Author Topic: SOE is a really nice album. Coming to grips with the reality.  (Read 501 times)

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Offline gottago

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SOE is a really nice album. Coming to grips with the reality.
« on: December 04, 2017, 05:23:06 PM »
Like SOI, SOE is a really really nice and well produced album that is cohesive from beginning to end.  I feel that it's cohesiveness is one of its biggest strengths as the album is better as a whole than any individual song.  Again, this is very similar to SOI for me.  This, however, is also one of its biggest weaknesses.  There is no Vertigo, Beautiful Day, Elevation, Walk On, Mysterious Ways, One, The Fly, Even Better, Ultraviolet, etc... that collectively we as fans will latch on to and it will become a must play.  Because of this, I will be surprised if any of these songs will make it past the upcoming tour into future ones. 

I will always be so glad and thankful for new U2 music, however, this album more than any other I am coming to grips with where U2 are at in their career and the reality that Vertigo will most likely be the last classic U2 song to make it off an album into regular tour rotation.

It's hard.  U2 will always be my band.  I will check this website every day like I have for the last 12-15 years.  I so was hoping for big things and songs from NLOTH, SOI, and SOE, however, what band has a relevant album that is a hit in their late forties or fifties?  I can't think of any.  This is the reality I am accepting. 









Offline lucas.homem

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Re: SOE is a really nice album. Coming to grips with the reality.
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2017, 05:57:57 PM »
U2 won't have another classic just because a classic is something culturally perceived, it's a song that you like/love and you happen to listen to it on the radio, on the shows, with people that otherwise wouldn't be listening to U2 and that a lot of other people are also saying that it is classic. There's a whole new dimension to that and somehow the approval of others make us even more sure of our passion.

But there are also the songs that you love regardless of everything else. Maybe it's just you that love that song. Maybe it's you and some of your friends. You and a specific group of fans. Whatever. What matters is that you know how much you love that song.

If the "reality" you talk about is that U2 will never make a classic again, ok, you're probably right. However, if your "reality" is that U2 will never make a great song again, one that you can blast off a thousand times in your headphones, well, I think that "reality" is very subjective. Maybe it'll be true for you, but that's not a collective reality. For me, SOE has better songs than many of the titles you mentioned there. Some of them maybe will belong with my favorite U2 songs ever (and that's not something usual coming from 00's U2).
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 06:09:25 PM by lucas.homem »

Offline davis

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Re: SOE is a really nice album. Coming to grips with the reality.
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2017, 06:06:14 PM »
To my ears, early on, there are a number of potential classics on SOE. 

I think it blows away SOI. 

Offline GoldenStateGirl

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Re: SOE is a really nice album. Coming to grips with the reality.
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2017, 06:15:36 PM »
I can’t understand why “Love is Bigger” isn’t bringing us all together like Linus and the Peanuts kids around Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. I’d willingly accept it as a replacement for “One” in the encore. And “One” is as beloved to me as one of my own children.

Offline ToRontoRon

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Re: SOE is a really nice album. Coming to grips with the reality.
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2017, 07:03:40 PM »
I agree completely GoldenStateGirl.  Love is Bigger is sublime.  I too don't understand why everyone hasn't fallen in love with this new classic.  Now stop yanking that damn football away when I'm trying to kick it.

If Toronto is any indication, the days of U2 being a radio hit are sadly over.  The new album is not being played at all here, as far as I can tell.  I think 2 things work against U2 getting any radio play these days.

1.  The age of the band. 
Even if the new music sounds good to their ears, radio DJ's will hesitate to put U2 on the radio for fear of sounding like they aren't hip or fresh enough by putting out new stuff by the band that their parents loved.

2.  The SOI release.
There were positives and negatives with that release.  The positive is that it introduced U2 to a bunch of new fans.  My at the time 12 year old niece and her friends really got into the band with that album, when they probably knew very little about them.  That niece, (now 15),  and I went to the Joshua Tree 2017 show together in Toronto a few months back, and that probably wouldn't have happened if not for the release strategy.  However, the negative is that the whole 'I was given a free album which is the worst thing ever' narrative began.  Opinions can have a snowball effect, and the negative reaction to the SOI release caused any critic that was on the fence, or even those that might have marginally liked the album, to join in the hate.  I genuinely doubt that With Or Without You would get much, if any, radio play if it was released right now.  I don't think there's anything the band can do at this point to get on the radio...  Oh well.  It would be nice for them to have a big radio hit again, but as long as they keep making quality music, it really doesn't matter too much.
   
As for which songs will stay in the live set, if U2 continue on for more tours in the future, I can see The Little Things growing into a live classic, and possibly Love is Bigger if people get behind it.  In fact, I've been trying to think of what the setlist will be like for E + I, and I'm having a hard time deciding which songs from the album won't be played live.

Offline Clarky

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Re: SOE is a really nice album. Coming to grips with the reality.
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2017, 05:09:31 AM »
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I can’t understand why “Love is Bigger” isn’t bringing us all together like Linus and the Peanuts kids around Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. I’d willingly accept it as a replacement for “One” in the encore. And “One” is as beloved to me as one of my own children.

Haha yes, if everyone was yelling hyperbole about this song I'd have no problem with it. In fact if it was on AB and it had been around for 20+ years I think it would definitely be a song that would be held in such high regard as a song like One, etc.

Offline GoalisSoul40

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Re: SOE is a really nice album. Coming to grips with the reality.
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2017, 10:30:08 AM »
I agree with many of the comments above.  A "classic" is culturally conditioned and U2 would be hard pressed to receive that sort of recognition from the wider culture at this stage in their career, even if they were to create an album of the caliber of an Achtung Baby or Joshua Tree. Nothing the band does at this point in their career will be widely praised. Unfortunately for them they have their own immense legacy to compete with, as well as the general culture's moving beyond the rock genre. The band is in a no-win situation: if they try to incorporate elements of the contemporary musical scene into their music, it is panned as a last ditch effort to remain relevant; but if they stick to the tried-and-true U2 formulas, they are criticized for playing it safe and phoning it in! Unfortunately, the critics like to have it both ways.

I think SoE attempts to synthesize many of the more successful currents of mainstream pop-rock, while maintaining what makes U2 the band they are. Even their most so-called experimental and genre pushing successes of the 1990s attempted to do this to one degree or another. The influences of the musical trends of the day (industrial rock, dance, etc) were seamlessly incorporated into the U2 formula. Same with SoE, though the musical influences are certainly of a different sort, and perhaps more wide ranging and diverse.

I maintain that this album (SoE) is a late-career "classic", and don't really care if the hipster aesthetes at Pitchfork or similar outlets think otherwise :)

Offline Mozz

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Re: SOE is a really nice album. Coming to grips with the reality.
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2017, 11:03:36 AM »
I was thinking that with U2 teasing Drowning Man recently. How awesome would it fit in with Red Flag Day? Either as an into or coda?

Offline spillsj

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Re: SOE is a really nice album. Coming to grips with the reality.
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2017, 08:59:26 AM »
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I can’t understand why “Love is Bigger” isn’t bringing us all together like Linus and the Peanuts kids around Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. I’d willingly accept it as a replacement for “One” in the encore. And “One” is as beloved to me as one of my own children.

I'm with you on this.  Love is Bigger is possibly one of U2's best songs ever, period.  I don't think I've managed to listen to it yet without getting a little teary eye'd.

Offline TongueInMyEar

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Re: SOE is a really nice album. Coming to grips with the reality.
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2017, 09:06:08 AM »
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I agree with many of the comments above.  A "classic" is culturally conditioned and U2 would be hard pressed to receive that sort of recognition from the wider culture at this stage in their career, even if they were to create an album of the caliber of an Achtung Baby or Joshua Tree. Nothing the band does at this point in their career will be widely praised. Unfortunately for them they have their own immense legacy to compete with, as well as the general culture's moving beyond the rock genre. The band is in a no-win situation: if they try to incorporate elements of the contemporary musical scene into their music, it is panned as a last ditch effort to remain relevant; but if they stick to the tried-and-true U2 formulas, they are criticized for playing it safe and phoning it in! Unfortunately, the critics like to have it both ways.

I think SoE attempts to synthesize many of the more successful currents of mainstream pop-rock, while maintaining what makes U2 the band they are. Even their most so-called experimental and genre pushing successes of the 1990s attempted to do this to one degree or another. The influences of the musical trends of the day (industrial rock, dance, etc) were seamlessly incorporated into the U2 formula. Same with SoE, though the musical influences are certainly of a different sort, and perhaps more wide ranging and diverse.

I maintain that this album (SoE) is a late-career "classic", and don't really care if the hipster aesthetes at Pitchfork or similar outlets think otherwise :)

Well said.

I've come to terms with the fact U2 will never again get a good review from Pitchfork, COS etc, but I'm convinced if some new band came on the scene with these songs it'd be a different story.

Offline miracle_al

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Re: SOE is a really nice album. Coming to grips with the reality.
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2017, 12:44:56 PM »
I remember Michael Stipe saying something similar about one of the final REM albums, that "people would be running down the street naked" in amazement if the record had come from a new band, or something to that effect.  There's probably some truth in that.

Offline 1985

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Re: SOE is a really nice album. Coming to grips with the reality.
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2017, 01:14:01 PM »
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There is no Vertigo, Beautiful Day, Elevation, Walk On, Mysterious Ways, One, The Fly, Even Better, Ultraviolet, etc... that collectively we as fans will latch on to and it will become a must play.  Because of this, I will be surprised if any of these songs will make it past the upcoming tour into future ones. 


As others have said, the cultural context reigns supreme. Of the songs you list, I think there are better songs on SOE than more than half. Walk On is probably the weakest among them. If you dropped Lights of Home or Love Is Bigger on ATYCLB, you'd have an instant classic and grammy nominee. Same goes for You're the Best Thing or Blackout and Vertigo or Elevation.

The songs are there. "We" are not.

Offline GoldenStateGirl

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Re: SOE is a really nice album. Coming to grips with the reality.
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2017, 02:03:01 PM »
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There is no Vertigo, Beautiful Day, Elevation, Walk On, Mysterious Ways, One, The Fly, Even Better, Ultraviolet, etc... that collectively we as fans will latch on to and it will become a must play.  Because of this, I will be surprised if any of these songs will make it past the upcoming tour into future ones. 


As others have said, the cultural context reigns supreme. Of the songs you list, I think there are better songs on SOE than more than half. Walk On is probably the weakest among them. If you dropped Lights of Home or Love Is Bigger on ATYCLB, you'd have an instant classic and grammy nominee. Same goes for You're the Best Thing or Blackout and Vertigo or Elevation.

The songs are there. "We" are not.

This post leaves me feeling melancholy.  "Little Things" and "Love is Bigger" are epic, textbook U2. The U2 that, played live, whips us into an ecstatic frenzy during "Streets" or has us weeping through WOWY.  I think we'll always be chasing that dragon, so it's kind of sad to think of how that must appear to all the "cool kids" who are into the new flavor of the month.

Still.  There is so much that is wonderful about SOI.  And I didn't intend to be so profound, but it may be an ugly Christmas tree to someone else, but to my tribe, it is beautiful, and I relish this time to gather around it and live as One once again.

Offline mc

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Re: SOE is a really nice album. Coming to grips with the reality.
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2017, 02:13:27 PM »
War- Sunday Bloody Sunday
UFire- Pride
Rattle n Hum- Desire
Joshua Tree- With o W you
Actung- One
Zooropa- Lemon
ATYCLeave B- Beautiful Day
How To Dismantle- Vertigo
No Line- Breathe/ Magnificent
SOI/SOE- Little Things

Only one ‘classic’ in my opinion from the last two albums

Offline gottago

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Re: SOE is a really nice album. Coming to grips with the reality.
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2017, 03:29:38 PM »
There are definitely songs and moments I, personally, love on both SOI and SOE. 

When I talk about "classic songs", it is the bigger appeal to the majority of U2 fans at a show.

While I am sure that individually fans may freak out if the band played his/her fav song or songs off SOI or SOE, I don't believe that there are any that will become "classic" must play for the audience as a whole on future tours.

I also would agree that some of the songs on SOI and SOE are perhaps better written than what we would consider U2 "classics," however, they are coming at a point in their career that they can not contend with the history of those songs in the U2 canon.