Author Topic: American Soul  (Read 1344 times)

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Offline Vox

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American Soul
« on: February 08, 2018, 07:03:10 PM »
I quite like it.  Ive seen it disparaged here and there among U2 fans.  I dig it lots.  Kind of overlooked on this message board, what with the forum sabbatical and whatnot.  Thoughts?



Offline summerholly

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Re: American Soul
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2018, 08:13:20 PM »
I am not a huge fan of that album but I think that American soul along with quite a lot of the SOI and SOE songs would lend themselves to a cracking live performance.   I think I would probably enjoy them much more in a live show.

Offline Vox

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Re: American Soul
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2018, 10:25:19 PM »
Fair enough responses.  I'm not a huge fan of "Songs of Innocence," but I liked "Volcano."  Tried to listen to "Volcano" tonight and couldn't make it all the way through.  Loved "XXX" on the Kendrick Lamar album.  My 19-year-old, hip-hop-infused son who liked "XXX" and didn't mind "Volcano" doesn't endorse this song, and a lot of U2 fans seem to dismiss it.  But it carries me away.  All the way through Bono sounding agitated with the mmmfing through the buildup to the Refujesus.  I know I seem to be in the minority, but I'm caught up in the vibe.  One thing I like about the latter-day U2 is the chant-thing, they've got going on.  One of the unexpected highlights for me. 

Offline summerholly

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Re: American Soul
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2018, 11:15:02 PM »
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Fair enough responses.  I'm not a huge fan of "Songs of Innocence," but I liked "Volcano."  Tried to listen to "Volcano" tonight and couldn't make it all the way through.  Loved "XXX" on the Kendrick Lamar album.  My 19-year-old, hip-hop-infused son who liked "XXX" and didn't mind "Volcano" doesn't endorse this song, and a lot of U2 fans seem to dismiss it.  But it carries me away.  All the way through Bono sounding agitated with the mmmfing through the buildup to the Refujesus.  I know I seem to be in the minority, but I'm caught up in the vibe.  One thing I like about the latter-day U2 is the chant-thing, they've got going on.  One of the unexpected highlights for me.

Volcano was one of the tracks on SOI that I didn't mind.  I don't go out of my way to play it but I don't skip it either.  I really found the refujesus thing just did not connect with me in any shape, way or form but it doesn't really surprise me that Bono would write that.  I think a lot of it just sounds very samey.  I would hope the live versions would just have more rawness to them. 

I just connect way better with their much older music, for me that had a lot more magic, it carries many memories and the sonic landscapes are more interesting and beautiful to my ears.     

Offline Albono

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Re: American Soul
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2018, 01:10:50 AM »
"refu-jesus" aside, the song is good.

Offline xy

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Re: American Soul
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2018, 05:05:53 AM »
A weak (and re-hash) chorus hurts a good song. Never hated the song, The Showman is my least favourite off SOE.

Offline Billy Rhythm

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Re: American Soul
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2018, 07:51:28 AM »
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The Showman is my least favourite off SOE.
Don't get how 'American Soul' gets so much flack while 'The Showman' gets so much praise...  I mean, I can see how 'The Showman' is superior lyrically but, musically?  'American Soul' rips it to shreds...  Both the 'Innocence' & 'Experience' albums, for me, don't have enough heavy tracks and if it weren't for 'American Soul' & 'Volcano', respectively...  the albums would be significantly weaker, in my opinion...:-)

Offline Rasmus

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Re: American Soul
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2018, 04:30:43 PM »
I think it's an ok song that could have been great if 3 thing were changed:

1. Drop the Refu-jesus thing. I'm sure it sounded like a good idea at the time but its just too lame... sorry
2. Make the chorus more interesting. It's not horrible but definitely not great either.
3. The drums. They are just way too ordinary for a song like this that needs to be stomping.

I actually think the main riff, the verse and the bridge (except the refujesus part) are amazing but the above factors keep the song down.

Offline Bundang Dave

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Re: American Soul
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2018, 05:02:28 PM »
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The Showman is my least favourite off SOE.
Don't get how 'American Soul' gets so much flack while 'The Showman' gets so much praise...  I mean, I can see how 'The Showman' is superior lyrically but, musically?  'American Soul' rips it to shreds...  Both the 'Innocence' & 'Experience' albums, for me, don't have enough heavy tracks and if it weren't for 'American Soul' & 'Volcano', respectively...  the albums would be significantly weaker, in my opinion...:-)

Agreed. I wish they'd gone with a much heavier sound both for The Showman and for Red Flag Day.

Offline ian ryan

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Re: American Soul
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2018, 11:08:05 PM »
It's one of my favorite songs off the album. It's a song calling to march, calling to focus and pinpointed direction. It's one of the songs I come back to most often from the album. It's rock trying to call America back to itself in an age where rock is the past. Because it's no longer the relevant form of musical communication doesn't mean it's not honest and accurate.

Offline romans58

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Re: American Soul
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2018, 01:25:39 PM »
Here is one way to look at it, personally I like transition from "Get out of Your Own Way" with Kendrick's Lamar offering a modern, poetic take on the Beatitudes from Matthew 5.   

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Offline DrDoom171

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Re: American Soul
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2018, 03:24:50 PM »
I love American Soul, too.  FYI, on the "refu-jesus" thingy.....when I first heard the song when it was originally released, I hadn't looked at any official lyrics nor had I read any attempts at somebody's interpretation of the lyrics.  So, what I heard was "will you be my sanctuary, refuge, Jesus?"  I think if these were the lyrics that Bono sang, then the song would be getting much better reviews than it is getting now.  I still sing those lyrics when I sing along to that song because it makes more sense to me than a made-up name.  Bono has always been quirky, which (along with his politics) is why many casual fans have a love-hate relationship with him.  Anyway, I love the song.

Lots of U2 songs have a goofy lyric or two but it doesn't ruin the song for me.  Other goofy lyrics in good songs IMO:  intellectual tortoise; password you enter here right now; don't pi*s in the drain; a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle; chewing bubble gum, lovie dovie stuff; I was punchin' in the numbers at the ATM machine;, etc.

Offline Vox

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Re: American Soul
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2018, 09:53:12 PM »
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I love American Soul, too.  FYI, on the "refu-jesus" thingy.....when I first heard the song when it was originally released, I hadn't looked at any official lyrics nor had I read any attempts at somebody's interpretation of the lyrics.  So, what I heard was "will you be my sanctuary, refuge, Jesus?"  I think if these were the lyrics that Bono sang, then the song would be getting much better reviews than it is getting now.  I still sing those lyrics when I sing along to that song because it makes more sense to me than a made-up name.  Bono has always been quirky, which (along with his politics) is why many casual fans have a love-hate relationship with him.  Anyway, I love the song.

Lots of U2 songs have a goofy lyric or two but it doesn't ruin the song for me.  Other goofy lyrics in good songs IMO:  intellectual tortoise; password you enter here right now; don't pi*s in the drain; a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle; chewing bubble gum, lovie dovie stuff; I was punchin' in the numbers at the ATM machine;, etc.

I'm still loving the song, as well.  As far as the line in the lyric you mention, I hadn't thought about it or heard it in my mind like that before [but probably will now :)]  At first, when listening to the song, I heard the lyric-sheet-typed "refuJesus."  Then someone somewhere turned me on to what they were hearing which was "refugees, us" (ian ryan, was that you?  maybe it wasn't... maybe it was somewhere else web-wise...  props to whomever it was).  I know Bono does has done silly, seemingly throw-away, silly, (quirky/cringy) lines since the get-go, but this crazy line can get turned on its head from a few different angles, if you let/get it. 

Interesting to me how this song is getting the hate-and-ate from U2 fans, because (cue McDonalds) I'm lovin' it (quite a lot)!.  I keep hearing new little guitar parts in the blackround, buried well amongst the deep.  It's got this disco/glam type stomp...  That's something that I love...  And I'm also a lover of latter-day U2 chants -- gots that too!

Offline ahmadsquad

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Re: American Soul
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2018, 10:37:27 AM »
Hmm, I never even considered him singing "refuge, Jesus," or "refugees, us." I guess Bono wanted people to interpret the line in different ways. Otherwise he would've written the lyric differently. I think it's a clever bit of writing. This song is good, especially when you turn it up.

Offline trainfanjacob8

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Re: American Soul
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2018, 03:25:51 PM »
I think it's a decent song.  Not the best off of SOE, but still quite good.  I think it will sound great on the E&I tour.  I get a LAPOE vibe from it.