Author Topic: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees  (Read 17136 times)

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Offline thunderonthemountain

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #510 on: July 16, 2017, 03:03:38 PM »


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Thunder, you have a well-thought out post.  However, I'm not so sure that Bono doesn't search for songs that touch on his experiences, etc.  I think it just gets harder as you get older to get in touch with that aspect of yourself.  You've come far enough that there are now a lot of distractions:  children, the comforts of your home, hobbies, etc.  But you are certainly right....Bono needs to write for himself and for what makes him happy.  What tattoo do you have on your skin btw?

Yes, Shine, I do imagine those things do play a role as I know all too well, I have a two year old daughter. :-)
I just feel that Bono's songwriting is such a roaring talent, I think nothing external really can silence it, it just seems like they are giving in to their fear of not being heard anymore and are writing for other people.
I am not a "professional fan" and definitely not a music critic, but what attracts me in U2's songs is their ability to put chords and words to feelings we all have, but often keep silent. I have cried many a times alone in my car listening to their albums, and choke halfway through a song. They have given a voice and an outlet to the storm in many of our hearts, and have unknowingly promoted a massive amount of emotional healing too, through their music.
I wish they would tune in to that once again, and tune out the desperation tone which is totally unnecessary.
And Shine, I don't have a tattoo yet, but I have added to my bucket list a trip to Dublin to see all the U2 historical spots, and once I am there I am getting a "Dream Out Loud" tat on my arm. But I was looking at the U2 tattoo project website and there are some amazing ones on there.
And thanks for reading my rambling post. That is the kind of conversation I have in my daydream moments of having a one-on-one chat with Bono alongside a pint of Guinness. Dream out loud, right? :-)

Offline shineinthesummernight

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #511 on: July 16, 2017, 03:12:02 PM »
    I know; it's amazing to me too that Bono is still insecure in many ways.  Perhaps it keeps him in a better place than other artists who are more self-satisfied and content to rest on their laurels? But in some ways, like you said, I think the critics who slam their music have had a bad effect.  He should be banned from reading any journalistic criticism, lol.
    You're right about U2 music having a healing effect.  When I discovered them in '83 at age 21, their music was a wake-up call and a lifeline to me.  They expressed things in their music that I had never heard anywhere else--about faith, doubt, hope, love, etc.  Bono's writing, at its best, is unmatched in its clarity, openness, and depth.

Offline Rising Sun

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #512 on: July 17, 2017, 08:23:36 AM »
Well, it appears we've got some news about U2's next phase:

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Imagine going to see U2 in a stadium, and being moved into a small room before the show. You are surrounded by DJs and music personalities. You’ve all been gathered to listen to some new songs by U2. U2 has invited you to be the first to hear songs from Songs of Experience.

It’s not only your chance to listen to the songs ahead of the rest of the world. It’s also your chance to give feedback on the new material as well. Because the band is right there in the room with you and they want to discuss the new songs with you.

Sounds like a dream right?

Well that’s exactly what has been happening for about a month now. U2 has been having listening sessions for the new album at each stop of the tour. These sessions are for music professionals and members of the music industry. We have heard reports that these sessions have been ongoing since the Philadelphia show on the first leg, and they are continuing in Europe. The band are not playing the entire Songs of Experience album, but reports are they are playing between four and eight songs. In the earliest sessions they played five to six songs, but may have played as many as eight in Toronto. The sessions in Europe have reverted to a smaller number of songs. Timing may play into how many songs are played, as these sessions are taking place right before showtime. The session last night in Rome was attended by The Edge, Adam Clayton and Bono.

“Red Flag Day” has been mentioned as having been played at one of these sessions in North America. “The Light at Home” (perhaps previously known as “The Light”) has been mentioned by The Edge as one of the songs he’s loving on the new album. “American Soul” has been described as a real rocker of a tune. “You’re The Best Thing About Me” is being heard, but it isn’t the remixed version by Kygo, but a more U2 sounding alternate mix.

And remember those lines Bono sang on “XXX” by Kendrick Lamar? There was some confusion as to why it was listed as U2 on that collaboration, when it appeared that only Bono was present on that song with Lamar. It likely the song was initially credited to U2, because the lyrics have been taken from a U2 song, a song that has now been heard in these preview sessions. But we’re told the lyrics are a bit slower on the Kendrick Lamar track than on the actual U2 version.

The first single from the album was originally rumoured for a July release, but is now being confirmed to arrive in eight weeks. The song should be released to radio the first week of September, just as the band starts the third leg of The Joshua Tree 2017 tour. The single will not be “The Little Things that Give You Away,” but appears to be “You’re the Best Thing About Me” based on these current sessions where they are sharing information about the plan for the fall.

The album will follow this year, but not until the end of the year. From previous information shared with us, we expect the release date will be December 1, 2017, which also happens to be World AIDS Day. The band has said they will not release it until the Joshua Tree tour is finished, and the tour is currently scheduled to run until October 22, 2017, so it certainly would not be any earlier than that.

We’ve also been told that the Songs of Experience and Innocence tour is expected to restart next Spring, with ticket sales before Christmas.

Offline Saint1322

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #513 on: July 17, 2017, 12:41:25 PM »
^^^
So basically, the exact same thing myself and other long-time fans have been trying to tell you naysayers. Huh. I guess being old isn't all bad. :)

Offline Johnny Feathers

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #514 on: July 17, 2017, 12:53:49 PM »
This seems as good as any place to post this.  Convenient U2 reference in there, too. 

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Offline 73October

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #515 on: July 17, 2017, 02:44:03 PM »
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Well, it appears we've got some news about U2's next phase:

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Imagine going to see U2 in a stadium, and being moved into a small room before the show. You are surrounded by DJs and music personalities. You’ve all been gathered to listen to some new songs by U2. U2 has invited you to be the first to hear songs from Songs of Experience.

It’s not only your chance to listen to the songs ahead of the rest of the world. It’s also your chance to give feedback on the new material as well. Because the band is right there in the room with you and they want to discuss the new songs with you.

Sounds like a dream right?

Well that’s exactly what has been happening for about a month now. U2 has been having listening sessions for the new album at each stop of the tour. These sessions are for music professionals and members of the music industry. We have heard reports that these sessions have been ongoing since the Philadelphia show on the first leg, and they are continuing in Europe. The band are not playing the entire Songs of Experience album, but reports are they are playing between four and eight songs. In the earliest sessions they played five to six songs, but may have played as many as eight in Toronto. The sessions in Europe have reverted to a smaller number of songs. Timing may play into how many songs are played, as these sessions are taking place right before showtime. The session last night in Rome was attended by The Edge, Adam Clayton and Bono.



Aaarrgghhh!!  My husband is an aspiring radio presenter with his own weekly show on a community radio station.  Thing is, he's a BIG U2 fan.  He won't be what U2 want in their listening parties - particularly as he nabbed a soundbite from Willie which he uses as his intro jingle.  The soundbite was recorded through a chance encounter somewhere in an English field, a couple of weeks before SOI was released.
"I'm Willie Williams and you're listening to Flame Radio" - I kid you not.
Was going to wave to Willie at the end of the show the other week, but was too busy in the lighting tower at the time (sighs).

Should add that he is getting a reputation for airing new 'Christian' music and gets demos sent to him at work (and at home) quite a lot.  Some of the stuff he gets and plays is in what I would call the school of Christian music Bono dislikes (reference: interview with Eugene Peterson) where it's all nice and soft and fluffy.  BUT there is some good new stuff out there by Christian artists.
Sir Joshua Francis is certainly interesting.  Rising Hope - True Identity sounds quite typically Christian to start with but when you hear the guy's story, it's quite inspirational (a Christian pastor living with cancer).
By far and away the best new 'Christian' music that he plays is The Royal Standard with Richard Henry (Johnny Marr's guitar tech) on vox/guitar.  Times are Changing is my personal favourite.
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I shall stop plugging now...

BACK TO U2, please...
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 03:09:38 PM by 73October »

Offline jack@forte

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #516 on: July 17, 2017, 03:12:15 PM »
Just seen this on UK goth band The Mission Facebook page. Shared by Wayne Hussey the lead singer it's a quote by David Sylvian from Eighties synth band Japan. I think many here would agree with the sentiment....

From Wayne: A man after my own heart.....

"There's no desire to alienate. If the work doesn't communicate itself successfully then it's really a failure, in my opinion. But the flipside of that is that you have to be true to the work itself, and some avenues you choose to walk down are just not going to be accessible for everyone, and I accept that. So if I'm working on a piece that is largely experimental and has very little familiar form to it, I know it's going to alienate a certain number of listeners. I've been doing this for a long time now, and the trick is to stay totally engrossed in what it is you're producing so that you follow your instincts. And sometimes that means you take a road that's slightly less travelled musically. I wouldn't want to dilute the work for the sake of making it accessible, because basically you're making the work weaker by diluting it, and you probably won't reach that many more people anyway. You can't second-guess an audience, and I think that's also underestimating the intelligence of your audience, and you might as well just go for it 100% and hope for the best." - David Sylvian

Offline World71R

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #517 on: July 17, 2017, 10:03:29 PM »
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This seems as good as any place to post this.  Convenient U2 reference in there, too. 

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Really good article. I think it sums up 90% of bands that are out there in kind of a light-hearted way and U2 fits into a couple of those (namely the one where U2 gets used an example and the #1 one).

Offline trevgreg

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #518 on: July 17, 2017, 10:29:19 PM »
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Just seen this on UK goth band The Mission Facebook page. Shared by Wayne Hussey the lead singer it's a quote by David Sylvian from Eighties synth band Japan. I think many here would agree with the sentiment....

From Wayne: A man after my own heart.....

"There's no desire to alienate. If the work doesn't communicate itself successfully then it's really a failure, in my opinion. But the flipside of that is that you have to be true to the work itself, and some avenues you choose to walk down are just not going to be accessible for everyone, and I accept that. So if I'm working on a piece that is largely experimental and has very little familiar form to it, I know it's going to alienate a certain number of listeners. I've been doing this for a long time now, and the trick is to stay totally engrossed in what it is you're producing so that you follow your instincts. And sometimes that means you take a road that's slightly less travelled musically. I wouldn't want to dilute the work for the sake of making it accessible, because basically you're making the work weaker by diluting it, and you probably won't reach that many more people anyway. You can't second-guess an audience, and I think that's also underestimating the intelligence of your audience, and you might as well just go for it 100% and hope for the best." - David Sylvian

At the end of the day, anyone who's written a song before knows that at some point, you just accept what you're doing and finish it up hoping for the best. A million different decisions can result from whatever you're doing at any given time. You might re-record an instrument, re-write a lyrics, scrap most of what you've recorded and try doing something new over it. But at the end of the session or whatever, you eventually have to just say, "Well, it's done." and send it out in the world, as Sylvian said, hoping for the best.

The problem nowadays is that everyone is going to have their own expectation or desire as to what these veteran acts should be recording. In this case, "dilute" can mean a thousand different things. Is someone trying to write songs that will get radio airplay? (and even then, there's a million ways to go about it) Are they having other producers write their stuff and then recording it under their name? Are they writing something that sounds good in the first place? Depends on who you ask, probably... and even then, is writing stuff that doesn't "sound familiar" always going to sound good or be the best idea? Maybe not. But I imagine people will probably make up their own minds a bit before they hear the whole thing anyway, depending on their expectation.

For me, at the end of the day, just write a good song. I don't care if it has an acoustic guitar or ambient keyboards making up the gist of it. If it's a decent tune, that's all that matters really.

Offline Johnny Feathers

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #519 on: July 18, 2017, 06:38:39 AM »
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This seems as good as any place to post this.  Convenient U2 reference in there, too. 

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Really good article. I think it sums up 90% of bands that are out there in kind of a light-hearted way and U2 fits into a couple of those (namely the one where U2 gets used an example and the #1 one).

I think so, too.  I think much of the "they're not as good as they used to be" complaints can be boiled down to something mentioned in this article.

Offline Rising Sun

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #520 on: July 18, 2017, 10:13:46 AM »
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This seems as good as any place to post this.  Convenient U2 reference in there, too. 

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Really good article. I think it sums up 90% of bands that are out there in kind of a light-hearted way and U2 fits into a couple of those (namely the one where U2 gets used an example and the #1 one).

I think so, too.  I think much of the "they're not as good as they used to be" complaints can be boiled down to something mentioned in this article.

The article makes some obviously good points, and #1 about how hard it is to make good stuff seems the most obvious good point.

Reading it, though, made me think about the difference between making MUSIC (the non-lyrical part) and SONGS (music plus concept plus lyrics) in a way I hadn't thought about these things in relation to U2 before...

I think U2 has continued to make good/great/adequate/respectable/substitute your word here MUSIC, for the most part, throughout their career, by which I mean what they do with their instruments and production.

It seems like the area they've been challenged most on the last few albums are conceptually and lyrically.

For No Line On The Horizon, I remember reading how Bono approached writing song lyrics through the lens of the characters the songs were about...

Songs Of Innocence is sort of a rock opera musical about Bono growing up...not even really about everyone in the band, though his experiences might ring true to them all.

It feels to me that their conceptual and lyrical approach has moved away from the universal towards the more specifically personal or character-based and in so doing, at least for me, I've had a harder time feeling like the songs are also about..."me."

Obviously every album contains narratives about various specific topic and themes, but it's always been the way I find myself identifying with U2's songs and content that is one factor behind their appeal.  The other factor is the musical soundscape behind the album concept and lyrics.

For me, it's been the move from achieving a universal appeal to more specific album concepts that has lessened U2's immediacy (relevancy) in my own music and day to day life along with, as I mentioned in a previous post, the feeling that on Songs Of Innocence, at least, the usual U2 flourishes or signatures didn't seem present, as if they wanted to obfuscate "U2..." though not in a way that felt like new ground like their earlier evolutions.  Sonically/musically, some of Songs Of Innocence sounded like echoes of other bands.

After reading that article and reflecting on the above, I now suddenly see that How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb is the "border album" marking U2's shift, as it's the last one that, for me, contained the U2isms I'd grown accustomed to, plus the aforementioned universality, with obvious exceptions excluded. 

In a nutshell, I guess I'm saying that MUSICALLY, these guys don't seem able to NOT generate strong stuff.  It's the conceptual and lyrical angles that have proven challenging.

One reason I always hope for more of the occasional soundtrack or Passengers type projects from them...and absent those, the couple of ambient tunes that usually appear somewhere on U2 albums.

« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 11:21:11 AM by Rising Sun »

Offline The Exile

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #521 on: July 19, 2017, 11:57:29 AM »
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This seems as good as any place to post this.  Convenient U2 reference in there, too. 

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Really good article. I think it sums up 90% of bands that are out there in kind of a light-hearted way and U2 fits into a couple of those (namely the one where U2 gets used an example and the #1 one).

I think so, too.  I think much of the "they're not as good as they used to be" complaints can be boiled down to something mentioned in this article.

The issue for me in a nutshell is this:

No band is better at creating filler and worse at creating hits than modern-day U2.

Their filler (by which I mean songs that never become singles and rarely get played live) is incredible: I'm thinking of songs like Being Born, Cedars, Crystal Ballroom, The Troubles, SLABT, etc.

But they don't stand behind those songs, they want hits. So they put out Boots and The Miracle as their most recent lead singles, and SFS and Crazy Tonight as follow-up singles, and those songs get ignored by the broader culture and are panned by hardcore fans (as the recent polls here demonstrate).

So U2 is bad at what they care about, and good at what they don't care about.

The solution is either to "get better" at being hit-makers (which is easier said than done), or to adjust what they care about. If they took the latter route and just released that deep, interesting, and sonically challenging music they are obviously still capable of and found their joy in that, all would be right in the U2 world.

Offline KenpoMatt

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #522 on: July 20, 2017, 12:00:01 AM »
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This seems as good as any place to post this.  Convenient U2 reference in there, too. 

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Really good article. I think it sums up 90% of bands that are out there in kind of a light-hearted way and U2 fits into a couple of those (namely the one where U2 gets used an example and the #1 one).

I think so, too.  I think much of the "they're not as good as they used to be" complaints can be boiled down to something mentioned in this article.

The issue for me in a nutshell is this:

No band is better at creating filler and worse at creating hits than modern-day U2.

Their filler (by which I mean songs that never become singles and rarely get played live) is incredible: I'm thinking of songs like Being Born, Cedars, Crystal Ballroom, The Troubles, SLABT, etc.

But they don't stand behind those songs, they want hits. So they put out Boots and The Miracle as their most recent lead singles, and SFS and Crazy Tonight as follow-up singles, and those songs get ignored by the broader culture and are panned by hardcore fans (as the recent polls here demonstrate).

So U2 is bad at what they care about, and good at what they don't care about.

The solution is either to "get better" at being hit-makers (which is easier said than done), or to adjust what they care about. If they took the latter route and just released that deep, interesting, and sonically challenging music they are obviously still capable of and found their joy in that, all would be right in the U2 world.

Interesting take on it...

Offline JTNash

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Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #523 on: July 20, 2017, 08:45:33 AM »
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This seems as good as any place to post this.  Convenient U2 reference in there, too. 

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Really good article. I think it sums up 90% of bands that are out there in kind of a light-hearted way and U2 fits into a couple of those (namely the one where U2 gets used an example and the #1 one).

I think so, too.  I think much of the "they're not as good as they used to be" complaints can be boiled down to something mentioned in this article.

The issue for me in a nutshell is this:

No band is better at creating filler and worse at creating hits than modern-day U2.

Their filler (by which I mean songs that never become singles and rarely get played live) is incredible: I'm thinking of songs like Being Born, Cedars, Crystal Ballroom, The Troubles, SLABT, etc.

But they don't stand behind those songs, they want hits. So they put out Boots and The Miracle as their most recent lead singles, and SFS and Crazy Tonight as follow-up singles, and those songs get ignored by the broader culture and are panned by hardcore fans (as the recent polls here demonstrate).

So U2 is bad at what they care about, and good at what they don't care about.

The solution is either to "get better" at being hit-makers (which is easier said than done), or to adjust what they care about. If they took the latter route and just released that deep, interesting, and sonically challenging music they are obviously still capable of and found their joy in that, all would be right in the U2 world.
this is the thing the way hits are made now is completely different.  When I went to the I &E tour the audience knew all the words to the songs from the album.  This is huge for something that was deemed to be unsuccessful.  I think it was a successful it's just gonna take some time to see.