Author Topic: When did this forums opinion start changing on NLOTH?  (Read 1162 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline BalconyTV

  • Numb
  • **
  • Posts: 834
When did this forums opinion start changing on NLOTH?
« on: December 12, 2017, 08:47:11 PM »
I am just curious as we are currently in the spell of most people thinking the new album is great. Best since AB etc etc.

When NLOTH came out, it got pretty much great reviews. 4/5 star reviews in most cases. Arguably better than this album.

SOE - You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

NLOTH - You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Even NME gave it a decent review - It has the pomp and arrogance of their best work, enough new sounds and interesting new avenues to satisfy the musos and, at its core, is a very good collection of very good songs played very well.

And the album was No.1 on Billboard like this one, sold a-lot more, with no major sales gimmick to it. I know thats down to streaming etc. But still.

And I think I remember there being a general positivity here about it.

When I first heard it I thought it was great, and continue to.

However I think the general feeling on NLOTH here on this board is the album wasn't very good or atleast it seems to be remembered badly. So when did the mood change to it here? After 3 months/ 6 months... a year? Was it because the band lost faith in it?

For the record I think NLOTH is better than the current and was their best since Pop. While I think the new album is very good too it is let down by bad singles (Best Thing/ GOOYOW / American Soul) and cheesy videos (same).

For the record - Metacritic scores of U2s last 3 albums.

NLOTH - 7.2 (30 critics) - USER - 8.1 (381 ratings)
SOI - 6.4 (32 critics) - USER - 7.6 (274 ratings)
SOE - 6.4 (26 critics) - USER - 6.9 (140 ratings)

This suggests that not only did critics like it more, but the general public/ fans did too.

So I'm confused.

Discuss.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 09:14:08 PM by BalconyTV »



Offline Racingfan53

  • Babyface
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • Gal 2:20
Re: When did this forums opinion start changing on NLOTH?
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2017, 11:03:01 PM »
Interesting that you should post this.

As a very young U2 fan, I was able to hear NLOTH for the first time this year away from most of the influence of other people, so I developed my own opinion of it.  I remember that, at first, I didn't like it.  Any of it, really.  I liked maybe one or two songs but wouldn't listen to them a lot.  However, this forum was actually the first place I encountered people singing the praises of NLOTH.  Among my friends, it wasn't very well known (even the ones who know U2) and none of us liked it that much.

When I began reading this forum's talk on NLOTH, I started to wonder if I had missed something... went back and listened to the album again a few times, and it is now one of my favorites.  So, again, interestingly, this forum is really what coaxed me to give the album another try.  I'm not going to say it's one of their all-time best (the best since ___ or whatever) nor do I think I'll ever find it in me to like FEZ or Unknown Caller, for instance.  However, it's really grown on me, and I personally think the album is one that wouldn't usually be appreciated the first time around (with the exception of a few songs such as Magnificent, Boots, and Crazy Tonight.)  Since I'm very young, and recently got into U2, I wasn't around for the fuss surrounding NLOTH right when it came out, so I can't speak from that time period, but simply as someone diving into the U2 fandom post-NLOTH, post-SOI even.  And in all honesty, the impression I got from this forum was one of general adulation from the album, which eventually pushed me to reconsider it.

N.B.:  I personally don't like POP, and I hold Atomic Bomb in a much higher regard than most, but the rest of my album-ranking is pretty general U2 fan--AB, JT, TUF, etc.

Offline Allhorizonbomb

  • Wanderer
  • *
  • Posts: 81
  • Self proclaimed biggest U2 fan in New York State
Re: When did this forums opinion start changing on NLOTH?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2017, 12:09:47 AM »
I think the fact the album never produced a hit hurt its reputation. It was the beginning of the decline in U2's God like status. This makes me sad as it my favorite album of all time. I think now though because of the whole free album thing the popular thing to do is to just bash the band and anything post Vertigo in the media.

Offline Sunchild

  • Stateless
  • *
  • Posts: 150
Re: When did this forums opinion start changing on NLOTH?
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2017, 06:57:13 AM »
As U2 always do albums in trilogies,by haing the third one always epic in some way, and more demanding by needing to spend more time with it, for me it is the best of these third ones, where you got War, Rattle and Hum and Pop. To me it sems like this forum is at odds with what general public likes, which is most people in the world, I'm finding that more and more NLOTH is getting more appreciated as time goes. I am confident that in some 50 years from now it will be the most valued album they've done by me, I love the album's atmospehere and the world and journey of being lost yet found on the inside, the journey of this album is long and deep, none of the albums were that deep and spiritual for me, it was not about romantic love, wars, losing loved ones, it was uplifting in the face of losing the direction, the meaning and purpose of life, at the end giving a sense that there's nowhere to go but within. The previous albums were outcries for injustices or about depression, very downbeat and tragic, not this, it was about being born again... so uplifting. I have a feeling the theme of No Line On The Horizon is about to survive and find great relevance in people's hearts in the years to come. Just watch, it's too ahead of its time. 
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 03:41:38 PM by Sunchild »

Offline ShankAsu

  • Child of Grace
  • **
  • Posts: 1,935
  • Can't fight for s---, but sure can take a beating
Re: When did this forums opinion start changing on NLOTH?
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2017, 09:48:46 AM »
my opinion never really changed much. with any new u2 album, just like with any new star wars film, i'm going to want it to be great and my initial views will probably be the best, but i never really enjoyed No Line.

Offline 73October

  • Running to Stand Still
  • **
  • Posts: 1,064
  • Joy is an act of defiance
Re: When did this forums opinion start changing on NLOTH?
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2017, 11:34:16 AM »
I liked No Line and it kept me going on many long car journeys from 2009-11.  It was maybe a little before it's time in that the experimental/meditative side was rubbished.  However, the mood seems right for contemplative U2 as Love is All We Have Left and 13 (There is a Light) seem to have gone down well with listeners.  Maybe people are more receptive to this contemplative/experimental/meditative side of U2 now the world has moved into challenging times?

Offline Clarky

  • Numb
  • **
  • Posts: 784
  • I've got a head like a lit cigarette
Re: When did this forums opinion start changing on NLOTH?
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2017, 05:19:45 PM »
I've always had a fondness for NLOTH and while I do acknowledge that there are a few missteps on that album, on the whole it is still quite an interesting record with some real bangers. I'm not sure when or why the general feeling towards the album started to change but there does indeed seem to be a distaste for it more often that not. I'm a little confused by that too. I can easily see SOE fitting into the same category exactly as time goes on. It has some great songs but also a few missteps that won't be remembered that fondly after 3 years. NLOTH is an album that I will without hesitation put on before SOI as it is simply more rewarding to listen to with it experimental side and musical peaks (Magnificent, MOS, even FEZ-BB is a peak for me).

U2_One

  • Guest
Re: When did this forums opinion start changing on NLOTH?
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2017, 05:23:31 PM »
Big fan of this album from the first listen and nothing has changed since for me. Enjoyed the songs live too, particularly the ones that ended up being dropped over the duration of 360.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 05:25:49 PM by U2_One »

Offline lucas.homem

  • Numb
  • **
  • Posts: 770
Re: When did this forums opinion start changing on NLOTH?
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2017, 07:47:48 PM »
I wouldn't really bother with the reviews of critics, since a lot of them play a game of guessing what their audience wants to read, especially with established artists like U2 (when people already have a strong opinion formed). And U2 had a better reputation back in 2009, so... better scores.

As for the question of this thread, I think that "challenging" albums (like NLOTH) leave people stunned more often, for good or for bad, so our opinion can change more drastically over time. When NLOTH came out, beyond the magic of the honeymoon phase, it had mixture of familiarity and the feeling of departure (with its experimentations). In other words, most of us couldn't really grasp the album immediately because there was a lot to discover in the album while it also felt like home. Since U2 is our favorite band, I guess all this excitement and curioty lead to overevalutation. In contrast, I think SOE should be easier to grasp quickly... after three or five listens, you should like it or not.

Another argument to why people were overestimating their opinion on NLOTH is the fact that a big part of the fanbase just wanted U2 to be experimental again after ATYCLB and HTDAAB, so NLOTH filled that void before people could actually decide if they liked the music or not.

So people needed more time to become aware of NLOTH's flaws (in their opinions) and then, after the novelty was gone, the songs lost replayability. However, while it's one of U2's worst albums (still good though), it's one that actually could have been pure greatness.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 07:53:16 PM by lucas.homem »

Offline BalconyTV

  • Numb
  • **
  • Posts: 834
Re: When did this forums opinion start changing on NLOTH?
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2017, 07:51:30 PM »
Enjoying the considered responses here.

Offline Vox

  • Running to Stand Still
  • **
  • Posts: 1,063
  • Time is irrelevant, it's not linear.
Re: When did this forums opinion start changing on NLOTH?
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2017, 10:21:14 AM »
I’ve loved it album since the day I first heard it.  I must have listened to a song or two from it nearly every day for a couple of years after its release.  The title track is in my top 5 U2 songs of all time.  It’s still my go-to morning U2 album. 

I get a feeling while listening to it that I don’t get from any other piece of music, U2 or otherwise.  A bit unworldly…   It makes me feel that the air around me is electric, or that the air itself has a certain “power” to it.  I’d consider it my fourth or fifth favorite album by them.  It’s very special to me.

I’ve been saying it on this forum for the past couple of years, but I think when it’s all said and done and U2 have decided to call it a day, this album will be looked back as their most underappreciated album and something to revisit.  I’m kind of bummed that U2 have seemingly disavowed it, because I think it’s blanking brilliant. 

Has it been nearly NINE YEARS since it was released?!?!?

Offline zoo adam

  • Intellectual Tortoise
  • *
  • Posts: 404
Re: When did this forums opinion start changing on NLOTH?
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2017, 01:31:05 PM »
My first impressions were it had 4 songs I really liked, a couple of ok songs & several terrible songs like Boots & Crazy.

This opinion has not changed. Boots & Crazy certainly haven't grown on me.

Fans on here were disappointed with the album at the time of release. There had been a record breaking 5 year wait. Unlike the 4 year Zooropa - Pop gap, there had been hardly anything else released after HTDAAB.

Offline Sonofabono

  • Babyface
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: When did this forums opinion start changing on NLOTH?
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2017, 03:36:10 PM »
When it came out I loved it. I got used to Boots and thought it was really interesting. Then SOI came out. SOI isn't perfect, but there's a lot more consistent drive and joy and energy on that album that I feel like NLOTH lacks. Then SOE came out. Same effect, even more pronounced. As the new records have come out, it's really affected my view of the previous records. That's the explanation for me.

Offline Sunchild

  • Stateless
  • *
  • Posts: 150
Re: When did this forums opinion start changing on NLOTH?
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2017, 04:17:19 PM »
I must say the incosnsistency is ironically the biggest strength of this album for me, which makes it all the more rewarding by experiencing different energy throughout it, small pieces that means the songs are only connected by the same theme, not the same same style or mood, style here is replaced by the soul. It's telling a certain story, sort of like travelling around the world and hearing all kinds of different songs along the way that people play, and somehow to the suprise of the traveller all the songs just all of a sudden happen to be inter-connected, and in perfect sync with what he is experiencing in life. That kind of journey I never witnessed in any other U2 albums, they are too consistent. NLOTH's theme is non-linearity of space and time, where it's not about the result, but about the journey of life, where is no beginning or end, the exact reason why it was intended to be inconsistent in that kind of sense in the first place. It speaks as a whole of the chaos of the universe that somehow has its own order. I feel that from the very beginning some people missed the point by not surrendering enough themselves to the energy it speaks through most profoundly, therefore experiencing it, but not really receiving its full depth. For me the middle section is the absolute highlight of the album.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 07:52:39 AM by Sunchild »

Offline Clarky

  • Numb
  • **
  • Posts: 784
  • I've got a head like a lit cigarette
Re: When did this forums opinion start changing on NLOTH?
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2017, 05:12:56 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
I get a feeling while listening to it that I don’t get from any other piece of music, U2 or otherwise.  A bit unworldly…   It makes me feel that the air around me is electric, or that the air itself has a certain “power” to it.  I’d consider it my fourth or fifth favorite album by them.  It’s very special to me.

I correlate a similar feeling I have to NLOTH with my own sense of nostalgia for the particular time in my life that it came out. However, yeah I get what you're saying exactly. It's interesting when you hear someone else describe their feelings about it in a way thats recognisable to yours. I like the mood it elicits. Unworldly is a good word I think. It makes me think of U2 as more than just a band post 2000's who have been focused on over-producing their music and packaging it up for radio-friendly style pop music hits. A lot of the songs on NLOTH seem more risky and unencumbered by attempting to 'remain relevant' despite the couple of songs that are lol. It's a refreshing album, but like my nostalgia, I equate at least part of that to the fact that I was in a place with lots of cold weather and snow so maybe thats more of a reason for that??