Author Topic: Unpopular Opinion: U2 Edition  (Read 1175 times)

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Offline U2FlyXC

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Unpopular Opinion: U2 Edition
« on: July 04, 2018, 11:48:52 AM »
While I'm sure a thread like this has been done in the past, I'm relatively new and thought it might be fun especially after seeing quite a few "Unpopular opinion" threads pop up on Twitter.

I have quite a few differing views than most regarding U2 but I'll start off with:

Songs of Innocence is one of U2's best albums (definetely since POP). Thematically all the songs make sense and there isn't a truly bad song on the album. Sleep Like a Baby is the standout but I enjoy every song to some degree. Lyrically the album is incredible as well and I don't hear many of the issues brought up by people regarding the actual production of the album (it all sounds fine to me).

Thoughts? And what are your unpopular opinions?
« Last Edit: July 04, 2018, 11:51:19 AM by U2FlyXC »



Offline Tortuga

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Re: Unpopular Opinion: U2 Edition
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2018, 12:45:52 PM »
SOI and SOE are at the bottom of my ranking.  I don’t know if it is so much a problem of the albums as it is that I’ve grown tired of the themes of Bono’s childhood, etc.  I appreciate the trauma of having lost his mother at an early age but does it need to be on almost every single album since Boy?  I thought NLOTH had some real standouts.  I love pretty much everything through NLOTH except Bomb, which also felt somewhat trite.  But the last two there is really nothing that I feel is really standout.  13 is a boring reprise of Song for Someone, which sounded like one of about 150 songs you sing at church in the first place.  Then there are lines like “a baby cries on a doorstep”.  Really?

I’m not slamming the band.  They’ve done it very well for many years and It is very hard to keep coming up with something new and fresh.  But if the last two albums came from another artist I wouldn’t probably give them much consideration after a few listens.  I think they may still have another classic or two left in them.  Or, maybe not.  Who knows?  Right now I think they have a big problem with trying too hard to be relevant to today’s music scene working with multiple producers to hedge bets.  Its hard to have a cohesive artistic vision when you do that.


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Offline wons

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Re: Unpopular Opinion: U2 Edition
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2018, 01:36:10 PM »
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While I'm sure a thread like this has been done in the past, I'm relatively new and thought it might be fun especially after seeing quite a few "Unpopular opinion" threads pop up on Twitter.

I have quite a few differing views than most regarding U2 but I'll start off with:

Songs of Innocence is one of U2's best albums (definetely since POP). Thematically all the songs make sense and there isn't a truly bad song on the album. Sleep Like a Baby is the standout but I enjoy every song to some degree. Lyrically the album is incredible as well and I don't hear many of the issues brought up by people regarding the actual production of the album (it all sounds fine to me).

Thoughts? And what are your unpopular opinions?

I'm not sure that is an unpopular opinion. I like Songs Of Innocence too. I thought it was better than No Line On The Horizon as well as some other albums in the U2 catalog, but I'm a huge fan of How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb and All That You Can't Leave Behind. Those two albums are my 3rd and 5th favorite by U2. I'd say Songs Of Innocence is around 6th or 7th for me in the list of their 14 albums.

Offline Rasmus

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Re: Unpopular Opinion: U2 Edition
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2018, 03:23:13 PM »
Let's see:

- The Elevation Tour was where they peaked as a band.
- U2 is no longer a relevant band for people under 30 (40?).
- Pop is the biggest failure of U2's career. Not because the album is bad (it is amazing) but because the band has become afraid of experimentation and developing their sound because of it.
- I have never understood U2's position on the tax issue and it still lessens my opinion of Bono especially.
- U2's setlists have become beyond boring and they generally pick the wrong songs to play from their latest albums - actually from most albums to be honest.
- When I see videos of U2 live from their latest couple of tours it seems that it sound more and more like U2 doing a coverband version of U2 (if that makes sense).
« Last Edit: July 04, 2018, 03:25:45 PM by Rasmus »

Offline McSwilly

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Re: Unpopular Opinion: U2 Edition
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2018, 04:52:17 PM »
SOE was mostly a bore, same as the last few albums.
The set list was a further bore, hence the lack of sold out shows and so many people sitting.
U2 is the best live band ever.
After Achtung Baby it all went down hill.

Offline Argo

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Re: Unpopular Opinion: U2 Edition
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2018, 06:55:57 PM »
My unpopular opinion is that The Joshua Tree is over-rated, especially the second half of it other than Exit. Streets, WOWY and Bullet are simply brilliant, which means it peaks early, but rest of the album other than Exit is a bit meh for me.

Offline benpoke

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Re: Unpopular Opinion: U2 Edition
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2018, 03:36:52 AM »
They need to ditch Willie Williams, as the concepts and narratives have become increasingly more important than the music.  I don't go to a concert for a narrative or a huge screen or virtual reality or multiple stages. 

I go to hear songs, and U2 have four decades worth of great songs!

Strip things back, have just one stage at the end of the arena, rehearse 60 songs so they can mix the set up each night.  Perhaps tell the stories behind the songs - that will get across more information than a gigantic screen or a narrative ever-will.

Offline wons

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Re: Unpopular Opinion: U2 Edition
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2018, 03:52:51 AM »
Its interesting that this thread is now the most popular in the general forum. One wonders what that says about this forum, or the nature of message boards in general.

Offline Tortuga

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Re: Unpopular Opinion: U2 Edition
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2018, 06:36:00 AM »
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Its interesting that this thread is now the most popular in the general forum. One wonders what that says about this forum, or the nature of message boards in general.

Wouldn’t it be more logical to wonder what it says about the direction U2 has been headed?  The simplest most direct and obvious answer is usually the correct one.


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Offline the_chief

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Re: Unpopular Opinion: U2 Edition
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2018, 07:12:36 AM »
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Let's see:

- The Elevation Tour was where they peaked as a band.
- U2 is no longer a relevant band for people under 30 (40?).
- Pop is the biggest failure of U2's career. Not because the album is bad (it is amazing) but because the band has become afraid of experimentation and developing their sound because of it.
- I have never understood U2's position on the tax issue and it still lessens my opinion of Bono especially.
- U2's setlists have become beyond boring and they generally pick the wrong songs to play from their latest albums - actually from most albums to be honest.
- When I see videos of U2 live from their latest couple of tours it seems that it sound more and more like U2 doing a coverband version of U2 (if that makes sense).

If you got away with paying less tax on your business, you would!

Also, Bono, Edge and Larry all live in Ireland and pay taxes as residents of the country

Offline hotty375

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Re: Unpopular Opinion: U2 Edition
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2018, 07:15:52 AM »
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Its interesting that this thread is now the most popular in the general forum. One wonders what that says about this forum, or the nature of message boards in general.

Wouldn’t it be more logical to wonder what it says about the direction U2 has been headed?  The simplest most direct and obvious answer is usually the correct one.


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Amen to that, Tortuga-- 100% agree

Re this forum, it is the oldest independent U2 fan site- some of us have been here since 1995. There is a large cross section of fans of all generations who became fans at all the different points in the band's musical history. That's why it has been so enduring, and was the original setlist place to go back in the days when we were all trading bootlegs.

I'm not sure what your point is about message boards?


Offline the_chief

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Re: Unpopular Opinion: U2 Edition
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2018, 07:16:10 AM »
I love the last two albums and rank them quite high
You don't need to be "experimental" to make a good album.
Everything that has been played live from ATYCLB sounds better than on record
Electric Co. should be a set list warhorse like I Will Follow

Offline U2FlyXC

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Re: Unpopular Opinion: U2 Edition
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2018, 07:19:44 AM »
Some interesting stuff so far.  Here are my thoughts:

I'm 21 and a huge U2 fan but I do agree that most people my age aren't really into them for a multitude of reasons.

Past few tours haven't featured terrible setlists but I do agree they need to be a bit more dynamic. I understand and actually really enjoyed the story they're telling on this tour but I definetely feel a few songs could be rotated in (Gone, Wild horses, The Fly etc.).

Although Achtung Baby is my favorite album, I feel they are still putting out quality tracks and performing well live. Not many bands that have been together for as long as U2 has can say that.

Although I like the new stuff, I do wish they would be willing to experiment more. Songs like Sleep Like a baby, Love is all we have left, little things, The Troubles, and book of your heart show the band is at their best when they aren't making "radio songs" which to be fair aren't bad either.

I really liked songs of experience. Little things and Love is all we have left are my personal standouts but most of the songs are well done.

Finally, I do think a lot of people (both fans and nonfans) unfairly criticize U2. I don't think they're in a terrible place right now and a thread like this doesn't indicate anything. Some people like certain things most don't and others dislike things certain people like. It's just the way it is and with a band as vast as U2, it makes sense.

I also agree about the electric co. One of my favorite U2 songs when I first got into the band in grade school.

Cheers! :)

Offline Tortuga

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Re: Unpopular Opinion: U2 Edition
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2018, 07:41:48 AM »
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Some interesting stuff so far.  Here are my thoughts:

I'm 21 and a huge U2 fan but I do agree that most people my age aren't really into them for a multitude of reasons.

Past few tours haven't featured terrible setlists but I do agree they need to be a bit more dynamic. I understand and actually really enjoyed the story they're telling on this tour but I definetely feel a few songs could be rotated in (Gone, Wild horses, The Fly etc.).

Although Achtung Baby is my favorite album, I feel they are still putting out quality tracks and performing well live. Not many bands that have been together for as long as U2 has can say that.

Although I like the new stuff, I do wish they would be willing to experiment more. Songs like Sleep Like a baby, Love is all we have left, little things, The Troubles, and book of your heart show the band is at their best when they aren't making "radio songs" which to be fair aren't bad either.

I really liked songs of experience. Little things and Love is all we have left are my personal standouts but most of the songs are well done.

Finally, I do think a lot of people (both fans and nonfans) unfairly criticize U2. I don't think they're in a terrible place right now and a thread like this doesn't indicate anything. Some people like certain things most don't and others dislike things certain people like. It's just the way it is and with a band as vast as U2, it makes sense.

I also agree about the electric co. One of my favorite U2 songs when I first got into the band in grade school.

Cheers! :)
I don’t think they’re in a terrible place, just near their career low relatively speaking.  The good songs are still good, but the last two albums are just more uneven and less consistent.  The other problem for me is they hammer to hard on this theme which has become old and tiresome.  Bono’s been reflecting on his youth now for how many years?  He needs some new inspiration.


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Offline wons

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Re: Unpopular Opinion: U2 Edition
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2018, 04:27:24 PM »
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Its interesting that this thread is now the most popular in the general forum. One wonders what that says about this forum, or the nature of message boards in general.

Wouldn’t it be more logical to wonder what it says about the direction U2 has been headed?  The simplest most direct and obvious answer is usually the correct one.


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That is not the thread topic. The topic is unpopular opinions about U2 which often means sh**ting on the band and its music. It raises the question that if your a fan and enjoy their music, why you would spend time on a message board attacking them. I typically don't comment about music I don't like or care for. I also would not be spending any time on a message board for a band I had been so disappointed in for years. One thing I have found about the internet in general is that its more popular to make critical or scathing remarks about something someone doesn't like than to compliment something they do like. This thread seems to fit that general theme. Sort of a lets take the band behind the woodshed and beat them up for everything we don't like, type of thread.