There are so many unknown variables.
In context of an album this song may work great. In context of the concept and continuation of the last album… Again it may work. .
It's not just about somebody doing what they're good at… I keep hearing the word "art" thrown around. Art isn't simply repeating your strengths. It is also challenging yourself and being willing to fail in pursuit of a desired outcome. Great anything isn't just conjurable by anyone. Especially in music where often prolonged time is the judge.
So maybe they haven't mastered great songs in the traditional sense… That maybe an opinion of some. Why would they quit trying? Their heroes were great songwriters. I don't think Bono is in sincere when he cringes when compared to the greats. I think they are all well aware of their level of skill and lack there of.
I personally haven't stated one way or the other how I feel about this. I need much more to go on including better Fidelity. That's just me.
The unforgettable fire is my favorite U2 album. U2 will never be naïve enough to make something comparable to that. I personally think the genius of that album lies partly in their lack of skill, blind ambition and youthful conviction. If anyone thinks they went into that record knowing what they were going to come out with… Well... I would debate that.
I would also go as far to say that the album "boy" that was influential to me and many people here in our youth… Would not move us quite so much wee it released today.
I would also go as far to say that the album "boy" that was influential to me and many people here in our youth… Would not move us quite so much were it released today.
We have changed and grown just as much as they have... Those of us with any mileage that is. We were young… They were young… And that music sounded it.
I wish there was a like button on here since I agree with a lot of this. In hindsight, we’re going to favor a lot of the things and songs that got us into our favorite acts anyway. It doesn’t mean we can’t like or dislike things after that, of course… but nostalgia can be a pretty strong indicator one way or another.
If anyone thinks they went into that record knowing what they were going to come out with… Well... I would debate that.
To expand on this a bit… I never quite bought into the idea that there was some broad intention in going after “the kids.” Even if they are trying to write songs with ‘relevance,” that can mean the same as trying to create something that strikes a chord with people in general, not just 29 and under. If they really wanted to go down that route, then we would have seen the R&B collaborations in overdrive above just writing something that’s dancey or has a guitar on it. Wouldn’t wii.i.am have been featured on NLOTH after all if that was the way to go?
As someone who’s dabbled a bit into writing songs from time to time as well, I sort of sympathize with how hard it is to complete a song in the first place, and much more so for a good one. It’s not easy for a lot of people and if they’re willing to wait five years to release an album, then that shows that some thought does go into it (no matter how frustrating it can be for us!). I don’t think Bono’s sitting there with a pen and thinking, “What’s going to make a 16-year-old listen to this?” I don’t think their songwriting process is too far removed from what they’ve done in the past really, as a result. It’s hard enough to write something that's listenable anyway, and something that you're completely happy with on top of that (which I doubt most musicians are able to say too).
As for those that wish the band would write music that “they want to make”, which actually means songs that don’t sound commercial and what they would prefer to hear… to me, there’s more of a chance of something sounding a bit more contrived going that route than the other way around. The band’s written pop melodies before and has written stuff geared towards all sorts of genres before. Same thing for the 90’s albums and what not (Mysterious Ways and Discotheque, anyone?).
At the end of the day, it’s just songs they’re writing, not bringing world peace or whatever. I’m not going to equate them with being as bad as murderers just because I don’t like a song, you know? Either way, life goes on.