Author Topic: Songs of Innocence: Five Years On  (Read 595 times)

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Offline laoghaire

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Re: Songs of Innocence: Five Years On
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2019, 12:55:18 PM »
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Laoghaire, Iíve heard you say this many times....HTDAAB lost you to U2 and then SOI won you back.  This is a curiosity to me.  I assume you must have liked ATYCLB, since it was bomb that lost you.  So the confusing thing to me is that you liked ATYCLB but HTDAAB was so bad that you refused to even try NLOTH.  Iíve always seen HTDAAB as ATYCLBís inferior cousin.  I mean, it is inferior, but it is cut from the same stylistic mold as ATYCLB.  Did you dislike ATYCLB too and HTDAAB was just the straw that broke the camels back?  If so, what did you find redeeming in SOI?  Is it just maybe where you were in life at the various times?  I feel like I can relate to most of your opinions (i.e. agree with, meaning we may have similar taste) except your like for SOI/SOE, which to me seems at odds with your utter contempt for HTDAAB.  I know you are tuned into lyrics.  So I assume you like SOI lyrics better than HTDAAB.  Which songs for you are the winners and losers on each album? (Obviously you donít have to answer that but Iím curious.)

To my taste, U2 has been in a slow descent to lowest common denominator pop music starting with HTDAAB, with NLOTH sans the terrible three being an exception.  SOI/SOE being the bottom of trying to be radio friendly pop with dumbed down lyrics (just my opinion).  ATYCLB could be seen as the beginning but if you look at it without seeing what it was the start of, it is outstanding.  The lyrics were several notches above most of what has come since.  (Again, just my opinion.)

Well, not all of this can be objectively understood, I guess.

I agree that ATYCLB and HTDAAB are related. I really like the first six songs on ATYCLB. I loathe the rest of it. If you ask me if I like the album I say yes, because my brain ignores the songs I hate and is happy with the songs I like. And that works because I have six solid songs before I turn the album off.

HTDAAB is basically, to me, like an extension of the back end of ATYCLB. Generic, meandering, boring, tepid. Generic most of all. I do find SYCMIOYO to be a bright spot, and COBL is fine. Vertigo, hardly ever listen to but it's a good song. But on this album, the math doesn't rest in favor of my overlooking the generic filler. I see the album as overall generic filler with 2-3 good songs.

I do pay attention to the lyrics and I'd probably like the lyrics just fine on Bomb. But I find the music so boring I don't even know the lyrics other than the songs I mentioned.

I have sometimes tried to give Bomb another chance, especially after I caught up with everything else. And each time, ugh. With SOE, I did not like it right away but I found just enough to keep going. Bomb, nothing.

Likewise, I have no interest in the last part of ATYCLB, especially Grace.

Why I like SOI and SOE despite them being considered pop trash, I can't say. I am constantly reading how bad they are, then I listen and just can't get on the bandwagon. Not that I don't think there's room for critique or that there aren't weak songs, but honestly I feel that way about all the albums really.

People seem to feel like they are overproduced (they are) and just lacking some kind of bite, maybe. There's some bite, though, and I dunno, times have changed, the band are in a different place, I am too, and I don't really want TJT 2.0 or anything that sounds like it belongs in the 1900s. Those days are gone and I have always liked how they can change their sound (yet ALWAYS sound like U2). I'm not even a fan of pop music, but I just hear the same kinds of creativity and love that got me on board in the first place.

The love is on Bomb, clearly, but not the creativity imho.

Offline Tortuga

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Re: Songs of Innocence: Five Years On
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2019, 01:39:03 PM »
Thanks.

I completely get what you mean about six songs.  If 70% of an album is really good you kind of donít worry about the rest.  Back in the vinyl days 70% was the whole album and then CDs came along with that extra 30% mostly filler.

I know iím taking this thread off-topic but Iím surprised you donít like Grace and you do like COBL!

I see Grace lyrics as both clever and meaningful and COBL as U2 by the numbers been done a million times!  ďOh-you-look-so-beautifulĒ.  Bleh!

Want to elaborate?

Offline laoghaire

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Re: Songs of Innocence: Five Years On
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2019, 02:00:25 PM »
Activity is more important than sticking strictly to thread topic imho.

I might like the lyrics to Grace but I don't know them. Too beige of a song for me to look at the lyrics.

COBL I described as "fine."

For all I know, if I worked harder on all those songs maybe I could adopt them to "okay" status. I listened to COBL on a YT video back in early 2018 and the comments were all, "I love this song!" "Amazing!" and I was like, what? This sounds so generic. But eventually I learned it enough that it was fine. I just haven't wanted to with the other Bomb/Leave songs.

I dunno, maybe I don't have a clue. Maybe they have been trash this whole century.

Buuut. I keep coming back to many of the songs anyway.

Offline pan360

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Re: Songs of Innocence: Five Years On
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2019, 03:10:10 PM »
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Another NLOTH lover!  Excellent!  We should have a special subgroup for the fans of October/NLOTH, which don't always get a lot of love from hard-core fans but are two of my favorites.
I am a big fan of NLOTH but I associate it more with UF. Both albums belong to my top five list. October is also great. This kind of youthful spiritualism resonates with me.

I think the October-NLOTH relation has nothing to do with the sound, but rather that we noticed that there may be an overlap of people who like those albums, for some reason.

Some may point to the religious themes as being similar... but all the albums other than Boy seem very religious imho.
I get what you mean and I agree. In both albums the religious theme is more straightforward. In October the religious theme creates a spiritual atmosphere that makes the album really special. I believe something similar happens in NLOTH. If I liked more the songs Fire, I threw a brick and With a Shout, it would be a top album for me.

Offline laoghaire

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Re: Songs of Innocence: Five Years On
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2019, 03:30:19 PM »
Yeah, I guess you're right that the religious themes are more straightforward in those albums.

I can't make the case that October is a strong album, but I just really like it. It has an energy. Fire is very weak, imho, but I think Brick is creative and Shout just has that U2 uplift. The album puts me in a good place.

Offline Tortuga

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Songs of Innocence: Five Years On
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2019, 04:01:42 AM »
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Activity is more important than sticking strictly to thread topic imho.

I might like the lyrics to Grace but I don't know them. Too beige of a song for me to look at the lyrics.

COBL I described as "fine."

For all I know, if I worked harder on all those songs maybe I could adopt them to "okay" status. I listened to COBL on a YT video back in early 2018 and the comments were all, "I love this song!" "Amazing!" and I was like, what? This sounds so generic. But eventually I learned it enough that it was fine. I just haven't wanted to with the other Bomb/Leave songs.

I dunno, maybe I don't have a clue. Maybe they have been trash this whole century.

Buuut. I keep coming back to many of the songs anyway.

Back in the vinyl days I would sometimes read the lyrics on the sleeve before ever listening to the album.  It would be cool if you could somehow do that with Grace, having never heard the song.  I think that, for me lyrics are how I judge a song.  If the music is great but the lyrics arenít then Iíll enjoy it at that level but it will just be pop music, not something I really care about.  But yeah, if the music sucks, I may never discover the lyrics, though that would probably never be the case with a U2 album because they often get more of my attention than they deserve.  If SOE was by any other band I would have dumped it second listen, based on the trite sound of the music.  But I didnít...and then found the lyrics disappointing as well.

It would be interesting to try and look only at the lyrics and rank the albums.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2019, 04:05:32 AM by Tortuga »

Offline summerholly

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Re: Songs of Innocence: Five Years On
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2019, 08:10:01 AM »
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Activity is more important than sticking strictly to thread topic imho.

I might like the lyrics to Grace but I don't know them. Too beige of a song for me to look at the lyrics.

COBL I described as "fine."

For all I know, if I worked harder on all those songs maybe I could adopt them to "okay" status. I listened to COBL on a YT video back in early 2018 and the comments were all, "I love this song!" "Amazing!" and I was like, what? This sounds so generic. But eventually I learned it enough that it was fine. I just haven't wanted to with the other Bomb/Leave songs.

I dunno, maybe I don't have a clue. Maybe they have been trash this whole century.

Buuut. I keep coming back to many of the songs anyway.

Back in the vinyl days I would sometimes read the lyrics on the sleeve before ever listening to the album.  It would be cool if you could somehow do that with Grace, having never heard the song.  I think that, for me lyrics are how I judge a song.  If the music is great but the lyrics arenít then Iíll enjoy it at that level but it will just be pop music, not something I really care about.  But yeah, if the music sucks, I may never discover the lyrics, though that would probably never be the case with a U2 album because they often get more of my attention than they deserve.  If SOE was by any other band I would have dumped it second listen, based on the trite sound of the music.  But I didnít...and then found the lyrics disappointing as well.

It would be interesting to try and look only at the lyrics and rank the albums.

For me it is all about the sound and the music.  The construction of the music and for me the sound of the lead guitar in particular.  A sound that captures my soul, then I listen to the lyrics, if the lyrics are average but the sound great then I put my own interpretation on the sound.  If the sound is there and the lyrics are special then that is a bonus.  If the sound doesn't grab me the lyrics become irrelevant that is how I felt about the last 2 albums, I listened more because it was U2 but in the end it didn't cut it for me.  Somewhere along the way they lost that special U2 sound for me.

Offline Tortuga

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Re: Songs of Innocence: Five Years On
« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2019, 09:11:01 AM »
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Activity is more important than sticking strictly to thread topic imho.

I might like the lyrics to Grace but I don't know them. Too beige of a song for me to look at the lyrics.

COBL I described as "fine."

For all I know, if I worked harder on all those songs maybe I could adopt them to "okay" status. I listened to COBL on a YT video back in early 2018 and the comments were all, "I love this song!" "Amazing!" and I was like, what? This sounds so generic. But eventually I learned it enough that it was fine. I just haven't wanted to with the other Bomb/Leave songs.

I dunno, maybe I don't have a clue. Maybe they have been trash this whole century.

Buuut. I keep coming back to many of the songs anyway.

Back in the vinyl days I would sometimes read the lyrics on the sleeve before ever listening to the album.  It would be cool if you could somehow do that with Grace, having never heard the song.  I think that, for me lyrics are how I judge a song.  If the music is great but the lyrics arenít then Iíll enjoy it at that level but it will just be pop music, not something I really care about.  But yeah, if the music sucks, I may never discover the lyrics, though that would probably never be the case with a U2 album because they often get more of my attention than they deserve.  If SOE was by any other band I would have dumped it second listen, based on the trite sound of the music.  But I didnít...and then found the lyrics disappointing as well.

It would be interesting to try and look only at the lyrics and rank the albums.

For me it is all about the sound and the music.  The construction of the music and for me the sound of the lead guitar in particular.  A sound that captures my soul, then I listen to the lyrics, if the lyrics are average but the sound great then I put my own interpretation on the sound.  If the sound is there and the lyrics are special then that is a bonus.  If the sound doesn't grab me the lyrics become irrelevant that is how I felt about the last 2 albums, I listened more because it was U2 but in the end it didn't cut it for me.  Somewhere along the way they lost that special U2 sound for me.

This is pretty much exactly how it works for me except that I can think of examples where I really liked the lyrics even though the music didnít resonate much (Please and Mofo for example).

With SOI/E its both.  The music is all over the place, like a collection of singles off different albums and much of it is catchy the first time you hear it and youíre done with it by three listens.  Itís a collection of pop cliches.  And so many bad lyrics (there is a light/donít let it go out).  There are exceptions like SLABT and the Troubles...both great songs music and lyrics.  I like landlady for some of its lines  ...especially the verse about the road and what keeps us standing in this view.

I know there is so much great music left in this band if they would just ditch the Ryan Tedders and trust their instincts with guidance from the Enoisí and Danger Mice.


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Offline singnomore

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Re: Songs of Innocence: Five Years On
« Reply #23 on: September 25, 2019, 09:41:53 AM »
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Activity is more important than sticking strictly to thread topic imho.

I might like the lyrics to Grace but I don't know them. Too beige of a song for me to look at the lyrics.

COBL I described as "fine."

For all I know, if I worked harder on all those songs maybe I could adopt them to "okay" status. I listened to COBL on a YT video back in early 2018 and the comments were all, "I love this song!" "Amazing!" and I was like, what? This sounds so generic. But eventually I learned it enough that it was fine. I just haven't wanted to with the other Bomb/Leave songs.

I dunno, maybe I don't have a clue. Maybe they have been trash this whole century.

Buuut. I keep coming back to many of the songs anyway.

Back in the vinyl days I would sometimes read the lyrics on the sleeve before ever listening to the album.  It would be cool if you could somehow do that with Grace, having never heard the song.  I think that, for me lyrics are how I judge a song.  If the music is great but the lyrics arenít then Iíll enjoy it at that level but it will just be pop music, not something I really care about.  But yeah, if the music sucks, I may never discover the lyrics, though that would probably never be the case with a U2 album because they often get more of my attention than they deserve.  If SOE was by any other band I would have dumped it second listen, based on the trite sound of the music.  But I didnít...and then found the lyrics disappointing as well.

It would be interesting to try and look only at the lyrics and rank the albums.

For me it is all about the sound and the music.  The construction of the music and for me the sound of the lead guitar in particular.  A sound that captures my soul, then I listen to the lyrics, if the lyrics are average but the sound great then I put my own interpretation on the sound.  If the sound is there and the lyrics are special then that is a bonus.  If the sound doesn't grab me the lyrics become irrelevant that is how I felt about the last 2 albums, I listened more because it was U2 but in the end it didn't cut it for me.  Somewhere along the way they lost that special U2 sound for me.

This is pretty much exactly how it works for me except that I can think of examples where I really liked the lyrics even though the music didnít resonate much (Please and Mofo for example).

With SOI/E its both.  The music is all over the place, like a collection of singles off different albums and much of it is catchy the first time you hear it and youíre done with it by three listens.  Itís a collection of pop cliches.  And so many bad lyrics (there is a light/donít let it go out).  There are exceptions like SLABT and the Troubles...both great songs music and lyrics.  I like landlady for some of its lines  ...especially the verse about the road and what keeps us standing in this view.

I know there is so much great music left in this band if they would just ditch the Ryan Tedders and trust their instincts with guidance from the Enoisí and Danger Mice.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Wonder how people would rank the albums based on lyrics. Personally i go for the music but I have been known to review my thoughts on a song once i see or even just start to grasp what the lyric is saying.

Grace positioning on ALYCLB makes it a bit of a lost U2 song for me. Its a song that has its moments - its not a regular spinner but it does have its place in my U2 world. Just not very often.

Offline Tortuga

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Re: Songs of Innocence: Five Years On
« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2019, 11:26:11 AM »
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Activity is more important than sticking strictly to thread topic imho.

I might like the lyrics to Grace but I don't know them. Too beige of a song for me to look at the lyrics.

COBL I described as "fine."

For all I know, if I worked harder on all those songs maybe I could adopt them to "okay" status. I listened to COBL on a YT video back in early 2018 and the comments were all, "I love this song!" "Amazing!" and I was like, what? This sounds so generic. But eventually I learned it enough that it was fine. I just haven't wanted to with the other Bomb/Leave songs.

I dunno, maybe I don't have a clue. Maybe they have been trash this whole century.

Buuut. I keep coming back to many of the songs anyway.

Back in the vinyl days I would sometimes read the lyrics on the sleeve before ever listening to the album.  It would be cool if you could somehow do that with Grace, having never heard the song.  I think that, for me lyrics are how I judge a song.  If the music is great but the lyrics arenít then Iíll enjoy it at that level but it will just be pop music, not something I really care about.  But yeah, if the music sucks, I may never discover the lyrics, though that would probably never be the case with a U2 album because they often get more of my attention than they deserve.  If SOE was by any other band I would have dumped it second listen, based on the trite sound of the music.  But I didnít...and then found the lyrics disappointing as well.

It would be interesting to try and look only at the lyrics and rank the albums.

For me it is all about the sound and the music.  The construction of the music and for me the sound of the lead guitar in particular.  A sound that captures my soul, then I listen to the lyrics, if the lyrics are average but the sound great then I put my own interpretation on the sound.  If the sound is there and the lyrics are special then that is a bonus.  If the sound doesn't grab me the lyrics become irrelevant that is how I felt about the last 2 albums, I listened more because it was U2 but in the end it didn't cut it for me.  Somewhere along the way they lost that special U2 sound for me.

This is pretty much exactly how it works for me except that I can think of examples where I really liked the lyrics even though the music didnít resonate much (Please and Mofo for example).

With SOI/E its both.  The music is all over the place, like a collection of singles off different albums and much of it is catchy the first time you hear it and youíre done with it by three listens.  Itís a collection of pop cliches.  And so many bad lyrics (there is a light/donít let it go out).  There are exceptions like SLABT and the Troubles...both great songs music and lyrics.  I like landlady for some of its lines  ...especially the verse about the road and what keeps us standing in this view.

I know there is so much great music left in this band if they would just ditch the Ryan Tedders and trust their instincts with guidance from the Enoisí and Danger Mice.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Wonder how people would rank the albums based on lyrics. Personally i go for the music but I have been known to review my thoughts on a song once i see or even just start to grasp what the lyric is saying.

Grace positioning on ALYCLB makes it a bit of a lost U2 song for me. Its a song that has its moments - its not a regular spinner but it does have its place in my U2 world. Just not very often.

Grace is so intertwined with Christian doctrine that I can see how its appeal could be limited.  I appreciate it from the perspective of reclaiming Christianity to its original truth from what it has unfortunately become for so many modern evangelicals.   Reclaiming the word grace from all it has come to mean is a clever metaphor for that, reinforcing the point.  To me, even if you are agnostic in terms of literal belief, the concept of grace is meaningful and inspiring.   The song strips back the religion to its core truth as it does the same thing to the word itself.  Beautiful song.


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Offline shineinthesummernight

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Re: Songs of Innocence: Five Years On
« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2019, 07:41:14 PM »
I agree that the song "Grace" has a very positive meaning.  I appreciate the lyrics and agree with the idea that they are trying to reclaim a key Christian concept that's been kind of lost due to tying together of Christianity with some sort of nationalism.

Offline summerholly

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Re: Songs of Innocence: Five Years On
« Reply #26 on: September 25, 2019, 08:15:12 PM »
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I agree that the song "Grace" has a very positive meaning.  I appreciate the lyrics and agree with the idea that they are trying to reclaim a key Christian concept that's been kind of lost due to tying together of Christianity with some sort of nationalism.

In the eighties and nineties I didn't even twig that U2 had a Christian foundation.  I just loved the construction the music, the sound of Edges guitar and Bono's passion for putting protest and political comment and the heartache in relationships into the lyrics at that time of life where I could relate to the sentiments.  It was a combination that was amazing and you really didn't have to be remotely Christian for it to resonate.  I guess I have zero interest in religion or Christianity and once the music starts to become bland and the lyrics heavy with Christian meaning or concepts I tend to lose interest.

Offline Tortuga

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Songs of Innocence: Five Years On
« Reply #27 on: September 25, 2019, 08:44:35 PM »
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I guess I have zero interest in religion or Christianity and once the music starts to become bland and the lyrics heavy with Christian meaning or concepts I tend to lose interest.

Most Christian music is horrible and bland because it is contrived to appeal to a very narrow mindset.  But there are a few Christian artists (more accurately, artists who happen to have Christian beliefs) that transcend religious piety and platitudes to reveal their Christian beliefs in a way that can be inspiring to anyone who cares about love and compassion, regardless of their religious belief or non-belief.  Their faith is a starting point, a means to an end rather than the end objective itself.  U2 has been able to do this.  Switchfoot is another band who has done this.  The song Grace starts with a Christian belief, but it ends with a universal message.  You donít need to be a Christian to see that grace is a better way to see the world than karma.  Weíve all felt the compassion of someone who let us off the hook instead of trying to even things out.  That song just makes me want to be the person who can be wronged and not get all bent out of shape over it.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2019, 08:49:24 PM by Tortuga »

Offline summerholly

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Re: Songs of Innocence: Five Years On
« Reply #28 on: September 25, 2019, 11:57:42 PM »
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I guess I have zero interest in religion or Christianity and once the music starts to become bland and the lyrics heavy with Christian meaning or concepts I tend to lose interest.

Most Christian music is horrible and bland because it is contrived to appeal to a very narrow mindset.  But there are a few Christian artists (more accurately, artists who happen to have Christian beliefs) that transcend religious piety and platitudes to reveal their Christian beliefs in a way that can be inspiring to anyone who cares about love and compassion, regardless of their religious belief or non-belief.  Their faith is a starting point, a means to an end rather than the end objective itself.  U2 has been able to do this.  Switchfoot is another band who has done this.  The song Grace starts with a Christian belief, but it ends with a universal message.  You donít need to be a Christian to see that grace is a better way to see the world than karma.  Weíve all felt the compassion of someone who let us off the hook instead of trying to even things out.  That song just makes me want to be the person who can be wronged and not get all bent out of shape over it.

Yes Bono does it well which is why I am a fan despite my deep mistrust of Christianity and religion in general. I mean social justice, care of the environment and other people and good manners should be par for the course for the human race living on a beautiful planet like Earth.   I do need the music and instruments though to hook me in and I just found that somewhat lacking of the later albums.

Offline singnomore

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Re: Songs of Innocence: Five Years On
« Reply #29 on: September 26, 2019, 01:40:30 AM »
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Activity is more important than sticking strictly to thread topic imho.

I might like the lyrics to Grace but I don't know them. Too beige of a song for me to look at the lyrics.

COBL I described as "fine."

For all I know, if I worked harder on all those songs maybe I could adopt them to "okay" status. I listened to COBL on a YT video back in early 2018 and the comments were all, "I love this song!" "Amazing!" and I was like, what? This sounds so generic. But eventually I learned it enough that it was fine. I just haven't wanted to with the other Bomb/Leave songs.

I dunno, maybe I don't have a clue. Maybe they have been trash this whole century.

Buuut. I keep coming back to many of the songs anyway.

Back in the vinyl days I would sometimes read the lyrics on the sleeve before ever listening to the album.  It would be cool if you could somehow do that with Grace, having never heard the song.  I think that, for me lyrics are how I judge a song.  If the music is great but the lyrics arenít then Iíll enjoy it at that level but it will just be pop music, not something I really care about.  But yeah, if the music sucks, I may never discover the lyrics, though that would probably never be the case with a U2 album because they often get more of my attention than they deserve.  If SOE was by any other band I would have dumped it second listen, based on the trite sound of the music.  But I didnít...and then found the lyrics disappointing as well.

It would be interesting to try and look only at the lyrics and rank the albums.

For me it is all about the sound and the music.  The construction of the music and for me the sound of the lead guitar in particular.  A sound that captures my soul, then I listen to the lyrics, if the lyrics are average but the sound great then I put my own interpretation on the sound.  If the sound is there and the lyrics are special then that is a bonus.  If the sound doesn't grab me the lyrics become irrelevant that is how I felt about the last 2 albums, I listened more because it was U2 but in the end it didn't cut it for me.  Somewhere along the way they lost that special U2 sound for me.

This is pretty much exactly how it works for me except that I can think of examples where I really liked the lyrics even though the music didnít resonate much (Please and Mofo for example).

With SOI/E its both.  The music is all over the place, like a collection of singles off different albums and much of it is catchy the first time you hear it and youíre done with it by three listens.  Itís a collection of pop cliches.  And so many bad lyrics (there is a light/donít let it go out).  There are exceptions like SLABT and the Troubles...both great songs music and lyrics.  I like landlady for some of its lines  ...especially the verse about the road and what keeps us standing in this view.

I know there is so much great music left in this band if they would just ditch the Ryan Tedders and trust their instincts with guidance from the Enoisí and Danger Mice.


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Wonder how people would rank the albums based on lyrics. Personally i go for the music but I have been known to review my thoughts on a song once i see or even just start to grasp what the lyric is saying.

Grace positioning on ALYCLB makes it a bit of a lost U2 song for me. Its a song that has its moments - its not a regular spinner but it does have its place in my U2 world. Just not very often.

Grace is so intertwined with Christian doctrine that I can see how its appeal could be limited.  I appreciate it from the perspective of reclaiming Christianity to its original truth from what it has unfortunately become for so many modern evangelicals.   Reclaiming the word grace from all it has come to mean is a clever metaphor for that, reinforcing the point.  To me, even if you are agnostic in terms of literal belief, the concept of grace is meaningful and inspiring.   The song strips back the religion to its core truth as it does the same thing to the word itself.  Beautiful song.


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I do love it as a song but its sits to close to Wild Honey and kind of gets lost for me. I agree the song spiritually is quite something else but I do have to be in the mood for it too.