Author Topic: Initial Thoughts on SOE?  (Read 4983 times)

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Offline singnomore

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Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« on: December 02, 2017, 12:24:19 AM »
Guys - just wondering what everyone is thinking about the new album? I’ve not managed to get my head around it to be able to articulate so interested to see what other folks are saying about it??



Offline JaraSangASongAWeapon

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2017, 12:57:19 AM »
Best work since Zooropa, would put it top 5 U2 albums. Easily the best of the 2000s. So many great songs...favorite I would say is Little Things, then Red Flag Day, Love Is All We Have Left. Surprised how much I like The Showman. Landlady is great. Not so sure about Lights of Home...beginning sounds like early 90's G 'n' R acoustic, Use Your Illusion type stuff. But 2nd half of song is brilliant. American Soul and LIBTAIIW are awful. But the rest, including the Book Of Your Heart...brilliant.

Offline Kazaer

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2017, 02:04:35 AM »
I love it! I think it's a great follow up to SoI (which imho was criminally underrated) I love the opener and the whole flow of the album. Only thing i dislike is the Kygo remix tagged on to the end of the deluxe edition, but you can't have it all  ;)

Offline Marvinho

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2017, 02:24:07 AM »
Initial response after three listens is that I really like it and am looking forward to further listens rewarding me as always with U2 albums. Unusually, I find it quite an "immediate" LP. The songs are in my head straight away whereas usually it takes a while. Maybe as the majority of them lean towards a more pop than rock sound. It does however feel a bit "lightweight" to me and lacks a really hard hitting and crunching rocker to stand up with the classics. I imagine though that the songs will grow and morph in to what they really are when they take them out on tour. I like the ambience/Eno-esque sounds of the first and final songs and there's plenty of pop hooks that are growing on me already. The Little Things That Give You Away has the potential to be an absolute U2 classic too.  It's not gonna be my favourite but I'm pleasantly surprised.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 03:47:56 AM by Marvinho »

Offline Lizard

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2017, 02:37:45 AM »
I love it - what an album!
I keep listening since yesterday morning.
It brings a lot of light and guess what, after weeks of dark and cloudy skies the sun came out here in Germany. ;)
So, there is a light ... I can't stop listening...

Offline GEMF

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2017, 03:10:09 AM »
Some great melodies. Bono in top form.

I would have preferred 12 songs, could do without the chorus of the Showman, only point on the album I really don't like.

But overall best album since ATYCLB, and I haven't said that any other time since ATYCLB  ;)
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 08:05:07 AM by GEMF »

Offline mc

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2017, 05:50:33 AM »
We got the best song back in April. Unfortunately the album mix of Little Things is not as good/raw as the live release and lacks impact. Guitar sprinkles comes in too early and detracts from the finale. Edges sweeping guitar is barely audible and production has dimmed the drums. They should have given the song breathing space. When Bono sings ‘sometimes’ it should trigger emotion.....not with this version. The Jimmy Kimmel show version is perfect. Listen to the audience react to the sweeping guitar near the end. The singles from the last few months ARE actually the good songs. Other stuff is B-side fillers. Sounds like there is no band on most of it. Beautiful Day alone puts ATyCLB way above this album.
The album is slow. Showman is sickly like ‘wild honey’ Landlady is U2 doing a stage musical number and Love is Bigger opens with what sounds like clown car horns then evolves into a Take That song! Red Flag sounds like the beach boys at the start, but is kind of saved by a decent chorus. The Lights Of Home mix is better than the original. Mercy would have been ideal on this album. Needs more uplifting and the production has almost numbed the music. SOI is better. They should have released this as just a cut down EP to attach to SOI.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 05:53:09 AM by mc »

Offline Rasmus

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2017, 06:07:59 AM »
Its better than I feared although it still doesnt hold a candle to their work in the 80's and 90's. The songs I dislike the most are the singles while a lot of the other songs are pretty good. Summer of Love, Red Flag Day, Love is Bigger..., The Little Things, The Showman are my favorites. Its better than HTDAAB and NLOTH for sure but I'm not sure its better than SOI yet.

Offline lucas.homem

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2017, 06:34:40 AM »
I'm in love with the album right now. Just look at that unbelievable sequence from Summer of Love to Landlady. How did that happen?! Each one of these five songs exceeds on their own styles so triumphantly that I think this is their best sequence of songs since Passengers (I just love Passengers from tracks 2 to 10) and they even shine above many other great sequences from U2's classic albums. And there's a lot of other great songs on the record, making SOE their best in the 00s and something great to remember about their later career.

The way I see it is that U2 finally accomplished what they were trying to do for so long now. They were searching for real tunes and here they are, a bunch of them, in all moods and colours. They sound fresh, real, well shaped, natural, smart, memorable and emotional. The production is gold too, with the instrumentation creating just the right level of atmosphere and groove (not always, maybe, but most of the time).

Funny thing is that, ironically, SOE resembles HTDAAB the most to me, one of my least favorite records on U2's catalogue. The difference here is that each song on SOE is way better finished, with their own individual musical personality, with really solid melodic motifs, instrumental hooks and grooves (all of that while also keeping the album cohesive). In HTDAAB, not so much, given the fact that I feel like a lot of its sounds were recycled throughout that record, resulting in great fatigue whenenever I try to listen to the whole thing. Even the melodies were very underwhelming despite being nice and sweet.

Moreover, what impresses me the most in SOE is its ability to convey feelings despite all the discipline of the songwriting. I feel like they found a good balance between giving the songs space to breath and also making them neat and precise. And, man, what an emotional rollercoaster! The variety is amazing! There are times that I'm bouncing around the house having a ton of fun with songs like Red Flag Day and The Showman, and then I'm blown away by the emotional catharsis of Little Things and Landlady. And these songs certainly do belong to the same album!

The greatness in not only in the middle. Love Is All We Have Left and 13 (There Is a Light) are among the best opening and closing tracks in U2's history. They perfectly give the tone that SOE deserves. The first one in particular always gives me emotional goosebumps for its incredibly beautiful atmosphere and touching melody. It's like listening to a new song from Passengers after all these years.

Even the songs we had already heard are pretty good, honestly. My favourite from them is American Soul, that I know most people hate. I just think this song is pretty unique and well designed with its raw and agressive sonics. American Soul rocks pretty hard. By the way, I wish The Blackout had the same treatment productionwise, since the studio version sounds a little too docile to me (the guitars are too buried in the mix). But Blackout is pretty good too. I also enjoy The Best Thing and Get Out Of Your Own Way, even if they are not hightlights of the record.

One last thing I want to say is that SOE is Bono's best in a long time. His voice is great here and his renditions are really on point emotionally. But the whole team deserves congratulations, not only the band, but the producers too, all of them. U2 should keep some of them for future records.

Songs of Experience is much more than I had hoped for. I'm in awe and very thankful to U2.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 09:07:19 AM by lucas.homem »

Offline trainfanjacob8

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2017, 06:35:29 AM »
Very impressed. I'd give it 4/5 stars. To me, the album sounds like a mix of new music with HTDAAB and ATYCLB sounds.  It was also nice that they started with a slow song instead of their usual upbeat opener.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 06:40:15 AM by trainfanjacob8 »

Offline dwaltman

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2017, 06:47:10 AM »
It really has me coming back for more.  I'm always looking forward to the next time I have the time/space for a proper listen.  I've been listening since the leak and my favorite songs have changed every few days or so which is also a good sign that the album is strong through out.  Definitely has some "ear worms" that stay with me during the day and night.

Even with the contingent of producers, it sounds pretty cohesive, more than SOI, imo. In fact, I think it works well as a body of work vs. individual singles.

So far, I would rank the songs something like this...

1. Summer of Love
2. Lights of Home (St. Peter's String Version)
3. Get Out of Your Own Way
4. American Soul
5. The Little Things That Give You Away
6. Book of Your Heart
7. You're the Best Thing About Me
8. Landlady
9. Red Flag Day
10. Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way
11. The Showman
12. The Blackout
13. Love is All We Have Left
14. 13

Damn that was really hard to rank.  More like tiers....1-3, 4-13, 14.  I'm sure if you ask me tomorrow, it will be different. 

I love the groove of Summer of Love and then the bitter lyrics seem to defy the upbeat melody and I just like the juxtaposition of that so much.

Lights of Home is just classic U2...it's the type of song that they do so well.  And I like the musical/lyrical connections back to SOI.

Get Out Of Your Own Way is a true original.  Ha-ah, Ah!  Love the message to his kids as I have kids the same age.

Love reading what other people think about the record. Nice to have the forum back.

Offline U2Fan

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2017, 07:37:41 AM »
Better than my expectations.  Highlights for me are Little Things, Love is All We Have Left, Red Flag Day, Love is Bigger Than Anything In It's Way, Lights of Home, 13, Get Out of Your Own Way.  Impressed with the vocals more so than other recent albums.

Offline jtdockter

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2017, 08:19:38 AM »
My top favorites are:
- Love is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way
- Summer of Love
- The Blackout
- You're the Best Thing About Me

These will likely grow on me:
- Lights of Home
- Get Out of Your Own Way
- American Soul
- Red Flag Day
- The Little Things That Give You Away

Hard sell:
- Love is All We Have Left
- The Showman
- Landlady
- 13

Offline jarsfan1977

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2017, 08:39:43 AM »
I'll just say that I cried repeatedly while listening to songs on this album. Landlady is incredible, and Love Is Bigger has the same effect. This album's cohesiveness and lyrical focus puts it near the top for me. It's absolutely the album I was afraid they couldn't/wouldn't make.

It's not a grower for me; it's already big.

Offline Achtungbaby23

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2017, 09:10:51 AM »
I love it! This is a surprise for me. I am usually anxiously awaiting the album release. This time I wasn't. I had myself prepared that I was not going to like this album. I was certain that when they went back to the studio to rework it, I worried it would be more politicized, overworked and ruined.  I wasn't a fan of The Blackout when I heard it.  I had low expectations. I did however go ahead and pay for my membership 3 months early and I did buy the album a few weeks ago on iTunes when it came available. I didn't remember until yesterday afternoon that it was release day. A post on Facebook reminded me. I was doing some demo work around the house and needed some tunes to listen to so I put it on. First song, I thought- that's really good!  Second song- wow I really like that one too!  Third song- holy sh*t, this is a great album. I love the entire thing!  I really enjoyed the Innocense album but I think this is even better. I have listened twice through in entirety. I think after several more plays it is going to grow on me that much more. This is like an unexpected Christmas gift I am very happy to receive!!
BTW: it's great to have this forum back!! I missed checking in although I do not write very often. This is by far the best U2 Forum out there!  Thank you mods for coming back!