Author Topic: I can't quite put my finger on why U2 resonates with me so much  (Read 447 times)

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Offline fEZbeing

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I can't quite put my finger on why U2 resonates with me so much
« on: November 08, 2018, 01:22:25 AM »
I'm going to list some contributing factors:

Nostalgia factor: childhood memories of U2 being played by parents, associated with fond memories such as being on holiday, car rides.

Diversity of Catalog: Songs are so different to each other across the board, Pop, Zooropa, War, Boy, UF, R&H, JT - Just listen to the opening track of each album to get an idea of the diversity of their catalog.

I find it easy listening to U2 days on end without getting board of their music because they have such a huge variety of moods and soundscapes.

3) Bono's tone of voice - ranges between soothing(please), rasping (In A Little While), brooding (the Fly), pleaful/raging (Mofo), angelic falsetto (Lemon, The Fly, Dirty Day)

4) Edge soundscapes - Guitar gives the sense of exhilaration, adrenaline inducing, a sense of 'lifting off the ground' especially when mixed with some form of physical activity.

But here's what drives me crazy, I just can't understand why other bands/artists don't resonate with me to the extent that U2 does.

I've tried, I really have, I listen to wide range of musical genres and try to listen to new bands and artists every day but for some reason I just can't make that almost spiritual connection that I feel when listening to U2, even when I've explored full discographies.

So basically I've just given up, I solely listen to U2 when I'm listening to music for enjoyment. When I have time, I listen to other artists/bands as I want to expand my repertoire and I really hope that some day I will find a band/artist that connects with me to the same extent that U2 does.

The closest I've got to this is with LCD Soundsystem and Radiohead.

I can't pinpoint why this band satisfies me more than any other artist in the music industry. Does anyone have any theories that could explain why this is the case for me?




« Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 01:52:56 AM by fEZbeing »



Offline Immy1992

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Re: I can't quite put my finger on why U2 resonates with me so much
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2018, 01:56:44 AM »
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I'm going to list some contributing factors:

Nostalgia factor: childhood memories of U2 being played by parents, associated with fond memories such as being on holiday, car rides.

Diversity of Catalog: Songs are so different to each other across the board, Pop, Zooropa, War, Boy, UF, R&H, JT - Just listen to the opening track of each album to get an idea of the diversity of their catalog.

I find it easy listening to U2 days on end without getting board of their music because they have such a huge variety of moods and soundscapes.

3) Bono's tone of voice - ranges between soothing(please), rasping (In A Little While), brooding (the Fly), pleaful/raging (Mofo), angelic falsetto (Lemon, The Fly, Dirty Day)

4) Edge soundscapes - Guitar gives the sense of exhilaration, adrenaline inducing, a sense of 'lifting off the ground' especially when mixed with some form of physical activity.

But here's what drives me crazy, I just can't understand why other bands/artists don't resonate with me as much as U2.

I've tried, I really have, I listen to wide range of musical genres and try to listen to new bands and artists every day but for some reason I just can't make that almost spiritual connection that I feel when listening to U2, even when I've explored full discographies.

So basically I've just given up, I solely listen to U2 when I'm listening to music for enjoyment. When I have time, I listen to other artists/bands as I want to expand my repertoire and I really hope that some day I will find a band/artist that connects with me to the same extent that U2 does.

The closest I've got to this is with LCD Soundsystem and Radiohead
I completely understand where you're coming from.
I like lots of music, but there's something about U2 that strikes deeper.
I bought HTDAAB in 2005 when I was 13. It was the first album I bought and listened to all the way through, and there was no track I didn't like. I'd just seen them on TV at Live8 and my aunt (who had been a huge U2 fan from the early days) had played the Joshua tree for me in her car.
After that I started exploring their other stuff and loved it. The rest is history

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Offline Sunchild

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Re: I can't quite put my finger on why U2 resonates with me so much
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2018, 04:38:49 AM »
Underneath all the sound is a frequency of thought, and that thought that carries U2 is the one of divine love. U2 resonate with me because it has a purity, it dispenses with style as long as it has soul, it has a rainbow of human emotions, all kinds of moods, there is nothing monotone. U2 is an adventure, an exploration, perfectly reflecting the time we live in.

Offline laoghaire

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Re: I can't quite put my finger on why U2 resonates with me so much
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2018, 05:40:41 AM »
Is it that they, er, elevate your soul?

Offline Vox

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Re: I can't quite put my finger on why U2 resonates with me so much
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2018, 12:57:08 PM »
Interesting topic.

1)   For me I always primarily assumed it was because my favorite band from my early teenaged years never broke up, changed lineups, or had the play the Middleofnowhere County Fairs.

Other possibilities which I’ve occasionally thought about:
2)   I have a spiritual side that I constantly scrutinize and question that isn’t easily put into a tidy compartment.  I like Bono’s honest lyrical approach to the spiritual.  Nothing’s black/white – it’s complicated.  I also like art that has multiple meanings, and Bono’s lyrics often have many interpretations.
3)   Bono’s voice is very reassuring and comforting to me.  I’m not sure if it’s because his voice has always been there for me since I was a kid, or if it’s just the way it sounds.
4)   I love the sounds of the The Edge’s guitar.  Whether it’s echoing chiming, or cascading washes of color.
5)   I like marching, bass-heavy songs.  Adam and Larry’s styles have changed and evolved throughout the years, but they’ve always had a “got to keep moving forward” undercurrent. 

Sometimes, people introduce me to certain songs or bands because they say “I heard this song and thought of you – I thought that you’d like it.”  And, a lot of the times, I do like the song, buy it, and eventually play it at some future social gathering, and often those people say, “I can see why you like it -- that sounds a little like U2.”

Again – it’s the chicken or the egg.  Do I enjoy these sounds because I’ve always liked U2, or do I like U2 because I’ve always enjoyed these sounds?  It’s all too intertwined in my mind to know or even question it.

Offline shineinthesummernight

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Re: I can't quite put my finger on why U2 resonates with me so much
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2018, 04:37:48 PM »
More intelligent people are drawn to their music, so your fondness for U2 speaks well for you.  Also, I would agree that the overall message of hope and love is compelling for those who want to hear it.  I find Simple Minds to be a close second some days.

Offline fEZbeing

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Re: I can't quite put my finger on why U2 resonates with me so much
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2018, 07:06:48 PM »
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3)   Bono’s voice is very reassuring and comforting to me.  I’m not sure if it’s because his voice has always been there for me since I was a kid, or if it’s just the way it sounds.
4)   I love the sounds of the The Edge’s guitar.  Whether it’s echoing chiming, or cascading washes of color.
5)   I like marching, bass-heavy songs.  Adam and Larry’s styles have changed and evolved throughout the years, but they’ve always had a “got to keep moving forward” undercurrent.


I can relate with those 3 points an awful lot
« Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 07:08:35 PM by fEZbeing »

Offline JTNash

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Re: I can't quite put my finger on why U2 resonates with me so much
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2018, 08:57:50 PM »
U2 is like my oldest friend, my security blanket I refuse to give up.

Offline JFW

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Re: I can't quite put my finger on why U2 resonates with me so much
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2018, 01:58:01 AM »
Was literally thinking this just before going to the forums.

Thwy're not the best artists. Bono is one of the worst guitarplayers. They heavily rely on click tracks...

Why is it that they can engange with the audience so good?

For me it's that I can imagine myself singing/playing the songs. U2 connects on a high level with my emotional thoughts and religious thoughts. Out of control and twilight and several songs on Bomb and SOI (yeah, im that young) really helped me growing up. Heavy songs like EBW (while I misinterpretated the lyrics, haha), If God..Angels, WUDM, Love rescue me, Drowning man helped me scaping my beliefs.

A friend of mine asked me after the show in amsterdam: what is that that makes you a fanboy? I said: it's just that every version of songs (studio and live as well) resonates with me. He looked at me like I was crazy, he wanted to have an onjective thought

Offline Northern Powerhouse

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Re: I can't quite put my finger on why U2 resonates with me so much
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2018, 06:08:56 AM »
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More intelligent people are drawn to their music

^ That   8)

To me their songs provide a perfect soundscape, an addition to the physical and spiritual world, rather than most music being a mere distraction from it. Individually, there are probably more talented musicians, but together they transcend the everyday to become something special and pure.

Offline TongueInMyEar

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Re: I can't quite put my finger on why U2 resonates with me so much
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2018, 06:10:48 AM »
For me I've always thought it was because they were the first band I fell in love with, at around 11/12 years old.

First I got hooked by Streets, I Will Follow and Bad from the 80-90 Best Of. Then when ATYCLB came out Beautiful Day was obviously a massive hit and I loved it.

But the real important point for me was listening to Achtung Baby. It changed my whole view on music, I understood what an album was all about. I remember being genuinely awestruck listening to the guitar solo on The Fly, I'd only started playing guitar and that just killed me.

As OP said I think the varied styles keeps you coming back, there's a U2 album for most moods.

This week in fact is the first time I've played each album in chronological order (don't know why it's taken so long). It's been a real experience and really affirmed how great they are.

I have many artists I really love, main ones being Radiohead, War On Drugs, Ride and My Bloody Valentine. But none will ever have the same emotional pull as U2.

Offline ricebird5678

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Re: I can't quite put my finger on why U2 resonates with me so much
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2018, 12:20:26 PM »
For me, it was the first band I fell in love with.

Their sound was unique and distinctive and at the time that equated to 'coolness,' which as a musically unrefined teen was enough.

As I have gotten older I have dove into the U2 catalog and have come to appreciate the depth of their songs and Bono trying in earnest to connect to the masses with his usually, very introspective lyrics.

The band is the soundtrack to my life so far with Bono as the muse who seemingly has written a song conveying all of my feelings throughout my young life so far. I turn to the band when I am in grief (In a Little While) to when I am resplendent with joy (Beautiful Day, Rejoice).


Offline laoghaire

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Re: I can't quite put my finger on why U2 resonates with me so much
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2018, 12:31:28 PM »
The chicken or egg question is easy for me because there was a moment when I signed up - as opposed to a moment when I looked back and said, hey, they've meant a lot to me.

One day I heard a band offer to take my hand and help me up the mountain. I took them up on that offer and they followed through.

Offline shineinthesummernight

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Re: I can't quite put my finger on why U2 resonates with me so much
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2018, 08:08:05 PM »
That was really beautiful, Laoghaire.

Offline Karmamalaga

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Re: I can't quite put my finger on why U2 resonates with me so much
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2018, 09:52:48 AM »
Joking about what song would fit one another in my family as a song during one's funeral, my mother said "The one from the Pursuaders", because it's just such a dam good tune. Then, in 1984/85, she said: "yeah, that or U2:s "Pride"". For the same reson. Her mother (my grandmother) did not get her whish, however. She wanted the Beatles Michelle, yet again for the same reason: it just sounded/sounds good!


U2 to me starts with cat & dog, i.e. siblings, where I am the younger one by two and a half years. She was discovering U2 whil I was into the Beatles. Boy and October were hence comared to Rubber Soul and the White Album. Eventually, with some love affairs of the kind one can experience pror to puberty, I started listening. I bought my first album of U2 from my own pocket Money slightly after its release (War). Then came the unforgettable Fire which is only about me! Haha! Well, the wait for my favourite album was worth it.