Author Topic: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band  (Read 5399 times)

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Offline wons

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Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2017, 04:42:23 AM »
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This is Sad, But so true.

This is Sad because it is false and prevents people from either achieving their full potential and or seeing it in others. Age does not have the impact many people think it does. Its the belief that age means you "can't" and then one does not bother to try, which leads to decline. Its only in certain professional sports that an Athlete may no longer be able to compete at the top level of their sport after a certain point in time. Music, writing, other forms of art, various professions, and even some other various sports or activities are not impacted by this provided one takes care of their health. 

Offline two hearts

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Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2017, 05:00:20 AM »
It's nothing to do with age, just the quality of the music.
By carrying on they are embarrassing themselves,   these bands never did.
The jam
The Beatles
The Smiths
REM

Offline davis

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Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #32 on: December 28, 2017, 05:49:03 AM »
Disagree two hearts.  SOE is a pretty great album.  The Beatles stopped due to specific circumstances among the members--and all of them went on making music (not all of it great or even very good).  The Jam and the Smiths had a good run of a few albums but don't hold a candle to U2 at their best.  And REM has released many mediocre albums since their last great one in the early 90s. 

Artists should make art.  Leonard Cohen and Bowie did interesting things right up to their deaths.  Dylan is still going strong.  Not nearly all of what they released in their later careers was on par with their best early work, but so what?  No one ever said they should stop embarrassing themselves (well, people have said that about Dylan in every decade he's been working).  Those three, actually, are great examples of why artists should keep working--some of their late work was exceptional and couldn't be made by younger people--something I feel about SOE.

Offline wons

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Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2017, 05:56:36 AM »
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It's nothing to do with age, just the quality of the music.
By carrying on they are embarrassing themselves,   these bands never did.
The jam
The Beatles
The Smiths
REM

 Well, an album like How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb has some of the best music U2 has ever done. The album also won 9 Grammy awards, more than any other album in history and sold over 10 million copies worldwide. Miracle Drug and Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own, are in my top 10 U2 songs of all time. The latest U2 album, Songs Of Experience, is the best U2 album since How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. What would be Embarrassing and a waste would be stopping when the band is producing music, some of which is the best of their career and is superior to most other music being produced today.

Offline radiofreenewport

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Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #34 on: December 28, 2017, 07:02:10 AM »
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Disagree two hearts.  SOE is a pretty great album.  The Beatles stopped due to specific circumstances among the members--and all of them went on making music (not all of it great or even very good).  The Jam and the Smiths had a good run of a few albums but don't hold a candle to U2 at their best.  And REM has released many mediocre albums since their last great one in the early 90s. 

Artists should make art.  Leonard Cohen and Bowie did interesting things right up to their deaths.  Dylan is still going strong.  Not nearly all of what they released in their later careers was on par with their best early work, but so what?  No one ever said they should stop embarrassing themselves (well, people have said that about Dylan in every decade he's been working).  Those three, actually, are great examples of why artists should keep working--some of their late work was exceptional and couldn't be made by younger people--something I feel about SOE.

Very well said. I compared U2 to late-period Bowie and REM in another thread (though I'll disagree that REM released several mediocre records at the end ;->), and Cohen and Dylan are great examples, as you note, of veteran artists producing late into their careers.

The difference between U2 and those artists for me (and others, I suspect) is the context around the record. Every artist needs to promote their records in some way -- although part of the genius of those last two Bowie records was that he did no interviews or promotion outside of a few videos. But U2's (mostly Bono's) endless hype -- the record is coming (for years), we're working with a zillion producers, it's going to be punk rock Motown from Venus, Edge's guitar is one fire, we need to be relevant, we have very important things to say about Trump and the world and did I mention that I almost died? -- sets a high bar. And when the record doesn't meet it, it's only natural that people are going to be disappointed or rip it altogether.

If U2 released records every few years with less hype (ironic, given their original name), then it would be easier to see SOI and SOE as late-period, B/B+ records that are solid, but not at the heights of their earlier days. But when a band insists that a record is important and amazing, then it's fair to be disappointed when it's not (and especially when it has some of Bono's worst lyrics). I've adored Bono since I found U2 when October came out, but I really wish he would just shut up for a while.

Offline davis

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Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #35 on: December 28, 2017, 07:49:51 AM »
I see your point radiofree, though asking Bono to shut up is like asking the sun to not shine!

Offline chefconti

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Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #36 on: December 28, 2017, 02:27:54 PM »
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(and especially when it has some of Bono's worst lyrics)

I think this album represents some of Bono's best lyrics ever.

Offline radiofreenewport

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Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #37 on: December 28, 2017, 04:29:05 PM »
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I see your point radiofree, though asking Bono to shut up is like asking the sun to not shine!

Very true. ;-)

Offline radiofreenewport

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Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #38 on: December 28, 2017, 04:30:52 PM »
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(and especially when it has some of Bono's worst lyrics)

I think this album represents some of Bono's best lyrics ever.

FWIW, Neil McCormick said that as well on Twitter when I said the album has some terrible lyrics. It has some nice moments, but I wouldn't put anything on this record on par with his best lyrics and some of the stuff (cough, RefuJESUS, cough) makes me cringe. Then again, I totally get that lyrics appeal to people in different ways. Cool that you're digging it.

Offline shineinthesummernight

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Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #39 on: December 28, 2017, 08:25:53 PM »
The lyrics are great, the songs are good to great.....I highly disagree with your premise but you certainly have a right to your opinion.  Just don't let the weight and depth of their work blind you to a new and different approach which if you open up to it can really get into your heart.

Offline Clarky

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Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #40 on: December 28, 2017, 08:48:13 PM »
Songs like American Soul, Get Out of Your Own Way, The Showman, You're the Best Thing and maybe Blackout make me sympathise with the OP's standpoint. I don't hate those songs, but on the whole they leave me feeling empty.

Offline singnomore

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Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #41 on: December 29, 2017, 12:44:01 AM »
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Somebody needs too tell Bono it's not the Sixties anymore,   And wear some better shades.

The one thing I do struggle with is Bono’s ‘image’ - that said for me that’s not enough to qualify them as an average band. Still grow old gracefully does spring to mind  8)

Offline 73October

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Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #42 on: December 29, 2017, 05:58:41 AM »
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Somebody needs too tell Bono it's not the Sixties anymore,   And wear some better shades.

The one thing I do struggle with is Bono’s ‘image’ - that said for me that’s not enough to qualify them as an average band. Still grow old gracefully does spring to mind  8)

He admitted in the extended version of at the BBC that he thinks he's the worst dressed member of the band.  When asked by kids TV presenter Cat what he wears off stage, his reply was pyjamas!  Oh, how my mind began to wander at that point...just what kind of pyjamas he might choose to wear?

Offline summerholly

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Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #43 on: December 29, 2017, 06:08:43 AM »
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Somebody needs too tell Bono it's not the Sixties anymore,   And wear some better shades.

The one thing I do struggle with is Bono’s ‘image’ - that said for me that’s not enough to qualify them as an average band. Still grow old gracefully does spring to mind  8)

I am curious, what is wrong with his image? What does one wear to grow old gracefully? 

Offline matttiki

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Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #44 on: December 29, 2017, 09:02:51 AM »
It's refreshing to read some critical analysis of this record. I'm a long time fan/defender of U2, and I find SOE very disappointing. It's their most obvious attempt at crafting a commercial sound, and strikes me as grossly disingenuous for the most part. Mediocre songs are sonically  glossed up as War (Red Flag Day), or Achtung (Blackout). Best Thing is an overly sweet sugary confection with terrible lyrics that will deserve the skip button every time. Get Out is just annoying. Pandering. The Showman?? Seriously?
That being said, there are a couple of serious gems to be found. Little Things is clearly U2 at their most honest, a straight from the heart classic. Which makes SOE all the more frustrating, because you know they are capable of more. They offer a taste of the true U2 style, that soul-stirring, reaching up for the heavens feeling...but buried amidst the wreckage of Spotify-friendly hits, bad Bonoisms and generic backing tracks. This is the "club" album that Bono promised a few years back. But it's not a club that I would hang out in.

Also, as another commenter pointed out, is the context of the album release. They held this album back for a year because of the election and world events? That's a load of rubbish. These songs were probably in the can already, and were just given more time for polishing by these younger hip producers trying to squeeze more hit potential. Meanwhile, the band embarked on a greatest hits tour to garner promotional support. A very savvy marketing campaign.