss beatz and Kanye awhile back so it's not completely shocking. I'm just a little worried as to what the song will sound like since I've heard a mix of bad and good songs by lamar. Kygo isn't so much a surprise either since they did work with RedOne but the lyrics were a little schocking since they were so pop.

There was a great interview on another fansite with a guy who got pulled on stage. And he said something that really stuck with me. It was basically that "u2's greatest songs and performances have already been done. The new stuff might not be their greatest but it is definitely good- if not great." And he mentioned how they do it also for the fans
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 03:10:58 PM by monopoly »

Offline two hearts

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2017, 03:09:33 PM »
Absolutely spot on Exile

Offline Blueyedboy

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2017, 03:23:05 PM »
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Exile, it's not 1997 any longer. Move on.

Ironic, as it seems to me that it's U2 who need to be reminded of what year we're in....

But you're a very knowledgeable guy on all things U2 right? This collaboration is a symptom of the bands journey down Relevance Street over the last 20yrs.

Being offended by this as yet unheard track after what has gone before its closing the gate after the horse has bolted.

For what is worth, I think that this move is a pretty bold one by their standards, despite what the output may be.
We consistently ask for a daring U2 who don't worry about the concensus on these forum pages, but then whine about what some unkown bunch of kids will think when they do something out of the ordinary.
Who'd want to be in a rock band!

Offline Messenger

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2017, 03:24:43 PM »
I hope all these posts are not edited if/when it turns out that the Kendrick song is not a horrible embarrassing mistake (though I'm sure some people, fans of both artists and people in general, are convinced it could never be anything but).

Anyway, to me it sounds like Exile is elitist enough for the band and most of their fans too. I completely get that being a lifelong hardcore fan of U2 is a precious thing but it doesn't do anyone any good to be so possessive about it.

Offline an tha

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2017, 03:31:21 PM »
U2 can't help themselves - they have to make grand statements and be 'omnipresent'... it is admirable in one way because of the scale of their ambition but there is a down side.

Ironically it is the desire to be huge and be everything to everyman that brought them to such prominence and fired the engine of their artistic creativity... but for me it is that same desire that has led to the massive drop off in the artistic curve over the last 20 years and it is all related to the fact that art of real intellectual depth does not make it with the masses in the way u2 want and therefore u2 have increasingly moved away from their natural alternative roots and instincts to a safer and more mainstream output in the hope of staying in favour....

The worst thing that ever happened to u2 in my view is ATYCLB being succesful - it convinced the band that was the way forward and they have been chasing the same thing ever since with diminishing returns.

Ironically the moments where they for me have been closest to their brilliant best are the moments where they have stepped away from the middle of the road or stopped trying to make pop rock songs for everyman - but the band are scared stiff of pushing that side of themselves....

Where was SLABT on the last tour? SFS though was there every night.....it says it all.

Whenever I think about an example of what kind of artistic approach I would like to see u2 take I always come back to one or two artists...PJ Harvey and Radiohead being the most relevant.

They may not be getting the 'hits' but they are making music that their fans are spellbound by and is critically acclaimed and it is music that is deep, experimental, mature and often off kilter.

u2 crave and seem to need to be 'huge' - I would argue a huge portion of their fan base crave the same thing, Joe Public will only like dumbed down u2 now ala Vertigo, Elevation et al - and the band know this - so the safe, MOR incarnation of the band we have nowadays..eager to please and trying to appeal to everyman is here to stay.

It is why they come out with statements like 'we can set off fireworks in the studio, but that is too easy, we want to write songs' (or words to that effect)....which is just a way of justifying writing vapid, uninspired stuff like SFS and not challenging themselves and their audience with something off piste!....People lap it up too talking about 'it is song craft' etc...u2 know this so keep churning it out on auto pilot.

To be fair to them though getting involved with a rapper can be seen as a brave step and an away from the middle of the road step but the question is why take the step - is it because rap and this rapper especially is actually the mainstream now and by being involved with him it is actually u2 again chasing being popular with the masses?

It can't be easy being u2 and choosing the path to take....I personally wonder if they would benefit from just taking the path that their natural instincts takes them on (as i suspect they don't although that is just my opinion) rather than the one i suspect they walk...namely the one that they think will garner the most publicity/sales/adulation/relevance etc.

It is an interesting subject and discussion point though.


« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 03:35:24 PM by an tha »

Offline fardreamer

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2017, 04:17:22 PM »
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Recent developments such as the Kendrick Lamar collab and the JT30 Tour have made me realize how diametrically opposed U2's entire approach is to what I wish it were.

At this stage in the band's career -- with millions of albums sold and a live track record that is second to none -- U2 should not be scouring the music world searching for the hippest acts they can find in order to ingratiate themselves with kids who weren't even born when Beautiful Day came out.

It's beneath them, and they should know it and act like it. They should be way more elitist.

The coolest thing for U2 to do (or, to have been doing) is to continue making daring, artistically challenging music for their fans and touring that music in theaters and other smaller venues. They started out as an underground, hard-to-pigeonhole type of band -- kind of like a secret known to this tribe of die-hard followers. They've had unparalleled success since then, and they should do the respectable thing and naturally recede back into something more subtle and underground.

If they did, people would respect and admire them even if they're not into their music. But in a few days what will happen is a bunch of kids who like rap will be moaning about how these old guys are ruining a song by one of the best rappers out there.

I know, I know: It's too late, and U2 is what it is. But it just depresses me to see them tarnish their legacy by all this hat-in-hand pandering.

</rant>

I tend to agree with pretty much all of this.

It's one of the reasons I loved SOI and all of the controversy surrounding it's release. But then they backed down which was sad.

I like my U2 controversial and in your face.

Offline The Exile

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2017, 04:21:03 PM »
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Exile, it's not 1997 any longer. Move on.

Ironic, as it seems to me that it's U2 who need to be reminded of what year we're in....

But you're a very knowledgeable guy on all things U2 right? This collaboration is a symptom of the bands journey down Relevance Street over the last 20yrs.

Being offended by this as yet unheard track after what has gone before its closing the gate after the horse has bolted.

For what is worth, I think that this move is a pretty bold one by their standards, despite what the output may be.
We consistently ask for a daring U2 who don't worry about the concensus on these forum pages, but then whine about what some unkown bunch of kids will think when they do something out of the ordinary.
Who'd want to be in a rock band!

My post is not the result of "being offended by this [Kendrick Lamar] track," it's about the trajectory the band has been on for years (meaning I agree with you that this is an ongoing problem).

And yeah, I do "consistently ask for a daring U2," but I don't consider it daring to pander to people or team up with whomever is the flavor of the month. What would be daring is making music that they like, and trust that those with sophisticated enough taste will like it too.

U2 should see themselves as 23 year Pappy Van Winkle, but instead they act like Amstel Lite.

Offline The Exile

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2017, 04:29:47 PM »
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... it sounds like Exile is elitist enough for the band and most of their fans too. I completely get that being a lifelong hardcore fan of U2 is a precious thing but it doesn't do anyone any good to be so possessive about it.

Let's not devolve into personal insults.

But yeah, I am an elitist of sorts. I think U2 is better than Coldplay, better than Katy Perry, and better than Fetty Wap. I think they are tarnishing their legacy by desperately pining to be popular. It's like they have PLEASE LIKE US painted across their chests, and it's kinda unseemly.

Like many of us, I have invested the majority of my life (not to mention plenty of money) into my U2 fandom. While I wouldn't say they owe me anything, I can still mourn when I see them collaborate with Wyclef Jean or Missy Elliot.

To anyone outside this forum I am a fierce U2 defender. But this should be a safe place to rant every now and then.

Offline DoYouFeelLoved

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U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2017, 04:41:02 PM »
I agree with Exile's vision, also An Tha has made very good points, so I don't think I can throw in anything more than they've already said.
I'm just very concerned for what would become of their legacy once they call it quits, since they've done a hell of great job to destroy it with bad songs and cringey moves during the last decade...
New generations of rock music fans don't care about them (although this is a complex matter and most likely not even completely due to U2's fault but due to music fans mentality more than anything...)

Being "huge" doesn't grant you the respect of music fans... Same old mistake they've been doing for over 15 years and still going...
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 04:49:01 PM by DoYouFeelLoved »

Offline WookieeWarrior10

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Re: Please, U2, Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2017, 04:51:51 PM »
You're exactly right, Exile. U2 is a 40+ year-old band begging for relevance and not acting their age at all. Songs like Song For Someone are pathetic and sad attempts at hits. Songs that sound immature and childish. Why is that? Because that is the demographic that U2 are trying desperately trying to reach out to-- children. Why they won't wisen up and accept that chart success is pretty much impossible to reach at this point is beyond me.

Look at Radiohead, for example. Mature group that makes music for themselves and their fans. They're smart enough to realize that they won't ever be as popular as they were 15+ years ago and don't even bother themselves with the charts anymore. You can't force yourself to make a certain genre of music and expect success. It's okay to experiment with other genres, like U2 did with club/dance in the 90s, for example, but working strictly from a formula is not going to result in genuine artistic expression. That's why many fans have issue with U2's recent attempts at pop music with tracks like Crazy Tonight, etc... none of it sounds genuine or "real" anymore.

I'm not trying to say that U2 is a band of dumb people. Bono is a very smart man. Edge is a very smart man. Adam and Larry are very smart men. It's time that U2 grew up and embraced this opportunity in life to create music for fun and for themselves. What other bands have existed for such a long time and with the same lineup? Very few of them do stick together, and even fewer continue to make records... even if U2 only make them bidecenially (if that's even a word). Bono and Co. are finically set for life and have no other reasons to create music other than for themselves, fans, and their legacy. In the autumn of their careers, and potentially their lives, why don't they just loosen up and record music for the fun of it? Do you think that Larry started this group with the goal in mind to appease millions of young teenagers? Absolutely not. U2 started this band with the goal in mind to be different and unique. Why did this attitude towards music change so suddenly?

There is nothing genuine to The Best Thing. Nothing feels truly heartfelt about Every Breaking Wave. Even the "emotion-driven" Iris sounds watered-down and weak due to overproduction and overpolish... but that's a different conservation. All of this ties together, doesn't it?

Offline The Exile

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Re: Please, U2, Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2017, 04:57:04 PM »
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Look at Radiohead, for example. Mature group that makes music for themselves and their fans. They're smart enough to realize that they won't ever be as popular as they were 15+ years ago and don't even bother themselves with the charts anymore.

And despite this, at Key Arena the other night they were basically pulled back onstage by the crowd for an unplanned 3rd encore where they played Fake Plastic Trees. It was unreal.