Author Topic: Initial Thoughts on SOE?  (Read 4918 times)

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Offline ian ryan

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #60 on: December 02, 2017, 09:17:32 PM »
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To me, I take this as the band having more confidence in SOE than the past few albums.

This 100%. This album sounds so much more confident and open than SOI and NLOTH. Those albums sounded like they didn't know what to do exactly and so they were trying to make a statement. This album makes the statement and lets that determine what it needs to do. This is U2 at their best and most confident.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 09:26:16 PM by ian ryan »

Offline ian ryan

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #61 on: December 02, 2017, 09:22:44 PM »
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I'm calling it now...Bono's brush with mortality is just Irish shenanigans. Just an writing prop. However, the album does really have a Blackstar vibe. Like with all of these mentions of 'the end' and mystique.

Who knows it could be the end.

I don't know, going off his talk about being "arrested" in the liner notes and that maybe being cardiac arrest, the bridge of Love Is Bigger and the first verse of Lights Of Home take on a whole new, heavier meaning.

Offline Clarky

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #62 on: December 02, 2017, 09:29:58 PM »
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To me, I take this as the band having more confidence in SOE than the past few albums.

This 100%. This album sounds so much more confident and open than SOI and NLOTH. Those albums sounded like they didn't know what to do exactly and so they were trying to make a statement. This album makes the statement and lets that determine what it needs to do. This is U2 at its best and most confident.

I think saying something is making a 'statement' is an overused description, but I get what you mean. I agree that the album overall feels like it has more confidence in itself than the previous 2 (NLOTH was almost intentionally more subdued tho, so I personally give it a pass) and you get the sense that the music wants to soar. Whether it does or not is a little subjective, but I think a handful of tracks do, especially in how they all relate to one another. SOI hand a bunch of songs that were good, but they didn't really feel that cohesive and were all playing it a little safe. SOE sounds more dynamic and feeds off itself as it goes along. Thats a wonderful thing to hear when you sit down with an album. Sure there are a couple of duds and over time I think they might weaken the album as individual's opinions become more galvanised, but I think there is much more to like than not to from this effort.

Offline Stateless

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #63 on: December 02, 2017, 09:32:39 PM »
I agree with the poster that said there seems to be a bit more confidence and if you have not seen the interview with Bono on the NFL network it seems like they are kind of really happy right now.  The video for Your the best thing seems like they are having a blast and in listing to this new album it just seems like they are confident and having fun.  What really impresses me is that this baby band that I feel in love with back near 1981 or so is still making impactful albums and to me they are very relevant.  They may not have top singles, but they continue to make music that is good to great at times.  I think SOE is one of the best albums since POP and may be a bit better than POP imho.   


Offline BurningDownLove

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #64 on: December 02, 2017, 09:33:47 PM »
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I'm struggling as to why Love Is Bigger isn't getting nearly as much admiration from others as it gets from me.

I completely agree. I think it's beautiful.

Offline bren4tha

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #65 on: December 02, 2017, 09:35:36 PM »
 The songs on SOE are so much better than anything U2 have put out since AB in my opinion. The songs are catchier and more melodic than on previous albums since AB. I couldn't help but notice just a few shows into the JT 2017 Tour that Bono seemed to have abandon his gentle, dry, and off key talk singing style in favor of a more powerful one to fit those JT songs. In doing so, I feel that Bono kind of rediscovered his real voice again. Despite the fact that Bono is not quite what he was as a singer 30 years ago, his vocals are louder, deeper, more on key, and more operatic at times now. I notice that he brought this style along with a little extra echo to SOE as well. The vocals on it are more pronounced and wide open than they have been in the last 20 years.

Offline ian ryan

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #66 on: December 02, 2017, 09:47:26 PM »
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To me, I take this as the band having more confidence in SOE than the past few albums.

This 100%. This album sounds so much more confident and open than SOI and NLOTH. Those albums sounded like they didn't know what to do exactly and so they were trying to make a statement. This album makes the statement and lets that determine what it needs to do. This is U2 at its best and most confident.

I think saying something is making a 'statement' is an overused description, but I get what you mean. I agree that the album overall feels like it has more confidence in itself than the previous 2 (NLOTH was almost intentionally more subdued tho, so I personally give it a pass) and you get the sense that the music wants to soar. Whether it does or not is a little subjective, but I think a handful of tracks do, especially in how they all relate to one another. SOI hand a bunch of songs that were good, but they didn't really feel that cohesive and were all playing it a little safe. SOE sounds more dynamic and feeds off itself as it goes along. Thats a wonderful thing to hear when you sit down with an album. Sure there are a couple of duds and over time I think they might weaken the album as individual's opinions become more galvanised, but I think there is much more to like than not to from this effort.

What they're saying about Trump and modern politics in American Soul and The Blackout is a statement. So is what they're saying about death in Lights Of Home and Love Is All We Have Left. This album is absolutely making statements.

Offline Clarky

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #67 on: December 02, 2017, 09:47:42 PM »
The Book of Your Heart reminds me so much of 90's era b-sides. I can't pin-point which songs exactly (some other more knowledgeable U2 fans will know) but it's so similar in feel. Really nice.

Offline ian ryan

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #68 on: December 02, 2017, 09:49:07 PM »
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The Book of Your Heart reminds me so much of 90's era b-sides. I can't pin-point which songs exactly (some other more knowledgeable U2 fans will know) but it's so similar in feel. Really nice.

To me, it feels really close to Deep In The Heart, Walk To The Water, and Disappearing Act.

Offline Clarky

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #69 on: December 02, 2017, 09:49:29 PM »
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To me, I take this as the band having more confidence in SOE than the past few albums.

This 100%. This album sounds so much more confident and open than SOI and NLOTH. Those albums sounded like they didn't know what to do exactly and so they were trying to make a statement. This album makes the statement and lets that determine what it needs to do. This is U2 at its best and most confident.

I think saying something is making a 'statement' is an overused description, but I get what you mean. I agree that the album overall feels like it has more confidence in itself than the previous 2 (NLOTH was almost intentionally more subdued tho, so I personally give it a pass) and you get the sense that the music wants to soar. Whether it does or not is a little subjective, but I think a handful of tracks do, especially in how they all relate to one another. SOI hand a bunch of songs that were good, but they didn't really feel that cohesive and were all playing it a little safe. SOE sounds more dynamic and feeds off itself as it goes along. Thats a wonderful thing to hear when you sit down with an album. Sure there are a couple of duds and over time I think they might weaken the album as individual's opinions become more galvanised, but I think there is much more to like than not to from this effort.

What they're saying about Trump and modern politics in American Soul and The Blackout is absolutely a statement. So is what they're saying about death in Lights Of Home and Love Is All We Have Left. This album is absolutely making statements.

Fair point. I interpreted it as the music overall, but lyrically and on individual songs, sure.

Offline jjcruiser

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #70 on: December 02, 2017, 11:19:58 PM »
Bono's notes:

"LAST WINTER I WAS ON THE RECEIVING END OF A SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM MYSELF, A SHOCK THAT LEFT ME CLINGING ON TO MY OWN LIFE LIKE A RAFT.
NOW LOTS OF US HAVE A BRUSH WITH MORTALITY AT SOME STAGE, WHETHER IT’S OUR OWN OR SOMEONE DEAR TO US. IT’S AN ARRESTING EXPERIENCE.
I WAS ARRESTED.
FACING A WALL WITH MY HANDS UP OVER MY HEAD… THE FORCE SCREAMING AT ME NOT TO MOVE.
I WON’T DWELL IN IT OR ON IT. I DON’T WANT TO NAME IT. IN A REALITY TV WORLD OF MINOR MAJOR MELODRAMA I CAN SPARE EVERYONE THAT.
WHETHER IT’S PHYSICAL OR MENTAL OR EMOTIONAL SO MANY OF US HIT A WALL AT SOME POINT IN OUR LIFE.
I FEEL FANTASTIC NOW, STRONGER THAN EVER, BUT THESE SONGS HAVE THAT IMPETUS BEHIND THEM AND IT WOULD FEEL DISHONEST NOT TO ADMIT
THE TURBULENCE I WAS FEELING AT THE TIME OF WRITING.
THE GENIUS THAT LIES BEHIND THE GENIUS OF JOHN DONNE AND THE GENIUS OF A FEW HUMANS GOT ME SAFELY TO THE SHORE BUT I CONFESS
THAT ALONG THE WAY THE FAITH THAT HAD GUIDED MY LIFE SINCE I WAS A YOUNG MAN DID NOT ONLY NOT DEEPEN. IT SHALLOWED.
I HAD TO FIGHT EVEN HARDER FOR THAT FAITH.
TO MAKE OUT ‘THE STILL SMALL VOICE’.
I HAD TO PULL DOWN THE BLINDS ON THE WORLD.
SHUT OUT THE BACKGROUND AND FOREGROUND NOISES. THE INTERFERENCE.
TURN DOWN THE VOLUME OF MY CROWDED MIND TO HEAR THAT STILL, SOFT VOICE THAT PROMISES ‘THE PEACE THAT PASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING’.
THAT RELATIONSHIP THAT YOU HAVE WITH GOD OR WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL GOD, IT’S A RELATIONSHIP THAT ONLY YIELDS TO TRUTHFULNESS.
I HAD TO FACE SOME LIES I’D BEEN TELLING MYSELF… LIES LIKE ‘MY HEAD WAS HARDER THAN THE GROUND’. THERE WERE OTHERS. I HAD TO FACE MY
OWN FEAR AND MY FEAR OF FEAR ITSELF.
I DON’T DO THAT VERY EASILY.
BUT THE STILL SMALL VOICE RETURNED, THE ONE I’D FIRST HEARD IN CHILDHOOD.
THE LANGUAGE IS HARD TO TRANSLATE BUT THE T-SHIRT SAYS: ‘FREE YOURSELF, TO BE YOURSELF, IF ONLY YOU COULD SEE YOURSELF.’
THE VOICE OF IRIS, THE VOICE OF GOD, THE VOICE OF FRIENDSHIP, WHO KNOWS?
IT’S POWERFUL. IT’S PERSPECTIVE.
THE TIME TO RETURN HOME. TO DISCOVER IT WASN’T A PLACE. IT WAS A FACE. IT WAS MORE THAN A FEW FACES BUT HER HEART WAS MY HOME.
ALI.
THE LIGHTS OF HOME
I’VE ALWAYS KNOWN THAT JOY CANNOT BE CONTRIVED, THAT IT’S A WELLSPRING OF A LIFE BEING LIVED AND BEING LOVED.
IN THE MESSAGE, EUGENE PETERSON’S TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE, I READ PSALM 100: ‘ENTER WITH THE PASSWORD ‘THANK YOU!’ AND MAKE
YOURSELF AT HOME.’
WHAT A LINE.
I WENT LOOKING FOR THE JOY THAT CANNOT BE MANUFACTURED, THAT WILL NOT BE CALLED UP AT WILL. HAPPINESS IS SO MUCH EASIER TO
COUNTERFEIT."

Offline tommyboy6913

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #71 on: December 03, 2017, 12:26:26 AM »
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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.
I couldn't with MC more. My thoughts exactly. I really like the album but at this stage, I prefer SOI a little more. Overall, it's a solid album and glad to hear new music from my favorite band of all time. I suspect their next album will be more experimental or ambient.

Offline HolyHandGrenade

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #72 on: December 03, 2017, 12:38:48 AM »
Finally put my finger on it, but Love Is Bigger really reminds me of Alone Together by Fall Out Boy. Specifically 0:43, 2:08 etc..., but also in general.

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I have some hard feelings about Save Rock and Roll, so it makes sense I'm averse to LIBTAIIW.

Speaking of similarities, if you like Lights of Home - St. Peter's String Version, check out Burn the Witch by Radiohead.

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« Last Edit: December 03, 2017, 12:40:49 AM by HolyHandGrenade »

Offline Chip

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #73 on: December 03, 2017, 12:53:27 AM »
My take is a bit different from some of the other ones here. This album is so drenched in an overwhelming sense of mortality that I'm very much still processing it. Everything on this album seems so personal, so much the thoughts of a man who writes as if this could be his last album that the personal very much overwhelms the big statements here. Or, to put it another way, what seems like big statements here are actually just very personal concerns being made by someone who feels like he has to let them be known before he leaves this life (as well as do what he can before that departure). Where others hear confidence in these songs, I instead hear an intimate frailty in each one, although to varying degrees. This seems to me to be the closest U2 has ever come to a Bono solo album; it's not one, of course, but the sense of mortality is so strong and the sentiments are so personal that Bono overwhelms the other band members in a way I've never seen before. They seem to have adapted the music to fit his frame of mind as well. It's in many ways a very good album, but very challenging and a difficult journey.

Offline miryclay

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Re: Initial Thoughts on SOE?
« Reply #74 on: December 03, 2017, 12:56:42 AM »
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I'm calling it now...Bono's brush with mortality is just Irish shenanigans. Just an writing prop. However, the album does really have a Blackstar vibe. Like with all of these mentions of 'the end' and mystique.

Who knows it could be the end.

I don't know, going off his talk about being "arrested" in the liner notes and that maybe being cardiac arrest, the bridge of Love Is Bigger and the first verse of Lights Of Home take on a whole new, heavier meaning.

Sounds like Bono is entering Sun Ra levels of supernatural understanding.