Author Topic: Initial Thoughts on SOE?  (Read 4917 times)

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Offline mc

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2017, 12:47:30 PM »
I cannot believe West Coast is actually a One Republic song!

Offline lucas.homem

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2017, 12:55:31 PM »
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I cannot believe West Coast is actually a One Republic song!

The main motifs yes, but we shouldn't underestimate that bringing everything together is also important. The song is cowritten by U2 and Ryan Tedder.

Offline GoalisSoul40

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2017, 01:01:30 PM »
Upon the initial few listens to this album, I can say with a high degree of confidence that this is among their best work of the 21st century and is an improvement over its most recent predecessors, No Line on the Horizon and Songs of Innocence. My initial assessment is that it at least meets, and may prove to exceed, the levels reached by 2000’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind and 2004’s How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. I have learned from experience (pun intended) to refrain from comparisons to the band’s indisputable masterpieces, Achtung Baby and The Joshua Tree, until the album has weathered the rigors of time and repeated listens.

The album itself is a fairly cohesive whole that is built around the themes of love (a word and theme that re-emerges from start to finish) and “defiant joy” in response to the hatred, anger, cynicism, darkness, and despair of the present state of the world. There are also themes of light and darkness (“The Lights of Home”, “The Blackout”, “13 (There is a Light)”) and existential searching (“The Little Things That Give You Away”).

Sonically, the band does not venture into previously unexplored territory (such as they did on 1993’s Zooropa and 1997’s POP), but rather seem to take the best instincts from their long 40 year history as a band and pair these with the most successful currents of contemporary pop-rock. And in doing so, the band almost seems to be saying: “anything you can do, we can do better”; and: “we see you and we raise you”. The result is a fantastic synthesis of contemporary hooks with tried-and-true U2 transcendence.

Whereas its predecessor and companion album Songs of Innocence has, in this reviewer’s assessment, grown stale over time and whose songs are almost too personally embedded in historical events of the band's early life in Dublin, Songs of Experience proves to be more universal and accessible in its themes, melodies, and staying power.

In the final analysis, this is a terrific contemporary U2 album. It is fresh sonically, and rich lyrically. It incorporates many timely themes in an artful way. It is dynamic and diverse in its musical styles, while simultaneously achieving a high degree of cohesiveness. Time will tell where this album ultimately ranks within the U2 canon, but as an immediate reaction, I will simply say that it is easily among their best of the current century and has a strong chance to go down as a late career classic.  Album Rating:  7.5/10

Standout tracks: Little Things, Lights of Home, Blackout, Get out of your own way, best things about me, red flag day....

Offline habib2343

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #33 on: December 02, 2017, 01:19:54 PM »
before I heard the album, I thought the blackout, Get out of your own way and American soul were the stand outs , to that you can add book of your heart and summer of love.

should be absolutely great live...

Online aviastar

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #34 on: December 02, 2017, 01:38:06 PM »
Solid 4 star album.  I love Red Flag Day, Showman, Little Things, Landlady, GOOYAW, Lights of Home....

Only weak links for me are Love Is Bigger....I feel it lacks something.

However, I think this is an incredibly consistent and high quality album.  Better than SOI, better than Bomb, No Line, and ATYCLB.  Really enjoyable.


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Offline jick

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #35 on: December 02, 2017, 01:51:17 PM »
U2 now are the following all rolled into one:
1. That Irish band with the annoying front man
2. music of your parents
3. pushing 60 years old in age
4. musicians playing an "extinct" genre
5. have songs that have complete lyrics unlike top40 today that just repeat 1-line choruses the entire song

All those circumstances make them the only one of their kind.  U2 will never be a Top 40 band again, they will never hit the radio again.

Given all that, they have written the BEST album a band of those circumstances could possible have.

Lyrics are life lessons and experiences that only they can write.  Melodies/tunes are ear candy and pleasing even all the way until side B of the album.  Music highlights the musicianship the band have attained now with years of mastering their instruments as the songs are structured in something they could not have written in their youth.

This will never be an Achtung Baby or Joshua Tree, but it's no dud like No Line On The Horizon.  It's like a defocused Songs Of Innocence, because that album was too specific with moments, events, and incidents that it's harder to people to make it their.  It's Songs Of Innocence with broader brush strokes, but with tunes that would like be the best of side A of both ATYCLB and HTDAAB rolled into one.  This is an album that has no side B to me.

U2 are being the best band they can possibly be give these circumstances.

Cheers,

J

Offline GoldenStateGirl

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2017, 01:59:46 PM »
1.  I missed the heck out of this forum.  I've been rattling around in my own U2 world for the last 2 months, no one to "talk" to...feeling all giddy but bottled up.  The mixlrs just faded away in Latin America...no one to chat with there either! 

2.  So far, so good.  Little Things is my favorite so far.  But I am getting a solid feeling off of all of it.

Offline SwimmingSorrows

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #37 on: December 02, 2017, 02:02:06 PM »
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I cannot believe West Coast is actually a One Republic song!

The main motifs yes, but we shouldn't underestimate that bringing everything together is also important. The song is cowritten by U2 and Ryan Tedder.

Danny Lanois wrote the chorus melody for Moment of Surrender, didn't he?  Also I kind of like that they turned what was an innocent little Ryan Tedder ditty into a dark commentary on the Syrian refugee crisis.  I believe the Tedder song was about the west coast everyone knows. . . .
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 02:03:43 PM by SwimmingSorrows »

Offline cabral255

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #38 on: December 02, 2017, 02:09:18 PM »
This album is pure gold!

Offline Manos73

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #39 on: December 02, 2017, 02:54:40 PM »
Well constructed, radio friendly, modern, somewhat empty. I doubt many of these songs would make a career spanning best of.  Not trying to be harsh. It's better than SOI, NLOTH and maybe even HTDAAB.

Offline Stateless

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #40 on: December 02, 2017, 02:55:50 PM »
I am really enjoying it.  My standouts today were different than yesterday and I think that it going to keep happening as the more listens I get in.  Yesterday, I was not feeling the Showman, but somehow it got stuck in my head and I woke up the sound and lyrics in my head this morning.  After another 2 listens, I really love the song.  Landlady is also another surprise to me.  Was not feeling in during my first 2 listens like Red Flag Day and today I am enjoying both of those a lot more.  Red Flag Day seems like it would fit almost in with the War album minus a few things.  lol.

Overall, very happy with the new album.  Need to have a few more listens or a lot, but usually U2 albums grow on me and this one seems to have it's hook in me a bit quicker than normal which for me is a fantastic thing!

Offline cjnemec

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #41 on: December 02, 2017, 03:11:42 PM »
I’ve been asked a bunch the last few days to describe the new U2 album. I think I figured it out.

After 9/11 Springsteen releases The Rising. It was an album with the urgency and necessity only Bruce could bring to that moment.

This is that U2 album for this moment.

We’re facing an uncertain world with deep cynicism and divisiveness. This album pushes aside all of that cynicism to show us another way and that love is that other way.

I think the criticism could be that the word love gets overused on this album but that would be missing the point entirely.

We all know U2 in the live setting is all about loving each other. It always has been. This album doubles down on that and then some.
And that it just so happens to coincide with the rapidly descending fall of the monster in the White House is not a coincidence.
 
The theme:
Love wins. Always.

Offline MysteriousFly

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #42 on: December 02, 2017, 04:28:36 PM »
I like it better  overall than SOI...but its still not a very strong album to me. That being said, its got some good songs and my favorites at the moment are:

Lights of home
Red flag day
Landlady
The blackout

I got the deluxe and I do like the b-sides of Ordinary Love and Book of your heart. If U2 want to keep going though, I think the next record has to be a bit on the heavier side but we'll see what the future holds.

Offline dealme

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #43 on: December 02, 2017, 04:58:20 PM »
I'm still waiting for my copy of the album to show up in the mail.  So much for a release day arrival  ;)

Offline HolyHandGrenade

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #44 on: December 02, 2017, 05:10:12 PM »
My thoughts from reddit:

Strengths:

- The bass. Both Adam, and Edge's low notes. Intro guitar on Lights of Home, the solo in YTBTAM, American Soul, the driving, blaring bass in Red Flag Day, and The Blackout, obviously. I love bands like Royal Blood, so this was a treat. It's not a place...

- Sticking to an aesthetic. The album clearly has an identity sonically and lyrically, and as a result, leaves no clutter.

Weaknesses:

- Many songs straight up blend together if I'm not paying attention. Yes, they're all discrete songs, but that "aesthetic" I was talking about also really hurts the album at times. No stark contrasts, no Mofo into If God Will Send His Angels (extreme example). They picked a flavor and went with it.

- This one may be more obvious, but minimal pushing of the boundaries. The age excuse is the frame of reference, but it's not the music itself. American Soul's verse was more fitting as a Kendrick Lamar sample, and everyone's favorite Red Flag Day (mine too) sounds straight out of War (Seconds, The Refugee, Red Light). They could've thrown at least one "wrench" into how they generally went about the album and it probably would have sounded more diverse and pleased a wider group of fans (as in, the step above using mixes to get a different sound).

- I'm tired of wishy-washy vanilla songs. Landlady and Love is Bigger Than Anything Is Its Way completely lost me. In general, I can easily say that each song on the album has quality, but I think only half of the songs were going somewhere and memorable beyond an easy listen.