Author Topic: How to best enjoy SOI/SOE...  (Read 426 times)

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Offline zooguitar

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How to best enjoy SOI/SOE...
« on: April 29, 2018, 03:08:36 PM »
Sherry's recent article arguing SOE as a stronger album over Achtung Baby was certainly a controversial take. I respectfully but definitely don't agree: AB's innovation—studio based or not—is just one reason why it sits in a position out of reach for SOE. There are also no stinkers on it, period: SOE fails pretty badly with the 3 singles after LOH. I read a comment from BalconyTV on another thread where BTV wrote that they thought songs 3-5 on SOE were the lowlight of the album. I happen to agree, and had similar moments on SOI where I thought out of place songs derailed the otherwise good vibe. Given how many songs they ended up recording for the entire double album concept, I personally feel the best way to enjoy them is to compile the songs that work best in the best sequence to create a consistent, high quality journey and experience. The songs selected and sequenced for the official albums respectively, I feel, fail in attaining this goal. But the deluxe editions provide enough balance to suggest what could have been achieved with different consideration.

Here are the track listings I consistently enjoy listening to from start to finish:

The Miracle
Raised By Wolves
Crystal Ballroom
Cedarwood Road
EBW (acoustic version)
Sleep Like A Baby Tonight
This Is Where...

California just didn't seem to fit at all on SOI, but ironically I think it fits with SOE more as a story of Edge's new life in Malibu.

Love Is All
Lights of Home (St. Peter's Version)
Lucifer's Hands (extended mix-I actually heard this on the radio once)
Red Flag Day
The Showman
Little Things
Summer of Love
Love is Bigger...
There is a light

Best Thing and GOOYOW are just too U2-by-numbers for me to enjoy on any serious level. I think Lucifer's Hands could be the story of Bono getting excited by the New New Wave boom of the 00s; I heard an edit once on KROQ that repeated the main riff again at the end which gave it a little more oomph. Regardless, I think it is more interesting as a "rocker" than AS, which really is an inferior version of Volcano, anyway.

« Last Edit: April 29, 2018, 03:10:35 PM by zooguitar »

Offline hollywoodswag

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Re: How to best enjoy SOI/SOE...
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2018, 06:51:24 AM »
How to best enjoy SOI/SOE? Turn them off and play How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb instead.  ;D

But in all seriousness, I stopped playing SOE for quite a while and let my disappointment wear off by playing other albums, then came back to it a while later just for the sake of hearing it again. It was much more enjoyable that way. As for SOI, I'm due for another listen sometime soon.

Offline laoghaire

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Re: How to best enjoy SOI/SOE...
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2018, 07:34:35 AM »
I think California fits in SOI and not SOE. The story of their first time there.

It was the second to last song I "adopted" on the album, and somewhere in the 3 weakest imho but... it's still got something. The chorus moves me.

I like just listening to these two albums just as they are, warts and all.

Leave Behind, I'm happy as a clam for the first half, and I'm outta there by the time Wild Honey rolls around.

Offline pfctsqr

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Re: How to best enjoy SOI/SOE...
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2018, 08:50:54 PM »
I'm afraid I have to agree with two posts above: the best way to enjoy SoI/SoE is to simply not listen to them.

Offline Dali

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Re: How to best enjoy SOI/SOE...
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2018, 11:48:58 AM »
I get the feeling that "Songs Of Experience" is the least guitar band sounding that a guitar band can sound. It can make you forget U2 started out as a guitar band. That is surprising because Edge is more prominent and Edge-sounding here than he was for most of "Songs Of Innocence" where often he sounds like it could be any guitar player. But that doesn't matter much because most of the songs are great.

Also, overall, "Songs Of Innocence" feels more like a rock album whereas "Songs Of Experience" feels more like a pop album.

As a listener, I tend to enjoy the rawness of rock more than the refinery of pop, so I don't listen to these two albums back to back and do not view them as connected, in spite of a song like "13" directly linking the two.

Most of SOE is more something that I would let doodle along as background music or aural wallpaper as Brian Eno might have it. "You're the Best Thing About Me" is the notable exception here because it's so catchy it will make you notice.
SOI is much better for listening to it just to listen, like most of U2's music is.