Author Topic: The payoff - SOE burst into FULL COLOR for me  (Read 923 times)

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Offline laoghaire

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The payoff - SOE burst into FULL COLOR for me
« on: March 23, 2018, 08:41:57 AM »
I know I'm a little late to the party but SOE took a little while for me. I'd read several people in various places saying it was a difficult album to sink their teeth into but they kept at it. I trust U2, so I kept at it - and now the payoff has happened and I feel like singing it from the rooftops.

I'm sharing this in case there are other people who have given the album a few listens and gave up, but are looking for hope to keep going.

I feel like I'm 15 years old again and Achtung Baby just came out after 4 long years of waiting. Any chance I get, I put my headphones on to dive in again. We listen over and over again to jam each nuance into our heads and finally imprint it all onto our souls.

I've been working on this album in bits and pieces since September (2017). I watched them play on Jimmy Fallon. On Jimmy Kimmel. At the Grammys. On SNL. Over time, I think I heard just about every song from the album even before I bought it. But my reaction each time was: hmm. Okay.

I read posts and comments from people who struggled with it and still kept at it, so I got the album (I think in February) and gave it a play. Hmm, okay. I set it aside. A couple weeks later, I played through it again. Hmm, okay.

I read a few YouTube comments. One person said she saw them play You're the Best Thing About Me and it didn't really wow her, and yet she found herself humming it over the next few days.

Get Out of Your Own Way kind of stood out for me but I found it lacking in the pre-chorus. But eventually I found myself mumbling bits of it to myself and wanting to listen again - but the "wow" still eluded me by a long shot. Red Flag Day had a glimmer of potential but I couldn't hold on to it. I gave the album a few more listens and realized each song now felt familiar to me, yet elusive.

At this point I started to think, maybe this album sucks.

Five days later I put it on again AND SUDDENLY IT WAS THERE. (Almost) ALL of it. (13 is a no for me). It burst into full color. I am eating it up like Thanksgiving after a fast, except it doesn't hurt to keep eating.

I don't get it. How can the album be so good and yet so difficult to consume? How can songs I plodded through as boring or lacking suddenly be the greatest things I've ever heard? It's like those crazy 3D pictures from the 1990s where, if you relax your eyes in just the right way, entire 3D scenes suddenly leap off a flat page. I know other people are listening to the album with ears that hear only flatness like I did, and I suddenly have my ears set to 3D. If your ears hear flatness, I wish I could loan mine to you. It's in there. They are in there.



Offline Vox

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Re: The payoff - SOE burst into FULL COLOR for me
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2018, 10:10:42 AM »
Excellent post.

I had a similar experience.  Last fall before the album was released I listened to “You’re the Best Thing,” “Get Out of Your Own Way,” “American Soul,” and “Blackout” a lot, because it was new U2 music.  When the album dropped, for many weeks I skipped those songs to get to the ones I hadn’t heard.

I really enjoyed the album the first weekend it was out, but after a week I wasn’t sure what to make of it.  I listened to it sporadically throughout December and thought it was okay.  I initially thought it might hold the same value for me as Songs of Innocence, which I listened to for a month but never really connected with.  But after the holidays, the album kept gaining steam. 

“You’re the Best Thing About Me,” for instance – I didn’t know where I stood on it for months.  I liked parts of it, but overall it didn’t feel quite right to me.  However, for the past few months, it’s become a definite highlight.  I have no idea how it mutated to what it’s become for me, but it has.

I keep picking up on all these new things and sounds and turns from the album as time goes on.  I think it’s all solid.  It’s almost a bit of a quasi-reinvention for the band – they’re definitely doing some new things that they hadn’t done before.

Achtung Baby came out when I was 17 (similar to yourself).  I wouldn’t say I have that same feeling (don't know if that would ever be possible again), but I think it’s a great album.  For a long time I was wondering if my feelings about it would become stronger or start to recede, but it’s still gaining after four months.  It is interesting that a lot of U2 fans are lukewarm on it, and for non-U2 fans it’s nonexistent.  At first glance it’s a little bit odd and maybe seems to be a tad throwaway, in some respects.  However, it’s a fairly dense, layered, nuanced album that needs a certain gestation period.

Offline CLarryG

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Re: The payoff - SOE burst into FULL COLOR for me
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2018, 10:13:03 AM »
This album is different for me.  It sort of reminds me of 'All You Can't Leave Behind' in the sense of it took me long time to wrap my head around it, especially after 'POP'.  That is until the the tour when they walked out of their dressing rooms, house lights still on, climbed on stage and ripped into 'Elevation.'  And then, live, it all became magical.

That being said, I immediately loved "Love is All We Have Left' 'Lights of Home' 'Red Flag Day' and 'The Little Things You Away' but still struggling with the rest of the tracks. Especially the poppy tracks, YTBTAM and GOOYOW. 

But I believe in U2.  And when they arrive at the Forum, May 15, I will be there and I'm sure, live, it will all come to life and once again become magic.

Offline Clarky

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Re: The payoff - SOE burst into FULL COLOR for me
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2018, 02:39:06 AM »
SOE never really burst into full colour for me - though it is probably the closest to an album that has the potential to 'burst into colour' of any of their releases in the last 15 years. I strongly enjoyed it for a couple of months, but now I feel like quite a few of the songs lack the resonance that is needed to stay deep in me over a longer period of time. I think of a song like Landlady or the Little Things...which to me are really nice, but at the same time I don't feel completely satisfied after listening to them. I want to feel like I do afer Bad, or All I Want Is You. But it's just not nearly the same.

But I like the album a lot. Just not deeply.

Offline Argo

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Re: The payoff - SOE burst into FULL COLOR for me
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2018, 02:42:19 AM »
That happened with Pop for me but SOE not going to reach those levels. Is decent enough and some really good moments but not consistent.

Offline laoghaire

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Re: The payoff - SOE burst into FULL COLOR for me
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2018, 06:42:44 AM »
I see more than one person saying they got into it but it didn't last. I hope that won't be the case for me.

Landlady feels more on the level of Stay than Bad. And that's a very good level.

The Sometimes half of Little Things is reaching Bad level for me. I know that might b controversal but it's true for me. It's so emotional for me I was having a hard time listening for a few days. I couldn't handle the hopelessness - they are supposed to always leave me with some form of hope but the only scrap I get is just the quality of Bono's voice on that very last word as the music drops out. So yes, it's a gut wrenching journey of a song for me, exceeds All I Want is You and meets Bad, though not as epic in length (no complaints).

Offline laoghaire

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Re: The payoff - SOE burst into FULL COLOR for me
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2018, 06:59:05 AM »
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That is until the the tour when they walked out of their dressing rooms, house lights still on, climbed on stage and ripped into 'Elevation.'  And then, live, it all became magical.

Yes, they have some unusual magic live, and when I was still struggling with SOE I was thinking exactly this - there is still the hope they can deliver the album live.

I didn't find SOI as difficult but I watched some live performances on YouTube early on and those helped me connect. I was blown away by the effects on Cedarwood Road. And Iris initially felt a bit boring but watching the performance helped me very quickly - not boring at all, incredibly profound, and also comforting to me as a mother.

I haven't seen them since Zoo TV, and that was the only tour I saw (though twice - thanks, Mom! Thanks, Dad!). I am now disabled and live far from any city, so going to a concert is quite difficult. Also, I'm not made of money, and getting cheap seats plus a hotel and eating out even modestly is going to add up. But the day the album lit on fire for me I ran to the computer and bought tickets. Boston Garden, June 22. After all these years.

Offline davis

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Re: The payoff - SOE burst into FULL COLOR for me
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2018, 11:59:47 AM »
Stick with 13.  When the timing is right it will leave you in tears.  Perhaps their best closer since Love is Blindness. 

Offline laoghaire

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Re: The payoff - SOE burst into FULL COLOR for me
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2018, 01:57:10 PM »
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Stick with 13.  When the timing is right it will leave you in tears.  Perhaps their best closer since Love is Blindness.

Thanks, I will stick with it. I only tried once.

From where I stand, Love is Bigger is already the closer though.

Offline Clarky

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Re: The payoff - SOE burst into FULL COLOR for me
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2018, 09:06:58 PM »
Yes, 13 is actually a quite moving. And most songs like that don't do much for me, so I give it a lot of credit. Very good album closer.

Offline 73October

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Re: The payoff - SOE burst into FULL COLOR for me
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2018, 03:37:39 PM »
Loved it in December and still love it now.  U2 at it's emotional best.

Offline lucas.homem

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Re: The payoff - SOE burst into FULL COLOR for me
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2018, 09:34:02 AM »
This is their only really good album of the XXI century in my opinion. Lots of great catchy tunes to take to the heart. Don't think it's difficult to consume, only that it's a little of a downer and can be too subtle for the pseudo-music experts that thinks U2 is too safe nowadays.

Don't think it's perfect though and Best Thing is always a shock to me after Lights of Home.

Offline Sevy2016

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Re: The payoff - SOE burst into FULL COLOR for me
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2018, 03:29:00 PM »
3:22

I keep listening to this timing on the little things that give you away all the time.
That moment when bono sings “sometimes” and edge chimes it creates an enormous synergy of the band and the song, it is the moment of fruition of the song for the listener.
Go and listen to it and tell me if you hear what I hear.

The album is almost great, it has greatness on it for sure and it’s a great achievement by the band in their 5th decade.

Offline Zoomerang77

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Re: The payoff - SOE burst into FULL COLOR for me
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2018, 03:43:19 PM »
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From where I stand, Love is Bigger is already the closer though.

Interesting comment - I've often thought of the album as actually beginning with Lights of Home and ending with Love is Bigger, while LIAWHL and 13 being a kind of wrapper or book-ends setting mood/ambience.

Offline laoghaire

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Re: The payoff - SOE burst into FULL COLOR for me
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2018, 04:40:43 PM »
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From where I stand, Love is Bigger is already the closer though.

Interesting comment - I've often thought of the album as actually beginning with Lights of Home and ending with Love is Bigger, while LIAWHL and 13 being a kind of wrapper or book-ends setting mood/ambience.

Yeah, they do feel more like prologue/epilogue rather than chapters 1 and 13.

I can actually get some enjoyment out of LIAWHL now, but 13 is not there yet for me. I don't care; I don't like The Wanderer either and that hardly killed the album for me.