Author Topic: Initial Thoughts on SOE?  (Read 4901 times)

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Offline sierrra

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #135 on: December 07, 2017, 09:01:03 AM »
Lol. 13 is beautiful song. For me one of best songs of the album.  Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way is the only song i dont like till now. Funny the diverse reactions to this album.

Offline durk

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #136 on: December 07, 2017, 05:29:42 PM »
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I think it’s pretty good, however I’m not a very reliable witness when it comes to initial reactions to new U2 albums.  It takes me a couple months of living with them to see what sticks and what doesn’t.

The songs I’ve habitually found myself skipping have been “Landlady,” and “13.”  I don’t mind those songs, and maybe they’ll grow on me.  I’ve also been skipping “YTBTAM” and “GOOYOW” – but I’m assuming it’s because I’ve been listening to those songs too much for the past few months. 

The highlight for me is “Love is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way.”  I’m fascinated by the reactions to this song.  People’s temperatures to it run either hot or cold.  Personally, it elicits something in me only the best songs do.  I’m very thankful for that one.  My next tier would be “American Soul,” “Summer of Love,” “Red Flag Day,” “The Showman,” and “The Blackout.”   And don’t get me wrong – I also enjoy all of the other songs that I haven’t mentioned in this post – it’s just that I’m still wrapping my head around them.  “Lights of Home,” for example, seems a bit all over the place, and I’m not 100% certain that it works.  That being said, the sound U2 makes in the second verse of that song is un-freaking-believable and enough reason for that tune to exist in any form. 

As of today, this album could have that magic about it that keeps drawing me in, just like all the best U2 records do.  Or, there may be something a little bit off about it that makes me flake out, just like I did with SOI.  It’s still too early to tell.  My initial reaction after a week is that it’s much more substantive and interesting to me than SOI ever was.   It’s probably best to wait half a year or so to see where it sorta ends up in my U2antheon and just enjoy it for what it is for today – a very good U2 album that I’m happy with.
great post

Offline jjcruiser

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #137 on: December 07, 2017, 10:06:29 PM »
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“Lights of Home,” for example, seems a bit all over the place, and I’m not 100% certain that it works.  That being said, the sound U2 makes in the second verse of that song is un-freaking-believable and enough reason for that tune to exist in any form. 

That deep dark crunching guitar bit is awesome.  The only part I prefer to the St. Peter Strings version.

Offline zeeTV

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #138 on: December 08, 2017, 05:00:04 AM »
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Been listening nonstop, on and off, for a few days now.

This is an ALBUM. It has a tone all it's own. There is cohesion. The songs flow brilliantly from one to the next - Some transitions are stealthy smooth, some crash in with a ferocity. Every song informs the next perfectly. The whole is far great than the sum of its parts.

Interestingly, I think this is something subconscious that they listened to, became aware of, and brought to consciousness. Much has been discussed about mortality, as well as experience and borrowing from previous works as well as the art of others. Combining those themes together, there is a sense of exploring beyond self on multiple levels. The songs are not autobiographical, but a communication. Elements are pulled from and inspired by and emulated from others as well as from other forms of themselves. This is not an individual's lone experience. This is a collective experience. It is experience in every sense of the word - of things learned, of being in the moment, of others, of the collective.

The harmonies and choral arrangements and delivery are striking elements to the album. This is something distinctive and used little and sporadicly previously - usually a background counter vocal by Edge. Here they permeate every song on the album in multiple manners from call and response, to full gospel, to pop, R&B, to 60s.

Strangely, while this feels like an album, where the whole is more impactful than the pieces, each one of these is a song standing on it's own. Singles even. These songs feel familiar, yet when you expect them to burst through the clouds in that U2 way, they turn unexpectedly and in many cases understatedly, only to come climb back in a different manner. They soar, but are grounded. They are personal but universal. In subtle ways, they are doing very Un-U2 things right where the U2 thing is expected - The fact that I just used "subtle" to describe anything U2 is "Un-U2" (and I LOVE that they have been bold enough to not want to be subtle most of the time)

Is this the first album since Joshua Tree where every band member seems to shine equally?

PS: I love a lot of these lyrics, but have no idea how "A baby cries on a doorstep" fits (I don't share the same experience of cringe in these words that many do)

Could not agree any more with you on this, its perfect

Offline lightmyway92

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #139 on: December 12, 2017, 07:52:37 AM »
Not sure if anyone mentioned it yet, but in addition to the very strong songs on this album, the sequencing of the songs is beautifully done.  One songs flows easily into the other.  Even "American Soul," which is probably one of my least favorite songs on the album (although it's got great energy), is set up nicely by the spoken-word outro from "Get out of Your Own Way."  Also, who could have predicted that at this stage in their career, U2 could pull off a minor masterpiece like "The Little Things That Give You Away."  That song is absolutely stunning!

On a side note, this is my first time back on this forum since well before it was temporarily taken down, and I must say that the overall atmosphere is much-improved.  There was a definite unpleasant vibe going on before, which really pushed me away.  But that seems gone now. 

Offline dwaltman

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #140 on: December 12, 2017, 10:51:18 AM »
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PS: I love a lot of these lyrics, but have no idea how "A baby cries on a doorstep" fits (I don't share the same experience of cringe in these words that many do)

Not sure if anyone watches the TV show "This Is Us," but my mind goes to that show when I hear that line.  If you watch the show, then you know why.

Offline durk

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #141 on: December 12, 2017, 02:21:40 PM »
Love is Bigger has become one of my favorite U2 songs ever.

Offline Coop15879

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #142 on: December 12, 2017, 08:16:44 PM »
This is a great U2 album and one that I think will resonate over time.  I listened to SOI into SOE and was reminded what George Harrison said in the Beatles Anthology concerning Rubber Soul and Revolver, calling them two parts of the same album.   

Offline achtung child

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #143 on: December 12, 2017, 09:26:27 PM »
I will say the only other thing that bugs me about the album is certain songs start out very tentatively, when it feels the correct impulse would be for the intro to explode (i.e. Get Out, Love is Bigger).  I'm not sure if it's intentional or not, but it reads insecure somehow - as if Ryan Tedder was slowly moving the master fader up during the mixing.  Small quibbles, but I'm really digging this one.  I can't say how it will factor a year from now.  I haven't listened to much of Innocence, but some of it was stained by a breakup for me.  I've also relapsed into a Stones phase the past couple years.  I can say I am definitely digging this more than Bomb and No Line, which is progress for them by my book.  My favorite part of the album is the "opera" singing on 13 - it's creepy and tender AF.

Offline Allhorizonbomb

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #144 on: December 12, 2017, 11:54:34 PM »
I wish Love is all we have left was longer. Best song U2 has done since Moment of surrender in terms of emotional value. 13 is a close second.

Offline TongueInMyEar

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #145 on: December 13, 2017, 02:38:04 AM »
Into a second week with this album being played non-stop, I really am loving it.

The run from LIAWHL to GOOYOW and then Summer of Love to Landlady are both brilliant and what make the album so listenable for me. American Soul and The Blackout the only dips.

Love Is Bigger grown on me a lot, 13 perfect end to the album and recycling Song For Someone works well.

SOI wasn't a bad album IMO, there were a number of songs I really like (EBW, California, Iris, RBW and The Troubles in particular) but it just didn't flow as well as SOE, I don't know if that's because of the quality of songs, or the sequence of songs. Also I think SOE has a more cohesive "feel" to the album.


Offline DGordon1

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #146 on: December 13, 2017, 06:46:08 AM »
Probably their best album since Pop for me, maybe even Zooropa. They've really rediscovered melody since NLOTH, and this album features some of their best songwriting for many years. Also a good range of dynamics used - it never sounds like it's trying too hard. Bono sounds great and has written some really beautiful and heartfelt lyrics on SoE (Refujesus aside!). The songs are all well produced imo, so it's a great achievement by all involved.

It's a shame it's had quite a few mediocre reviews - U2 seems a toxic brand nowadays. What we'll likely see when the E&I tour resumes is exactly what happened with SoI (ie the reviewers will say the songs sounded lifeless and dull on record but came alive on tour). This is what they said with SoI and it's just a b******t way to try and reconcile giving the album a crap review whilst praising the gig.

Anyway, a couple of questionable decisions aside this improves on SoI for me. SoI is similarly consistent start to finish and is a cohesive record; however SoE is almost as cohesive but packs more of a punch emotionally. The second half of the album is beautiful, with The Blackout somewhat oddly wedged in to the mix.

Offline durk

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #147 on: December 13, 2017, 09:06:29 AM »
true on Blackout. Odd placement there.

Offline Clarky

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #148 on: December 13, 2017, 06:04:11 PM »
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I wish Love is all we have left was longer. Best song U2 has done since Moment of surrender in terms of emotional value. 13 is a close second.

Yeah, I feel like a couple songs were shortchanged, like Love is Bigger could have been another minute longer and I have never liked how You're the Best Thing ends so suddenly.

Offline Lizard

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #149 on: December 15, 2017, 01:25:39 PM »
Yeah, I absolutely agree that Love is bigger is too short. The end could be a extended longer (Streets is more than 4 minutes long, Love is bigger only 3 minutes - that's definitely too short for a song like that.)