Author Topic: We're not just being negative: an open letter to ardent defenders of the new U2  (Read 8719 times)

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Offline shineinthesummernight

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I'm hoping this forum is taking a turn toward the positive. 8)

Offline davis

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All of you who think the band don't make good music anymore don't buy it anymore, simple as that. Don't complain that U2 is dead because according to you they've been dead for over 20 years now, and nothing has changed. Just don't buy and leave the people that actually still like the band alone.

Gee, and I thought discussion forums were for thoughtful discussion...

By the way, nothing in the original post said I didn't think U2 made good music anymore or that they were dead.  I even said this:
Quote
I still listen to, and buy, everything they put out.  Most of it I enjoy for awhile.  Some of it I think is pretty good.  I admire that they're still together and still writing and recording music.  I still go to as many shows as possible (and have never really been disappointed live).

I don't mind if you disagree with me, but no one likes to be misrepresented.





Offline The Exile

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All of you who think the band don't make good music anymore don't buy it anymore, simple as that. Don't complain that U2 is dead because according to you they've been dead for over 20 years now, and nothing has changed. Just don't buy and leave the people that actually still like the band alone.

Gee, and I thought discussion forums were for thoughtful discussion...

By the way, nothing in the original post said I didn't think U2 made good music anymore or that they were dead.  I even said this:
Quote
I still listen to, and buy, everything they put out.  Most of it I enjoy for awhile.  Some of it I think is pretty good.  I admire that they're still together and still writing and recording music.  I still go to as many shows as possible (and have never really been disappointed live).

I don't mind if you disagree with me, but no one likes to be misrepresented.

Look Davis, just quit with the negativity already. U2 are immune to age, stagnancy, and writer's block. Bono's hair is real, Edge doesn't color his goatee and wears a beanie because he likes it, Larry hasn't had facial work done, and every song is tied for first on the Best Songs Ever list.   ;D

Offline Luzita

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Thank you, Davis, for sharing your perspective with such passion and eloquence. You seem to feel people don't believe your statements are heartfelt. I don't think that's the problem.

I'm a pretty new member of this forum and I initially worried this site might be totally dominated by fans who think 90s U2 is God's gift and post-90s U2 is complete crap, and anyone who wasn't on board with that shouldn't bother sticking around. I soon realized that isn't the case, there really is a diversity of opinion among forum members, but there is a clique that posts that perspective so frequently and aggressively that other voices tend to get elbowed aside.

You and some like-minded fans seem to have great difficulty understanding that your feelings on this matter are your truth, not THE truth. A previous comment pointed out this issue in your original post. You apologized, and sort of recognized the subjectivity of your opinions, but also sort of insisted on the objective validity of your artistic judgement, using Shakespeare as an example.

Yes, if a work of art inspires love and acclaim over a looong period of time, calling it great art becomes a semi-objective statement. But there is no comparison between that sort of judgement of history and the opinions of a clutch of rock fans -- or even a gaggle of rock critics -- regarding the output of a band that is still alive and active (thank God). Sorry, but your perspective really is *subjective.*

As is true for all of us. Our response to music is an incredibly personal and variable thing, especially in the case of a band like U2. I agree there is something sublime in their music, but I don't agree that quality vanished in the 21st century. I base that on my own personal experience.

I was a big U2 fan in the 80s. When Achtung Baby came out, I wanted to like it but I just didn't. I know, heresy. But that happened to a lot of people. There's a big bloc of folks out there who feel that post-80s U2 is crap. There's a smaller but still significant group who think U2 stopped being good after War. They may not be represented on this board, but they definitely exist.

I had already been underwhelmed by R&H, so after AB I stopped following the band's music. They always kept a special place in my heart, though. So I occasionally checked in on them during the 90s, and thought, huh? When ATYCLB came out and made a big splash, I bought the album in hopes of reconnecting. It didn't happen. I then bought the 1990-2000 compilation, thinking I'd take another crack at the 90s. No dice. After that, I pretty much gave up.

So what am I doing on this forum now? Things changed for me last year, when my mom became ill and then passed away. I started watching old U2 videos on YouTube that I hadn't seen in a long time, like Gloria and Two Hearts Beat As One, because I found them comforting. From there I started watching some of their newest music, that I was completely unfamiliar with, and discovered I liked a lot of it. Such as Ordinary Love, for example. I first heard that song as a performance clip from the Tonight Show. Four guys in their fifties sitting on a couch, and they killed it. I worked my way back from the 2010s, to the 2000s, to the 1990s. I discovered I liked most of it, including both ATYCLB and Achtung Baby. It was the same music, and I was the same person (or was I?) but my reaction was completely different from the first time I heard those albums. The only way I can describe it is that I became able to recognize that sublime quality in their music, which is what made me love them in the first place, through the veil of their changing styles.

Anyway, the point is:  music appreciation is extremely subjective.

I believe that you, Davis, and other like-minded fans, should be free to express your sense of loss, your disappointment with current U2, on this forum. Just please try to express it in a way that is respectful of fans who disagree, and allows some space to breathe for their excitement about the new music.

Also, please be respectful of the band as human beings. I'm not talking about you specifically, Davis, but I have read some comments on here from the "2000s are crap" brigade that I think are not and that is very unpleasant.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 05:57:50 PM by Luzita »

Offline Rasmus

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Quote
All of you who think the band don't make good music anymore don't buy it anymore, simple as that. Don't complain that U2 is dead because according to you they've been dead for over 20 years now, and nothing has changed. Just don't buy and leave the people that actually still like the band alone.

Gee, and I thought discussion forums were for thoughtful discussion...

By the way, nothing in the original post said I didn't think U2 made good music anymore or that they were dead.  I even said this:
Quote
I still listen to, and buy, everything they put out.  Most of it I enjoy for awhile.  Some of it I think is pretty good.  I admire that they're still together and still writing and recording music.  I still go to as many shows as possible (and have never really been disappointed live).

I don't mind if you disagree with me, but no one likes to be misrepresented.

Look Davis, just quit with the negativity already. U2 are immune to age, stagnancy, and writer's block. Bono's hair is real, Edge doesn't color his goatee and wears a beanie because he likes it, Larry hasn't had facial work done, and every song is tied for first on the Best Songs Ever list.   ;D

The Edge has been non-stop on fire for 18 years! How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb is like punk rock made on Venus! Song for Someone is like a modern With or Without You! U2's collaboration with Apple is innovation at its purest! Get on Your Boots was a great first single! OMG it's working!

Offline trevgreg

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Thank you, Davis, for sharing your perspective with such passion and eloquence. You seem to feel people don't believe your statements are heartfelt. I don't think that's the problem.

I'm a pretty new member of this forum and I initially worried this site might be totally dominated by fans who think 90s U2 is God's gift and post-90s U2 is complete crap, and anyone who wasn't on board with that shouldn't bother sticking around. I soon realized that isn't the case, there really is a diversity of opinion among forum members, but there is a clique that posts that perspective so frequently and aggressively that other voices tend to get elbowed aside.

You and some like-minded fans seem to have great difficulty understanding that your feelings on this matter are your truth, not THE truth. A previous comment pointed out this issue in your original post. You apologized, and sort of recognized the subjectivity of your opinions, but also sort of insisted on the objective validity of your artistic judgement, using Shakespeare as an example.

Yes, if a work of art inspires love and acclaim over a looong period of time, calling it great art becomes a semi-objective statement. But there is no comparison between that sort of judgement of history and the opinions of a clutch of rock fans -- or even a gaggle of rock critics -- regarding the output of a band that is still alive and active (thank God). Sorry, but your perspective really is *subjective.*

As is true for all of us. Our response to music is an incredibly personal and variable thing, especially in the case of a band like U2. I agree there is something sublime in their music, but I don't agree that quality vanished in the 21st century. I base that on my own personal experience.

I was a big U2 fan in the 80s. When Achtung Baby came out, I wanted to like it but I just didn't. I know, heresy. But that happened to a lot of people. There's a big bloc of folks out there who feel that post-80s U2 is crap. There's a smaller but still significant group who think U2 stopped being good after War. They may not be represented on this board, but they definitely exist.

I had already been underwhelmed by R&H, so after AB I stopped following the band's music. They always kept a special place in my heart, though. So I occasionally checked in on them during the 90s, and thought, huh? When ATYCLB came out and made a big splash, I bought the album in hopes of reconnecting. It didn't happen. I then bought the 1990-2000 compilation, thinking I'd take another crack at the 90s. No dice. After that, I pretty much gave up.

So what am I doing on this forum now? Things changed for me last year, when my mom became ill and then passed away. I started watching old U2 videos on YouTube that I hadn't seen in a long time, like Gloria and Two Hearts Beat As One, because I found them comforting. From there I started watching some of their newest music, that I was completely unfamiliar with, and discovered I liked a lot of it. Such as Ordinary Love, for example. I first heard that song as a performance clip from the Tonight Show. Four guys in their fifties sitting on a couch, and they killed it. I worked my way back from the 2010s, to the 2000s, to the 1990s. I discovered I liked most of it, including both ATYCLB and Achtung Baby. It was the same music, and I was the same person (or was I?) but my reaction was completely different from the first time I heard those albums. The only way I can describe it is that I became able to recognize that sublime quality in their music, which is what made me love them in the first place, through the veil of their changing styles.

Anyway, the point is:  music appreciation is extremely subjective.

I believe that you, Davis, and other like-minded fans, should be free to express your sense of loss, your disappointment with current U2, on this forum. Just please try to express it in a way that is respectful of fans who disagree, and allows some space to breathe for their excitement about the new music.

Also, please be respectful of the band as human beings. I'm not talking about you specifically, Davis, but I have read some comments on here from the "2000s are crap" brigade that I think are not and that is very unpleasant.

Great post... and welcome aboard! I'm glad to hear the band has given you some comfort in recent tough times as well.

Offline Luzita

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Thank you, Davis, for sharing your perspective with such passion and eloquence. You seem to feel people don't believe your statements are heartfelt. I don't think that's the problem.

I'm a pretty new member of this forum and I initially worried this site might be totally dominated by fans who think 90s U2 is God's gift and post-90s U2 is complete crap, and anyone who wasn't on board with that shouldn't bother sticking around. I soon realized that isn't the case, there really is a diversity of opinion among forum members, but there is a clique that posts that perspective so frequently and aggressively that other voices tend to get elbowed aside.

You and some like-minded fans seem to have great difficulty understanding that your feelings on this matter are your truth, not THE truth. A previous comment pointed out this issue in your original post. You apologized, and sort of recognized the subjectivity of your opinions, but also sort of insisted on the objective validity of your artistic judgement, using Shakespeare as an example.

Yes, if a work of art inspires love and acclaim over a looong period of time, calling it great art becomes a semi-objective statement. But there is no comparison between that sort of judgement of history and the opinions of a clutch of rock fans -- or even a gaggle of rock critics -- regarding the output of a band that is still alive and active (thank God). Sorry, but your perspective really is *subjective.*

As is true for all of us. Our response to music is an incredibly personal and variable thing, especially in the case of a band like U2. I agree there is something sublime in their music, but I don't agree that quality vanished in the 21st century. I base that on my own personal experience.

I was a big U2 fan in the 80s. When Achtung Baby came out, I wanted to like it but I just didn't. I know, heresy. But that happened to a lot of people. There's a big bloc of folks out there who feel that post-80s U2 is crap. There's a smaller but still significant group who think U2 stopped being good after War. They may not be represented on this board, but they definitely exist.

I had already been underwhelmed by R&H, so after AB I stopped following the band's music. They always kept a special place in my heart, though. So I occasionally checked in on them during the 90s, and thought, huh? When ATYCLB came out and made a big splash, I bought the album in hopes of reconnecting. It didn't happen. I then bought the 1990-2000 compilation, thinking I'd take another crack at the 90s. No dice. After that, I pretty much gave up.

So what am I doing on this forum now? Things changed for me last year, when my mom became ill and then passed away. I started watching old U2 videos on YouTube that I hadn't seen in a long time, like Gloria and Two Hearts Beat As One, because I found them comforting. From there I started watching some of their newest music, that I was completely unfamiliar with, and discovered I liked a lot of it. Such as Ordinary Love, for example. I first heard that song as a performance clip from the Tonight Show. Four guys in their fifties sitting on a couch, and they killed it. I worked my way back from the 2010s, to the 2000s, to the 1990s. I discovered I liked most of it, including both ATYCLB and Achtung Baby. It was the same music, and I was the same person (or was I?) but my reaction was completely different from the first time I heard those albums. The only way I can describe it is that I became able to recognize that sublime quality in their music, which is what made me love them in the first place, through the veil of their changing styles.

Anyway, the point is:  music appreciation is extremely subjective.

I believe that you, Davis, and other like-minded fans, should be free to express your sense of loss, your disappointment with current U2, on this forum. Just please try to express it in a way that is respectful of fans who disagree, and allows some space to breathe for their excitement about the new music.

Also, please be respectful of the band as human beings. I'm not talking about you specifically, Davis, but I have read some comments on here from the "2000s are crap" brigade that I think are not and that is very unpleasant.

Great post... and welcome aboard! I'm glad to hear the band has given you some comfort in recent tough times as well.

Thank you! Yes, U2 have really given me a lot. It's exciting to have so much to catch up on, and to be able to share my severe case of U2 mania on this forum, with people who are so passionate and well informed about the band.

Offline cabral255

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I think they are better now!

Offline rank

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I have been a U2 fan since 1983. I witnessed the amazing rise of the greatest band in the world but ever since the success of The Joshua Tree & the subsuquent failure of Rattle & Hum, every album seems like a reaction to the previous (with the exception of Zoorpa). I am constantly amazed at a band who was so successful at blazing new ground ending up second guessing their every move. Eno's comments on No Line on the Horizon especially telling with his allegeding that more experimental songs were removed & more radio friendly material put in it's place in order to get on the radio resulting on an uneven album instead of an experimental one. As an older fan, I keep hoping that each new release will match the heights of their 80's or early 90's material only to have my hopes dashed with an "I'll go crazy...". Trying to get radio airplay is pointless in this day & age. I have liked every album from 2000 on but have loved every album before that. I know that the lads can still pull out an album that will floor everyone if only they would get out of their own way... 
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 06:34:55 PM by rank »

Offline cabral255

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What was wrong with their last album?

Offline aviastar

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We're not just being negative: an open letter to ardent defenders of the new U2
« Reply #70 on: September 03, 2017, 06:42:51 PM »
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What was wrong with their last album?

I have no idea why SOI gets so much heat, but it annoys me.  It's a pretty solid album with some really good tunes.  It's not a masterpiece by any stretch, but if people are expecting that from an aging rock band every time out then they are setting themselves up for disappointment.  Heck at this point in their lifespans most bands are just trading on past glory.  U2 is still trying and coming up with stuff that people turned up at concerts to hear.  Can you say that about other groups?  Not really - U2 is one of the few elder statesmen rock groups where people turn out to hear new stuff.

And for people complaining about the worst of NLOTH, yeah some of those songs really sucked.  But most bands, if not all, have albums with forgettable or regrettable tunes.  U2 is not some infallible group - let them have their failures like every other human endeavor and stop bashing them over the head with it.


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« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 06:52:18 PM by aviastar »

Offline Blueyedboy

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What was wrong with their last album?

I have no idea why SOI gets so much heat, but it annoys me.  It's a pretty solid album with some really good tunes.  It's not a masterpiece by any stretch, but if people are expecting that from an aging rock band every time out then they are setting themselves up for disappointment.  Heck at this point in their lifespans most bands are just trading on past glory.  U2 is still trying and coming up with stuff that people turned up at concerts to hear.  Can you say that about other groups?  Not really - U2 is one of the few elder statesmen rock groups where people turn out to hear new stuff.

And for people complaining about the worst of NLOTH, yeah some of those songs really sucked.  But most bands, if not all, have albums with forgettable or regrettable tunes.  U2 is not some infallible group - let them have their failures like every other human endeavor and stop bashing them over the head with it.


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If I rewind back to 2014 my argument would have been that the album was too bland, did not speak to me, was predictable, only told Bono's story etc but, if you asked me today I realise that the problem with the album was my own ridiculous expectations of it.  I maintain that the album is as good as a band of U2s years can be expected to produce. SOE will be no different. We cant change the fact that the four guys in the studio are in their 50's, have more money than they can spend, have settled family lives and live in an age of peace in their country, the total antithesis to where they were, and what drove them on, when they started out.

The forum is great for debate, but you only get a great debate if you are willing to listen to what is being said.
I've changed my mind on so many subjects due to an articulate or in depth reasoning, which is much more inviting than to listen to the same old arguments time and time again, even when you agree with the point (it amazes me that people who label U2 predictable and boring do not see the irony when posting this point for the 1000th time  ;D).

As someone else has already said, we are fortunate enough to be able to debate between genres and not just albums with this band, imagine if you were a Foo Fighters or Muse fan! 


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What was wrong with their last album?

I have no idea why SOI gets so much heat, but it annoys me.  It's a pretty solid album with some really good tunes.  It's not a masterpiece by any stretch

This. It's not that I expect a masterpiece every time but I wish they would stop claiming it's their best album every time. It provokes my expectations.

Offline Argo

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What was wrong with their last album?

I have no idea why SOI gets so much heat, but it annoys me.  It's a pretty solid album with some really good tunes.  It's not a masterpiece by any stretch

This. It's not that I expect a masterpiece every time but I wish they would stop claiming it's their best album every time. It provokes my expectations.

Put yourself in their shoes. "We think this is our 5th best album. Not great but decent enough. Hope you like it."

Offline j2736 (i'm not a boy ! )

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All of you who think the band don't make good music anymore don't buy it anymore, simple as that. Don't complain that U2 is dead because according to you they've been dead for over 20 years now, and nothing has changed. Just don't buy and leave the people that actually still like the band alone.
  i agree. expecting too much, sometimes, or perhaps, most of the time, leads to frustration. i started to know and got hooked with U2 in 1985 and now i'm nearing 50 y/o - BUT, each time the band releases new music, i try to focus on the new material and stop comparing to their previous works. the members of the band are human beings- they are not prophets and bards. With these lyrics in The Blackout (assuming Jack and Zack are really part of the lyrics),
 " Statues fall, democracy is flat on its back, Jack
   We had it all, and what we had is not coming back, Zack
   A big mouth says the people, they don't wanna be free for free
  The blackout, is this an extinction event we see.,

Simple words but meaning is deep, especially for those who believe that the freedoms they enjoyed before are in trouble, if not gone. Bono is a musician who makes songs based on different convictions - religion, politics, social injustice. But, as a musician, he knows that he needs to level up with the CURRENT generation. He does not make songs for EXISTING U2 Fans only. he wants to win new generation to add up to the already existing fanbase.

As Bono sang.. "Go..Easy on me..Easy on me..Brother..".  8)
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 11:29:57 PM by j2736 (i'm not a boy ! ) »