Author Topic: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band  (Read 3813 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline 73October

  • Numb
  • **
  • Posts: 988
  • Joy is an act of defiance
Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #60 on: January 04, 2018, 02:03:54 PM »
U2 are beyond average.  Longevity, showmanship, passion, pride - you name it, it's there.  The only thing isn't 'hits' but a lot of quality bands don't have hits now.  The music industry is changing.  Inhaler are leading the charge to fightback though, so not all is lost.

Offline Argo

  • Party Girl/Boy
  • **
  • Posts: 543
  • I Am Here
Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #61 on: January 05, 2018, 03:26:10 AM »
Have been thinking about this topic and reading through a few times. After giving SOE many rotations, I have been searching out some newer music again. I basically like rock music. Problem is, it is really hard to find anything I like these days. And I do like SOI and SOE. So, to me that means U2 are by no means an average band. Whilst SOI and SOE don't reach the heights of AB, JT and Pop, they are very solid albums.

I am curious about people's views on risk taking by U2. I actually think SOE does take some risks with very poppy songs such as GOOYOW and Best Thing, some very atmospheric songs and some quite political stuff. SOI feels far safer by comparison although I do prefer the overall quality of that album to SOE. They took some risks on NLOTH with songs like Fez, Unknown Caller, COL, Winter (which should have been on the album) but then went safe (sadly) with the "terrible trio" (I actually don't dislike them that much).

Bomb had some really good songs on it but as a collective it didn't work. It was overall, just too safe.

Whilst I don't mind U2 trying poppy type songs and trying to get on the radio more, it does feel like in doing so, they are followers than innovators. Maybe it is just not them anymore after 40 years, and fair enough. I am of the view they can do whatever they want and who am I to suggest what they should do. Just whatever next they do pursue, I wish they stuck to at most 2 producers and didn't labour over the songs forever.

But they are by no means average.

Offline radiofreenewport

  • Babyface
  • *
  • Posts: 42
Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #62 on: January 05, 2018, 08:13:22 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
What I find frustrating as a fan from the time of War surfaces with information gathered over the years that some of their greatest influences (i.e. David Bowie) and contemporaries (i.e. Sting) were able to maintain like credibility while pushing their own creative boundaries independent of commercial expectation.

Until Pop, my sense of the band was that they coveted the universal and despised the fashionable. There are some gems on that album...But I think that leap in particular really jolted their sense of artistic risk not unlike certain injuries transform the play of athletes who never truly return to form.

Very well said.

Offline summerholly

  • Wanderer
  • *
  • Posts: 60
Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #63 on: January 05, 2018, 09:59:52 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
After giving SOE many rotations, I have been searching out some newer music again. I basically like rock music. Problem is, it is really hard to find anything I like these days.

I am curious about people's views on risk taking by U2.  Maybe it is just not them anymore after 40 years, and fair enough. I am of the view they can do whatever they want and who am I to suggest what they should do. Just whatever next they do pursue, I wish they stuck to at most 2 producers and didn't labour over the songs forever.


I agree it is hard to find something to like, I just assumed it was me getting old.  You know stuck in the past, still searching for the next Pink Floyd or whatever and wishing that U2 still sounded like the U2 I grew up with.  This I think affects my ability to make a judgement on a lot of the music of this generation, which is not really surprising. 

U2 are at a stage in their life where they can make whatever they fancy really, if I don't like it that's my problem.  I still love listening to their older music and I have SOI songs that pop up randomly on my playlist that are quite listenable to even if not entirely inspiring to me. 

I have seen Bono get irritated when asked why they didn't play this or that song and answer that they just didn't want to.  I might not get bored of their old stuff but they probably do get sick of trotting out songs that belong to another era for them.

They probably are experimenting, enjoying making music and moving on.  Hard to know where a bunch of middle aged men whose music has inspired a couple of generations take their continuing inspiration from and what it is that is really driving them.  Perhaps using different producers is them experimenting and trying to find a sound that is fresh to them. 

I cant imagine they would put something out that they didn't like or that didn't mean something to them especially if they are taking it on the road.  Hard to bring energy to a concert if you weren't into your own songs.  It is pretty amazing how they still can command big audiences, a testimony to their ability to entertain as a live band!


Offline pan360

  • Babyface
  • *
  • Posts: 23
  • The universe is beautiful but cold
Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #64 on: January 06, 2018, 02:33:15 PM »
I can imagine that it must be a very sad feeling if someone really loves a band and one day wakes up after listening to their new songs feeling that the magic is gone. It is like stop being in love. I am not one of those who will love the band "no matter what" but I am lucky enough to love their new work. For me SOE is one of my top five U2 albums (the other four are Achtung Baby, Unforgettable Fire, Pop and No Line on the Horizon). It is about how much the songs resonate with me, how much they touch me emotionally. Very subjective of course. When it comes to the question why someone stops loving a band, it is very difficult to answer. Why someone stops being in love? Is it that the band has changed or is it that you as a person have changed? Many questions here. I honestly believe that it makes perfect sense where U2 are standing right now considering their history.

Offline hollywoodswag

  • Stateless
  • *
  • Posts: 101
Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #65 on: January 07, 2018, 03:46:30 AM »
I haven't stopped loving U2. They had twelve albums of absolutely spectacular music. Even if I feel like the magic wasn't there on SOI or SOE, there's so many legendary songs before that that I can find plenty of enjoyment from them. I just wish that they'd hit a real spark of creativity and deliver an album with some serious firepower again.

Offline u2live

  • Intellectual Tortoise
  • *
  • Posts: 417
Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #66 on: January 07, 2018, 06:35:21 AM »
I agree with you HOLLYWOODSWAG......... by the way that roller coaster in your profile pic, where is that?

Offline hollywoodswag

  • Stateless
  • *
  • Posts: 101
Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #67 on: January 07, 2018, 06:50:13 AM »
Kings Island in Mason, OH.

Offline mstevensmcs

  • Refugee
  • *
  • Posts: 243
Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #68 on: January 14, 2018, 07:56:50 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
First of all, I am not a troll and not here to rouse up trouble, though I just signed up today because I really wanted to express my opinion, unpopular or not. Been a U2 fan from nearly the beginning...seen them live multiple times, in arenas and giant stadiums alike. I saw them in the months following 9/11 at the Erwin Center in Austin, TX and cried my eyes out. I loved POP, if that tells you anything. I think ACHTUNG BABY is one of the finest albums ever made.

But I had low hopes for SOE from the start, especially given the downward spiral the band has been on for several years. SOE confirmed my fears. I'll be honest- I ejected the CD in the middle of track 4. I was too saddened, disappointed at how far one of my favorite bands of all-time has fallen. Are the remaining 9 tracks incredible? Who knows. I'll come back to it in several weeks. Some may say I have no right to judge the album by listening to only 4 tracks but I've heard this song before, so to speak. The first four tracks confirmed my fears- they sounded awfully similar to the previous, uninspired album. I just didn't feel the urge to listen any further, at least for awhile.

If you listen to current U2 and SOE, you can hear how they are no longer about the spaces, the textures, the offhand meanderings away from the flow of the track, and the EDGE (especially). Each song now seems a headlong attempt to plow through as quickly as possible, for a bland 4-minute "radio friendly" single. For example, I thought the ubiquitous Joey Ramone song from the previous album was just dreadful. Everything that made U2 "U2" is gone, for me. In each track, The Edge has been almost completely neutered, reduced to little more than a session player. Perhaps the saddest of all for me. I ejected SOE during Track 4, so I have no idea if they showcase him later. But the last I heard Edge inspire was "Raised by Wolves". Where has the magic gone? Why has he been shoved to the background? How can you reduce your signature sound to nothing? Even Bono sounds lifeless.

What has happened to the band who took risks with ACHTUNG? I know it's unrealistic to expect the experimental sonic textures of that amazing album, but it's incredible to me how "meh" the songs sound. Where are the great hooks of the past? Where are the blazing solo's from Edge? Where are the unpredictable moments that aren't pre-programmed to be part of a 4-minute song for radio? Can you even imagine U2 having the patience these days to craft a bold opening to a song like "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" in 2017? Albums like POP and ACHTUNG were rife with those inventive moments, though some considered them too weird on POP. I loved them all.

I know there are those who will love the band "no matter what" and I don't begrudge you your opinion. I'm sure some here will try ripping me to shreds and hey, that's fine. But I'm not one of those people who "just like the old stuff". There were some great moments on the album I called the "Apple album" (released on itunes to everyone). But really, for me, the inspiration is gone, the magic is gone. The band sounds bland and lifeless, which is a horrible shame.

Fan since 81' is compelled to agree. I can't reconcile the muscular, energetic live band that they still are, with the lack of creative vigor in the records. I loved "no line" because it felt like they had snapped out of it creatively. And believe me, it's very strange to have no emotional reaction to the records. The overwhelming feeling I get is that they aren't listening to their instincts, and are now so deeply in the habit of making what we musicians call "contractual obligation" records that I'm not sure they're coming back creatively. Maybe they're trying too hard not to fight or disagree, maybe having b and e in the driver's seat doesn't work anymore. Multiple producers wasn't a good bet, and I think we now know what happens when Eno and Lanois aren't there. I also get the impression that b and e aren't listening to larry and adam much. Beyond some cursory mentions in interviews, we don't know all that much about how the sessions for the last several records have gone-it's kept very private. Every songwriter and composer gets "written out" at points, and some of this is natural 37 plus years later...it's just not a very happy situation for those of us who've been here so long.

Offline PeteBest

  • Wanderer
  • *
  • Posts: 56
Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #69 on: January 15, 2018, 12:27:00 AM »
Look at the laundry list of producers on SOE! With most any other band, the audience would be openly questioning just who 'U2' is. Although they (significantly) worked with producers before, now it's a ridiculous roll call of big name studio talent that has erased what U2 once was. The band are responsible for that.

I don't hear 'U2' anymore; I hear a potpourri of cooks eagerly spoiling the broth - and no doubt getting paid a truckload to do so. 

Offline ShankAsu

  • Child of Grace
  • **
  • Posts: 1,935
  • Can't fight for s---, but sure can take a beating
Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #70 on: January 15, 2018, 05:00:19 PM »
no way is u2 an average band at the moment.  show me another band in their 50's that are firing at this caliber.

Offline trevgreg

  • Running to Stand Still
  • **
  • Posts: 1,205
Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #71 on: January 17, 2018, 04:34:48 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
I am curious about people's views on risk taking by U2. I actually think SOE does take some risks with very poppy songs such as GOOYOW and Best Thing, some very atmospheric songs and some quite political stuff. SOI feels far safer by comparison although I do prefer the overall quality of that album to SOE. They took some risks on NLOTH with songs like Fez, Unknown Caller, COL, Winter (which should have been on the album) but then went safe (sadly) with the "terrible trio" (I actually don't dislike them that much).

For me, I view the "risk-taking" and "experimental" arguments as a bit overrated (imo). If the band purposely tried to record music that "didn't sound like them" or whatever personal definition people have for it, or used effects or certain techniques just for the sake of not sounding like a regular band, it's probably going to sound more contrived than some people would think it would. At the end of the day, all I'm asking for are good songs. If it sounds weird or eccentric, great. If it's played on an acoustic guitar or a clean audio effect, great. I don't need stuff to sound like ambient/atmospheric tunes or Eno-esque landscapes to like it or give it some sort of cred. Just write a good song... who cares if it has a prominent guitar or not, you know? At least that's my view anyway.

Offline pan360

  • Babyface
  • *
  • Posts: 23
  • The universe is beautiful but cold
Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #72 on: January 18, 2018, 05:01:19 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Look at the laundry list of producers on SOE! With most any other band, the audience would be openly questioning just who 'U2' is. Although they (significantly) worked with producers before, now it's a ridiculous roll call of big name studio talent that has erased what U2 once was. The band are responsible for that.

I don't hear 'U2' anymore; I hear a potpourri of cooks eagerly spoiling the broth - and no doubt getting paid a truckload to do so.

I can imagine that when U2 released Achtung Baby back in the 90ies there were people saying "I cannot hear U2 anymore. Why did they let themselves to be influenced by popular dance and techno music?"

Offline summerholly

  • Wanderer
  • *
  • Posts: 60
Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #73 on: January 18, 2018, 05:28:22 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Look at the laundry list of producers on SOE! With most any other band, the audience would be openly questioning just who 'U2' is. Although they (significantly) worked with producers before, now it's a ridiculous roll call of big name studio talent that has erased what U2 once was. The band are responsible for that.

I don't hear 'U2' anymore; I hear a potpourri of cooks eagerly spoiling the broth - and no doubt getting paid a truckload to do so.

I can imagine that when U2 released Achtung Baby back in the 90ies there were people saying "I cannot hear U2 anymore. Why did they let themselves to be influenced by popular dance and techno music?"

No I am a child of that era and I loved AB as much as their earlier work.  It still had the U2 signature sound and that is what I am missing now.  I don't know the specifics because I don't follow the ins and outs of the production but whatever they are doing now has for me killed that signature sound that make them U2which should be able to be carried through even in new stuff influenced by whatever

Online Luzita

  • Stateless
  • *
  • Posts: 121
Re: It's happened....U2 is now just an average band
« Reply #74 on: January 18, 2018, 05:53:15 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Look at the laundry list of producers on SOE! With most any other band, the audience would be openly questioning just who 'U2' is. Although they (significantly) worked with producers before, now it's a ridiculous roll call of big name studio talent that has erased what U2 once was. The band are responsible for that.

I don't hear 'U2' anymore; I hear a potpourri of cooks eagerly spoiling the broth - and no doubt getting paid a truckload to do so.

I can imagine that when U2 released Achtung Baby back in the 90ies there were people saying "I cannot hear U2 anymore. Why did they let themselves to be influenced by popular dance and techno music?"

No I am a child of that era and I loved AB as much as their earlier work.  It still had the U2 signature sound and that is what I am missing now.  I don't know the specifics because I don't follow the ins and outs of the production but whatever they are doing now has for me killed that signature sound that make them U2which should be able to be carried through even in new stuff influenced by whatever

This is all very subjective. You may have still heard the U2 signature sound in AB but a great many people didn’t, including me. I stopped following the band for years because I just couldn’t get into the new sound. Lots of other people did too and some of them never came back. People talk about how U2 were able to transform themselves quite successfully when they transitioned to their 90s sound, which is true, but I think the fact they actually did lose a lot of fans is under appreciated. That happened even with AB and even more so with Zooropa and Pop.

I only recently came to love AB, and I can’t say what changed. I became able to hear U2 in it where before I couldn’t. So who knows, you may one day have a similar conversion regarding this record.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk