Author Topic: 1 month into of Songs Of Innocence, what has happened to the album for you?  (Read 7652 times)

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Offline fardreamer

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A month in and I'm loving SOI even more.

I said after a day or so that its the best record since Pop, and I stand by that. I might even give Pop a run for its money head-to-head.

Here's my thoughts track by track:

THE MIRACLE (OF JOEY RAMONE)
The Miracle is a great opener for the album. I think its their best lead single since Beautiful Day (was never a big fan of Vertigo). I reminds me a little bit of Elevation, in a good way. Its everything Get on Your Boots wasn't as a lead single; fun, catchy, cool, but with real depth underneath the fun. I love the Edge's woork on this one. 8.5/10

EVERY BREAKING WAVE
This is their best song sing Beautiful Day IMO. Its just gorgeous. I think I prefer the piano version, but the full band version works better on the record. Can't wait to see them play this one on tour. 9/10

CALIFORNIA (NO END TO LOVE)
Its funny how diverse our musical opinions are as U2 fans. A lot of people seem to dislike the intro (and the Santa Barbaras), but I think its the best part of the song. I'm alway sad when the intro ends and the actual song kicks in. It's not a bad song at all, its catchy. Sounds a bit too much like No Cars by Arcade Fire. Larry is awesome on this track, I love hearing the symbols smash. 7/10

SONG FOR SOMEONE
Killer song. This is going to be a tour highlight. I love how simple it is. Bono sounds fantastic on this one. It's one of his signature love songs with 2 adressees (a woman and God) at once. I love how it just stop suddenly. 8/10

IRIS (HOLD ME CLOSE)
I loved Iris from the first listen. Its so deep, so personal. musically and vocally it could be off The Unforgettable Fire. I love the longing in his voice when he says "Iris". Wonderful song, a U2 classic. 8.5/10

VOLCANO
Just as Iris sounds like TUF, Volcano would fit nicely on Boy, October or War. It's a great, catchy song. I love Adam's playing here. THe Edge sounds great also. The chorus is very cool. As much as I like it, I think its one of SOI's weaker tracks. 7/10

RAISED BY WOLVES
Wolves could be off War. The song builds up to the "RAISED BY WOLVES" part that Bono sings so fiercely. The first couple of listens I didn't quite know how to take it, but boy has it grown on me. It's a really good song. 7.5/10

CEDARWOOD ROAD
This is an awesome song. Some of The Edge's guitar work reminds me of The Fly, and thats always a good thing. The song has such violence musically, to match the intensity of the lyrics. Bono delivers a fantastic vocal. 8.5/10

SLEEP LIKE A BABY TONIGHT
Took a while to grow on me, but I love it now. It's so dark and creepy lyrically. I love the Man Machine-esque intro. This one would be right at home on Zooropa. 7.5/10

THIS IS WHERE YOU CAN REACH ME NOW
This one frustrates me. It's the one track I skip regularly, but I can hear a great song in there underneath the stuff that irritates me. I LOVE Larry's drumming, especially the intro (Too quiet! Too short!). I love the chorus. I HATE the silly keyboards all throughout the song and the stupid birds in the intro. I think it might be very cool live. 6/10

THE TROUBLES
So amazing and haunting. Their best closer since Love is Blindness. I love the duet. I think The Edge will sing it fine live. I love his guitar playing in this track, but it ends too soon. I felt a little cheated out of a classic solo. 8.5/10

This is a great record.


Offline dchamberlin

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I still like the album a great deal.  I believe it's their best since Achtung.
I am not a big fan of the acoustic versions and I hope we don't get stuck with a huge acoustic section during the tour.

Miracle - Good song and they finally picked a decent first single.
EBW - Good song but I've tired of it over time. It's still solid but I prefer their more upbeat tunes.
California - I believe this was the weakest song on the album in the beginning.  It's growing on me but it's still one of my least favorite songs on the album.
Song For Someone - Typical U2
Iris - hasn't really grown on my.  Bottom 1/3 of the album
Volcano - Loved it at first and still do.
Raised by Wolves - Loved it at first and still do.
Cedarwood Road - Loved it at first and still do.
Sleep Like A Baby Tonight - The first song I was able to download and listen to.  Great song.  I prefer the lyrics to the alternative version but the album version lyrics are smoother to the ear.
TIWYCRMN - Loved it at first and still do.
The Troubles - Loved it at first and still do.  I prefer the lyrics to the alternative version but the album version lyrics are easier on the ear.
Crystal Ballroom - Great song.  Loved it at first and still do. Not sure what the 12" remix does for the song though. It should have been on the album
Lucifer's Hands - Solid song but not at good as Crystal Ballroom.

macfoley

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I ain't going to talk about the music, yet, but I will copy and paste from another reply regarding the approach and sales...

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the views on this vid are over 216,000. Also on other vids that are streaming the album, one channel, house music has 83,000 over views and VEVO has over 74k views. Personally I don't know how many of those numbers are included in the 83 million streamed that counts for, add the 23 million that downloaded it, that is quite a lot. This is what Bono wanted, to get the album heard. He also said, it would be lucky to reach 3 million sales.
Adding that the amount it has sold around the world are low for U2, but it has done pretty well considering it has been heard by millions and still is and probably will do. As for hard copies being sold, can't see many of them flying off the shelves. Way I see it, it is like an experiment, in this day and age, music is consumed different, and the selling of actual hard copies of albums must be low. Looking at the artists above U2 in the album charts, how many of those albums have sold, being picked up at a shop, took the counter and paid for compared as to clicking a button and it is on your playlist or Amazon account. Or if you are naughty and download music for free, or get it sent to you via dropbox?
Bono is right, the charts are broken, and if we are to include streams, free apple giveways and hard copy sales, U2 would have blown everyone out of the water. That is the way I see it.
U2 did a very clever thing with the free release, they rustled some feathers, but no one should be bothered by sales here. The album is already one of the most heard albums of the year, and talked about. Most of the people saying U2 have pi**ed all over music and kicked music's head in, well after their albums creeping back in the itunes apple charts, people discovering U2's other works, no way a devaluation as Black Keys put it, reality TV star, once God of Metal, prince of darkness, Ozzy's say (did I mention, TV reality star = sell out) okay I love Sabbath, great band, but come on, think man!
Okay, I will stop rambling on now, but you get my point! I just find it funny that humanity got the hump, because of an album...

macfoley

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I will post my thoughts on the music tomorrow when I wake up...

Offline an tha

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The Miracle - By rights this should sit alongside soporific 'rockers' like elevation, vertigo, stand up comedy and love and peace or else, as a lumpen piece of drudgery - however it just has a charm that those songs do not, a wide eyed energy that carries it to a place above all of those songs - it feels more natural, it speaks rather than shouts even though it is noisy - it sounds looser and overall I like it, it's not great but it's good.

Every Breaking Wave - I don't believe that this song is the U2 classic that it seems most people here do, in fact it exhibits many of the traits of the bands worst output from the previous decade...However similarily to The Miracle it has a charm that elevates above the dross it is related to like magnificent for example and whilst it does not really excite me or challenge me it does a job of work as a solid if unspectacular song that has grown on me from an intitial indifference.

California - Did not like it at first, I am not raving about it now. However I don't dislike it, it's just a bit MOR and a bit 'meh' for me, it threatens lift off but never really does.

Song for Someone - This is the song that connected least with me at first, the bloody thing has snuck into my conciousness more and more though over the month, to the point where it is often the song in my head. It is beautiful, it is actually too poppy for my usual taste, but sometimes a melody and a feeling grabs you and it is a pointless exercise fighting it... This song grabs me and I have surrendered to it..

Iris - See above... It's hard not to be affected by the subject matter and how that is wrapped up in what is just a good song, with a great melody and a song that reveals more upon each listen.

Volcano - Simply everything that vertigo and elevation wanted to be but wasn't.... It sounds contemporary, but it also nods heavily to the bands post punk roots, they haven't sounded more strident and urgent and with such kinetic verve for a long time...

Raised by Wolves - I honestly believe that this song perfectly distills everything that is good about the band, it tells a story that compels you to listen and wraps that story up in a spell binding tune that takes you on a journey in a way they haven't done for too long, one of the finest and most engaging songs the band have recorded for many a year.

Cedarwood Road - Proof that the boys can rock out still but do so without sounding clunky, it has a wide eyed innocence and verve that really takes you into the world of a teenage Bono on that street, and mixes that into an intoxicating cocktail sprinkled with flashes of the beast that this band can be when they turn it up loud, Captain!

Sleep Like a Baby Tonight - the grit, the iron fist in a velvet glove of 90's U2, menacing, snarling, uncompromising, but delivered with subtlety, speaking rather than shouting but by doing so forcing you to listen closer....Stunning.

This is where you can reach me now - I still struggle with this song, I dont dislike it but it just does not quite resonate with me, I have  a love hate relationship with it and after a month it is still fighting with me, that though is a good thing because if it wasn't then I would know it hasn't got what it takes to win me over.... As is stands it may do in time.

The Troubles - The best song the band have recorded post Pop. The haunting, hypnotic Lykee Li refrain adds a simple beauty to a gripping song that is a tour de force. Bono sounds better than he has done for years, a triumph - an absolute triumph...

Overall an album that a month in is still growing on me, and growing from a very strong base..an album that as a fan I am proud of and an album that the band should be very proud of - an album that distills beautifully what U2 were, what they are and an album that points positively to where they are going next.... Bravo, gents... Bravo
« Last Edit: October 20, 2014, 06:11:51 PM by an tha »

Offline TheEnd

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Overall an albun that a month in is still growing on me, an albun that as a fan I am proud of and an album that the ban should be very proud of - an album that distills beautifully what U2 were, what they are and an album that points positively to where they are going next.... Bravo, gents... Bravo

This review closely mirrors my own thoughts with the exception of TIWYCRMN. I love that song without reservation. Adding it near the end of the album, along with The Troubles, is sheer genius because it just makes me to want to start over again from the start.

surit87

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One month in and SOI seems to be stellar and a return to form. One thing about this album, among many other, that I welcome with open arms is the dark and moody feel to it. The regret of SFS to the despair of Iris, the menace of SLABT to the 'bring it on' Troubles. This is something we haven't seen since Pop. 
As with all past albums, I'm sure many of us here are going to give some of the songs a whole new perspective once the tour comes around.

Offline achtungx

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And I must add that California becomes an even better song if you imagine that the person looking into the mirror and crying like a baby is a young Larry, discombobulated from a first tour of the States. :-)


Offline Albono

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still playing it... daily, and loud!
especially now, after adding LH and TCB!  the album sounded even better!

lucas.homem

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My opinion oscillates from day to day (not that I listen to SOI everyday), but it is pretty similar to my inicial onMy opinion oscilates from day to day (not that I listen to SOI everyday), but it is pretty similar to my inicial opinion, that is: the album is pretty good, but it's not THAT good. I admire the change, the energy, the youthfulness, the cohesion, the theme, but the album doesn't elevate me nor is a 'musical statement'.

Past one month, the biggest change in my opinion is that the first half of SOI is as good as the second half, that is not as strong as I thought.

7.5/10

Offline Geronimo

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I really love the Album and it was great the first day and now it still is….
I think its not comparable to anything they have done before but it is still U2 and i think they renewed themselves on a brilliant way…..
BOY October War UBRS
UF WAIA JT RH
AB Zooropa POP
ATYCLB, BOMB, Horizon

And the new era is SOI, SOE etc….Absolutly and this era will be great…

Im very exited about the live full band (electric) versions and i am expecting the songs will change live
All U2 songs have changed live and i think always become better….
Especially Edge is always more prominent and louder live with i like, and on this Album Adam and Larry are very good…
Edge always experiences a lot and i think he makes all the songs better live…

For example Mysttrious ways on the Album is totally different than played live food the past few years and i think it improved a lot live although i liked the studio version…

This Album has a few that really can grow a lot, i like the live version better of Miracle on the Graham show for example; not perfect but with a prominent and Raw Edge….
Iris, Volcano, Raised By Wolves, Cedarwood Road, This is Were you can Reach me can all grow in that way a lot….
Changing guitars, making it more raw, filling in some piano effects with guitar…….Oh yeah

Troubles with a very long extended solo?
Crystall Ballroom live on the rickenbacker with a more Mysterious ways sound (Adam already sounds great an groovy)

And then what should be the opener of the show with miracle as a second:
Lucifers Hands!!
I love it a lot but for me i think they have to change it a bit….
The "i can't change the world part" should be replaced or changed to more raw souning lyrics…
With a fly-isch voice and a new punk rock alter ego for Bono, together with Miracle it could be the best start of a tour since ZOO….
Give the man a new pair of shades and put him in a new leather jacket and it wil kick the hell out of us….
Lucifer himself or Miracle Man?

Offline Geronimo

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Punk rock party in a suburban home
Everybody’s famous here but nobody’s known
We got no music ‘cause the speaker’s blown
Apart….

Can you feel it….?? 8)

olimar

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When I first listened to it, I thought the album was good, but a little too sonically homogenous. The songs that I liked most were Song for Someone and Raised by Wolves. I didn't like Every Breaking Wave that much, and I thought This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now was forgettable. I thought the second half was stronger than the first half. Darker, too.

The album has been on heavy rotation this month, along with Spoon's latest album, They Want My Soul--a really good album, BTW--and Underworld's remastered Dubnobasswithmyheadman. I also tried to get into Thom Yorke's new album, but I've grown sick of his marble-mouthed singing, his aping of other artists like Flying Lotus and Burial, and the general miserableness of his music.

Sorry, back to my impressions of SoI a month in.

Miracle - A decent lead single, and I think it's even better live.
EBW - Overall, I think it's my least favorite song. I find the album version a bit cloying. I think the acoustic version really elevates the chorus, though.
California - This song grew from 'meh' to 'pretty cool' for me around week 2 or 3. I had a dream of driving through California one night, and I think this song inspired my brain.
Song for Someone - I know Bono said the song is about falling in love for the first time, but after the first week, I thought this song made more sense in a religious context. The light that shouldn't go out reminds me of the spiritual that goes "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine." There are several other lines I could mention, but that's for another thread, I think.
Iris - Beautiful, Unforgettable Fire-like U2. I really got into this song after listening to it on headphones.
Volcano - It's alright. I don't think my opinion has changed much.
Raised By Wolves - I think my excitement for the song has gone down a bit since the first listen, but I still like it a lot. The acoustic version is great.
Cedarwood Road - Another one that really grew on me. I think reading "North Side Story" really helped me appreciate the lyrics. And yet another great acoustic version.
Sleep Like a Baby - Those synths, man. They had me the moment I heard those synths. And even though it has heavy lyrics, the melody in the chorus is rather playful.
TIWYCRMN - Probably the song that grew on me the most. That first week, I regularly skipped it--mostly because of the corn-maze organ. But the chorus is really, really catchy, and that won me over. Still not my favorite on the album, but it's up there.
The Troubles - At first, I couldn't help but think this was a b-side to Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi's "Rome." But by the second and third listen, I thought it was quite amazing.

Overall, a really good album. I'm not quite ready to rank it yet, but I think it has the potential to crack my top five U2 albums.

About halfway through your second paragraph, I stopped what I was doing and put on dubnobasswithmyheadman - "Dirty Epic". Thanks, its been far too long since I listened to this album.

I agree with your last line on SOI too, reckon it could well be somewhere about the top 5 too, not quite ready to rank it yet though.

olimar

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I didnt connect with TIWYCRMN at first, but it was the outro that got me into it. Really good sound. I connected much quicker with Crystal Ballroom, but then the extended outro really blew me away.
In both cases, its great because its essentially the band jamming and creating a really cool sound.

Ive struggled to connect with Miracle, mainly because I find the verse/chorus a bit disconnected from each other, the key change just doesnt sound right. But the acoustic version seems to work better for me. And the live version on Graham Norton helped too.

I remain unconvinced about the acoustic thing. The band/Bono seem to be trying to convince the public that there is something particularly different and unique about this group of songs than what they do normally- as if looking for an angle to sell the songs to the public. Yeah, sure, you probably cant play Streets in an acoustic form (as bono mentioned on Graham Norton), but Im not sure thats necessarily been the case about the rest of their music- they could probably play almost all of ATYCLB in acoustic format, in example.

There is also the suspicion that they are trying to convince themselves, because Rick Rubin said "If we cant play it stripped back, then it isnt good enough as a song".

They should just play them the way that feels right- if it felt right to record any of those songs in a stripped back style, because they worked best, then they would have argued out doing that on the album in the first place.

Offline keirdubois

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A month into it, I still think Side 2 is stronger, and I still skip California/Song for Someone.

Top tier of songs for me is all of Side 2 except Raised by Wolves (it needs a stronger chorus lyric, and I’d reverse the rhyming lines in verse 3: zed/dead not dead/zed) but I still like it.

Second tier is EBW and Iris. Third tier is Miracle and Invisible, but I do like those two much more than I did before.

And honestly, adding in Crystal Ballroom and Lucifer’s Hands to make my own playlist sequence helps a LOT.

It’s what I did for NLOTH (always skipping tracks 5/6/7) and that worked well too.

Bottom line for me is that SOI Side 2 is as good as the best of Pop and the stuff I like from 1 is tolerable when the non-album tracks are added in. Solid 3 star album (if AB/JT are 5’s and TUF and Boy are 4’s).