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U2 => The Music and Lyrics => Topic started by: laoghaire on July 25, 2018, 01:19:30 PM

Title: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: laoghaire on July 25, 2018, 01:19:30 PM
I'm in the weird position of being a hard-core fan who missed an album. (Took a hiatus for a while. Am back in a BIG way.)

So this could be fun. NLOTH-lovers, what are the best songs, and even better, the best parts I should listen for.

Get me excited! Sell me! We're all hard-core fans, so I'm gonna "get" what you point out.

I've listened once before, maybe - months ago. Only Fez grabbed me right off (love it); not really familiar with anything else.

Details, please - "I like MOS" isn't enough!
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Vox on July 25, 2018, 01:43:41 PM
My favorite U2 album since the '90s.  I like it all, even "Stand up Comedy" and "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight," though they may be my least favorites.  You'll need to give it repeated listens over a few weeks, but I get a feeling from this album I don't get from any other piece of music. 

I know I'm in the minority, but I think the title track is a top 5 U2 song...  The album version of the title track...  The Edge's guitar sounds like an ornery elephant driving a freight train with an attitude.  But then again, I know I'm in the minority here... 

Someday, I'd still like to write an ode to this album on this website -- I've been meaning to do it since 2009.  Probably alternates between my 3rd and 5th favorite U2 album of all time.  It really did change my life.  Enjoy!   
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: laoghaire on July 25, 2018, 01:51:35 PM
ORNERY ELEPHANT DRIVING A FREIGHT TRAIN???
With ATTITUDE???
<dies of bliss>

I know what I'm starting with now! And yes, I know it will take a series of listens, but I'm bound to "hear" it at some point.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: ShankAsu on July 25, 2018, 01:57:58 PM
honestly, if you had to miss an album, you missed the correct one. IMO.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: laoghaire on July 25, 2018, 02:58:32 PM
From what little I've heard it sounds better than Bomb.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: laoghaire on July 25, 2018, 04:02:53 PM
Only got through three songs so far. First reactions:

NLOTH: Whoa, Roger Daltrey! But not on his best singing day. Makes me realize 10s Bono > 00s Bono by a country mile. Could be some good Edge stuff behind that. Standard rock and roll.

Magnificent: Started off way cool, experimental, then settled into Standard U2(tm). Not bad, though. My common complaint of choruses just repeating themselves stands.

MoS: Now this, this sounds off the beaten path. As with Fez, I'm almost happy enough with the instrumental alone. I'll need more listens to really connect, but this could be a gem.

Who produced this? Did they get Eno in here?

When people b**** about U2 not experimenting since Pop, why does this album not count?
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: kevtn43 on July 25, 2018, 05:14:02 PM
I love this album but then again i love them all lol i really like no line, magnificent, mos,stand up, breathe i especially love the Edge guitar riff in that one ,i love the live version better of i know i will go crazy song than the recorded version but to me the lyrics just shine on this one it reminds me of the song God gave me a mountain by Marty Robbin
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Tortuga on July 25, 2018, 08:39:19 PM
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From what little I've heard it sounds better than Bomb.

It is way better than bomb (just my opinion).


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Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Bundang Dave on July 26, 2018, 08:25:50 AM
If you haven't checked out the B-side version of the title track, I highly recommend it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtyEKCElUCo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtyEKCElUCo)

For me, the high points are the title track, Boots, Fez-BB, MOS, and Cedars. The lows are Magnificent and Crazy Tonight.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Sevy2016 on July 27, 2018, 01:30:23 PM
NLOTH 2 is way better than the boring drony album version.

Listen to the clever harmony from Bono as he leads into the guitar solo of magnificent. The two mirror each other and meander seamlessly, it's a great little moment.

The other stand out is the 6/8 time Breathe, a master class of a rock n roll song.

Cedars is also a wonderful closing track.

Enjoy
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: laoghaire on July 27, 2018, 02:14:20 PM
I have that condition where I literally always always ALWAYS have a song playing in my head, even when I'm sleeping. I only got through the first three songs so far, and only one listen. I woke up this morning and the jukebox in my brain was playing something strange. It took me way too long to figure out it was NLOTH - still quite unfamiliar to me, but my brain is working on it! I could also start hearing that driving force. Growing on me a bit. Might like it even more if I listen a second time, maybe <snort>.

Will check B side/NLOTH II down the road a bit, thank you. The descriptions are very helpful.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: shineinthesummernight on July 27, 2018, 09:02:44 PM
   I really love NLOTH.  It's a very ambient piece of art that doesn't have a lot of strong choruses.  Nevertheless, it is thematically mature and definitely should grow on you with repeated listens.  I especially like "Unknown Caller", "NLOTH", "Breathe", "Fez", "MOS" , "Magnificent".  Look up "Winter" and "Soon" for the b-sides. 
    Lots of the lyrical themes have to do with surrender, letting go, and acceptance of what is.  It appeals more to older listeners I think for obvious reasons.
    It's not an album that will jump out and grab you by the ankles, but it will definitely pay dividends if you give it care and sustained attention.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Clarky on July 28, 2018, 11:16:46 PM
For me NLOTH elicits a sense of mystique and sombre reflection that I haven't felt with any other U2 album apart from maybe UF. It's a moody, ambient exploration of some haunting and charging melodies and sounds that leave you feeling melancholy and with an undertone of uplifting optimism and resoluteness.
Title: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Tortuga on July 29, 2018, 07:07:28 AM
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For me NLOTH elicits a sense of mystique and sombre reflection that I haven't felt with any other U2 album apart from maybe UF. It's a moody, ambient exploration of some haunting and charging melodies and sounds that leave you feeling melancholy and with an undertone of uplifting optimism and resoluteness.

To me also, it is the album most like UF and UF is probably my favorite.  I wish the three songs that don’t belong were sequenced at the end or something but these days you can create your own alternate playlist.  I also wish Unknown Caller didn’t have the goofy techno metaphors because the music and lyrics otherwise are good.  MOS, FEZ, COL, White as Snow are brilliant.  Best album since ATYCLB if you ask me, even if its not perfect.  I hope we get at least one more U2 album with Eno and Lanois.


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Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: GoldenStateGirl on July 29, 2018, 08:13:40 PM
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   I really love NLOTH.  It's a very ambient piece of art that doesn't have a lot of strong choruses.  Nevertheless, it is thematically mature and definitely should grow on you with repeated listens.  I especially like "Unknown Caller", "NLOTH", "Breathe", "Fez", "MOS" , "Magnificent".  Look up "Winter" and "Soon" for the b-sides. 
    Lots of the lyrical themes have to do with surrender, letting go, and acceptance of what is.  It appeals more to older listeners I think for obvious reasons.
    It's not an album that will jump out and grab you by the ankles, but it will definitely pay dividends if you give it care and sustained attention.

YES all of this!  I find it to be dark in general, but dark in a good way.  On the other hand, Magnificent is bright and soaring (it's in my top 10 favorite U2 tracks). 
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: bw on July 29, 2018, 10:21:57 PM
Hit shuffle to get off the original order. And pray “Boots” is the last song so you can skip it. “Boots” is THE worst song U2 has ever used to debut an album. An abject failure. A feeble attempt to mimick “Vertigo” for HTDAAB.

By U2 standards this is a discouraging album. Best song is, by far, “Moment of Surrender”. Should have been the single to kick off the record. That would have been bold.

Lastly, not adding the original version of “Mercy’ was even dumber the second time around after Larry killed “Mercy” from HTDAAB.

Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Clarky on July 31, 2018, 09:04:50 AM
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   I really love NLOTH.  It's a very ambient piece of art that doesn't have a lot of strong choruses.  Nevertheless, it is thematically mature and definitely should grow on you with repeated listens.  I especially like "Unknown Caller", "NLOTH", "Breathe", "Fez", "MOS" , "Magnificent".  Look up "Winter" and "Soon" for the b-sides. 
    Lots of the lyrical themes have to do with surrender, letting go, and acceptance of what is.  It appeals more to older listeners I think for obvious reasons.
    It's not an album that will jump out and grab you by the ankles, but it will definitely pay dividends if you give it care and sustained attention.

YES all of this!  I find it to be dark in general, but dark in a good way.  On the other hand, Magnificent is bright and soaring (it's in my top 10 favorite U2 tracks). 

Yes, beautiful. I love all the songs you've listed. How can you not at the very least like this album a lot.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: MadRob360 on July 31, 2018, 10:16:26 AM
I was perplexed they chose Boots as the lead single, im in the minority of loving the song but it wasnt a good single choice, IMO they would've been better using Breathe or MOS to create a departure from HTDAAB entirely. I digress....

Best songs are Breathe, MOS, Unknown Caller and Cedars of Lebanon. In particular i love COL, Its not U2 by numbers and kind of ebbs it's way into your ears, i find myself with it on repeat sometimes. I like stand up comedy but it's my least favourite on the album, Mainly because i had high hopes for it reading journos high fived each other at a listening party, only to be a bit flat upon listening. Overall, i love the album and the tour was just fantastic, some of the best times of my life on the road in 2009/10.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: zooropamofo on July 31, 2018, 07:11:13 PM
Breathe....wicked tune.  Solid balls-out rocker with swagger.  Loved this tune on Letterman.
I really liked Magnificent.  Always felt this song could've been bigger.
Cedars of Lebanon is If You Wear That Velvet Dress sung in a war zone.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Johnny Feathers on August 01, 2018, 10:25:04 AM
This album is about 5-6 decent U2 songs, but very little in the way of great U2 songs.  And the middle part of the album is awful.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: gasface257 on August 01, 2018, 10:46:37 AM
NLOTH is a mature album and IMO, speaks best to U2's older fans. 

While I don't think Get On Your Boots is U2's worst song, it is definitely an attempt to have another Vertigo. 
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: popsadie on August 01, 2018, 09:44:19 PM
No Line is a favorite of mine as well. I would add older OR religious to the kinds of fans it is most likely to appeal to. When NLOTH came out, I had just turned 30, but it has always been the spiritual, ambient and meditative side of U2 that I have been most drawn to. Songs like Magnificent, Unknown Caller, Moment of Surrender, If I dont go crazy, White as Snow, Fez, and Cedars are my faves on the album, and I love the themes of surrender and determination that are explored on it. Musically, it reminds me of a cross of October, Unforgettable Fire, and Passengers.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Chip on August 02, 2018, 01:20:21 AM
It's U2's fourth best album in my book (third if you don't count Passengers, but I do). Bono described it well at the time the album came out: It really is a science-fiction gospel album, and so it wasn't a big surprise when the tour visually revolved around what the band called "a spaceship." It's also their most mature album with religious themes -- their high point along those lines to date. The album divides neatly into three parts: the sonically ginormous, thematically heavy opening section (tracks 1 through 4); the thematically down-to-earth, practical middle trilogy (which varies considerably from the other two sections -- you can either see it as overly jarring and out-of-place, as many do, or a welcome break from the heaviness we've experienced up to this point); and the intensely ethereal final section ("Fez" to the end). Of those sections, the last one is my favorite; it's a perfect collection of songs, IMHO, and "White as Snow" is not only the best song on the album but one of the most underrated in the U2 canon. It's arguably U2's most dense album, with rich layers of meaning spread throughout the album. And I also think that thematically it's the logical sequel to Pop -- it deals with a spiritual journey that fits thematically with where we left the protagonist at the end of Pop.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: coolz481 on August 02, 2018, 04:10:13 AM
I find NLOTH to be a very frustrating album to listen to: all of the pieces to be a classic seem to be there but it just doesn't come together in a way that satisfies apart from Moment of Surrender, Fez, White as Snow, Breathe, and Cedars of Lebanon.  Soon and Winter should have been included.  The title track and Magnificent just kind of drone on forever; supposedly Unknown Caller's original lyric was "forgive yourself, return to me" and it was replaced with cringe-inducing "force quit, and move to trash."  What on earth were they thinking?!

Happily, the tour was outstanding!  I really liked this one-off version of No Line they played in Helsinki:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETRkLkQ0oJo
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: ShankAsu on August 02, 2018, 12:24:20 PM
 seem to recall reading that either McGuinness or Lillywhite was quoted saying that it was a dreadful album.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: ShankAsu on August 02, 2018, 12:27:38 PM
I still think that Boots gets a lot of flack because it was a horrible choice for a lead single and didn't match the rest of the album.  if the rest of the album was as trippy as Boots was, it actually might have been a pretty good experimental album.  It is probably the closest that u2 got to punk rock from venus although i hate it when Bono starts talking as though he's part of punk rock.
if Boots was buried in the middle of Zooropa it might have a totally different reception.  Also i suspect that the band was hoping the song would be linked more to the world cup at the time, but it never really took off.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: shineinthesummernight on August 02, 2018, 06:47:29 PM
I think the album was ahead of its time in many ways and may be more highly regarded in the U2 canon in the future. 
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: ShankAsu on August 02, 2018, 09:38:26 PM
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I think the album was ahead of its time in many ways and may be more highly regarded in the U2 canon in the future.
Maybe but I suspect not likely. Outside of forums I never hear any praise for it (and according to forums, Passengers is better than Achtung Baby). When I first heard that No Line was telling a story of a French motorcycle cop and that Eno was co-writing it, I groaned.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Clarky on August 03, 2018, 04:54:03 AM
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if Boots was buried in the middle of Zooropa it might have a totally different reception.

I don't think it would have felt right in the middle of Zooropa at all either. It's a B-side to the HTDAAB sessions at best.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: davis on August 06, 2018, 01:18:52 PM
In case you missed it, Eno and Lanois didn't just produce the album, they co-wrote most of it (by invitation).  Fez/Being Born, for instance (one of the highlights to me) is all Eno on the Fez intro. 

To me an interesting album that almost, but then doesn't, cohere into a fresh artistic vision, possibly because the band chickened out (as I see it) and abandoned the original vision to groom it back towards more conventional 21st century U2.  Eno, for instance, was mystified that they left off Winter and spent endless hours trying to turn Get on Your Boots and Stand Up Comedy into great songs (instead of the fun b-sides they actually are).
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: laoghaire on August 06, 2018, 09:10:27 PM
Well I did guess Eno was involved.

Guys. I've been slow about working on this. But today - I just hit Shuffle on my entire U2 catalog, which isn't a really good idea btw. First time I did that. I don't like switching between studio and live tracks for example.

But. About seven songs in, you know what turned up?

BOOTS.

I listened to it and, look I know everybody warned me, all I could think was, WTF? They lead with this??

It could be a cute b-side, maybe. But the lead single for NLOTH? Is this a joke? The Twilight Zone?

Yes, I've read the comments before. I was prepared. I still thought, probably I won't feel as strongly as everyone else. The Miracle is not a GREAT song, but I'll happily tap my toes to it if I hear it somewhere. I actually like Elevation. Maybe it's just a fun, not heavy weight song.

WTF??

How did this even happen?

I really want to know about Larry. It's Larry I don't get. Larry is strong. Larry would have known better. Larry could have put his foot down.

Whyyyyy, Larry, whyyyyy?

This has to be Bono's fault. Whose else could it be? But how did Larry not prevent this?

This is like the wrong alternate reality.

Look at the number of words I'm dedicating to this. I'M TYPING WITH ONE FINGER. BECAUSE. WHYYYYYY.

Explain Larry, please. Here's how the rest must have gone:

Bono: Let's lead with Sexy Boots! It'll be a hit!!
Edge: No, Bono.
Bono: Come on, it'll be great, trust me.
Edge: No.
Bono: We can't lead with Moment of Surrender. It might be our best song, but it's not gonna play on the radio.
Edge: I understand, but it definitely can't be Boots.
Bono: Adam, come on. Sexy Boots! It'll be a hit!
Adam: Look, I'm just happy to be in a band.
Eno: Bono, listen to me carefully. It's a given that I will never, ever work with you again if you lead with that. But I will also literally murder you. Are you hearing me?
Bono: You guys just don't have faith in the song. It's upbeat! It'll be great! It's sexy!
Edge: I give up. It's not in my nature to argue ad nauseum. I also have never prevented you from falling on your ass. But you're wrong.
Bono: Great, we all agree!
And LARRY SAYS WHAT??
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: shineinthesummernight on August 06, 2018, 09:45:41 PM
Cute dialogue and probably quite on point.  I think Eno was right--Winter should have been included, so should have "Soon".  Bono was obviously going for relevance and the hit single.  Why Larry didn't take a more active role I'm not sure, but knowing Larry he must have felt some red flags.  (He seems the type who has very sensitive little hackles on the back of his neck to warn off predators and missteps, lol.)
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Clarky on August 07, 2018, 05:36:42 PM
I could live with Boots being a song in U2's catalogue if it were reduced to a b-side or something, but the fact that it was the lead single to an album I really quite liked in contrast....yeah I can't stand it. Nothing about it has ever grown on me. It's just a cringeworthy mess. I'm dumbfounded as to how tone deaf those people were who thought it would work. As Adam Scott Aukerman on U Talkin U2 to Me put it, they just went big and dumb and thought because Vertigo was a hit, they needed to do more of that. Instead they just shot themselves in the foot. And they BARELY learned with Mircale! SMH
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: shineinthesummernight on August 07, 2018, 07:08:30 PM
I actually like the "Let me in the sound" part on "Boots".
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: laoghaire on August 07, 2018, 09:11:05 PM
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I actually like the "Let me in the sound" part on "Boots".

Yes, it's not bad.

But we have it covered in Fez so we don't have to miss it when we ban GOYB from existence.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Vox on August 08, 2018, 08:44:19 AM
I've always liked "Get On Your Boots"  (ducks and runs for cover).

I like the unusual (quasi) Middle-Eastern vibe.  I get a deeper message out of it than just "sexy boots" (maybe would have been better without that in there).  I thought it resonated quite well with the 2009 world.

That being said, it doesn't fit into the rest of this (excellent) album very well.   
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Bundang Dave on August 08, 2018, 09:10:32 AM
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I've always liked "Get On Your Boots"  (ducks and runs for cover).

I like the unusual (quasi) Middle-Eastern vibe.  I get a deeper message out of it than just "sexy boots" (maybe would have been better without that in there).  I thought it resonated quite well with the 2009 world.

That being said, it doesn't fit into the rest of this (excellent) album very well.   

I find Boots one of the stronger tracks on the album. It's probably the one I've listened to the most. It does suffer from being pulled in too many directions though. There are some serious angles to the lyric but also some very playful/goofy ones and some sexy ones and some empowering ones, etc. Wish they hadn't tried to add Prince-like sounds and just stuck to making it a harder rock track.

I wish they'd explored that Middle Eastern vibe more on the other tracks too, but instead they pulled back into safer, more familiar Euro/Eno sounds. Instead of the usual strings, synths, French horn, etc., it would've been interesting to experiment with Moroccan flutes and percussion. I also enjoy the way they used Middle Eastern inspired sounds on Fast Cars and Mysterious Ways . . . too bad they didn't go with more of that.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Bundang Dave on August 08, 2018, 09:11:53 AM
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I actually like the "Let me in the sound" part on "Boots".

Yes, it's not bad.

But we have it covered in Fez so we don't have to miss it when we ban GOYB from existence.

I think the strength of the middle 8 in Boots is the drumming and guitar work, which are absent from the haunting snippet used in the Fez intro.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Chip on August 08, 2018, 05:55:47 PM
Well, Bono professed some surprise over the "sexy boots" backlash, explaining that it's a common term of endearment in the Hewson household.

Be that as it may, I don't love GOYB, but I do respect it for it's real-life inspiration (how Bono was afraid of the Iraq War planes flying overhead but Ali was steadfast and unafraid). And 360 gave it another boost for me with the opening "Ode to Joy" snippet.

Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Tortuga on August 08, 2018, 07:01:38 PM
Boots and the other “middle” songs interrupt the flow of the album but I think its a great song on a stand-alone basis.  Great lyrics, great tune, Let me in the sound part is awesome.  Larry’s drum fills are fantastic.  Its the obvious single.  The first single is supposed to be the catchiest song, not the artiest most introspective.  I just do not understand why people don’t like this song. Because of the “sexy boots” line?    Its perfect if you listen to the rest of the lyrics.


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Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: laoghaire on August 08, 2018, 07:31:30 PM
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Boots and the other “middle” songs interrupt the flow of the album but I think its a great song on a stand-alone basis.  Great lyrics, great tune, Let me in the sound part is awesome.  Larry’s drum fills are fantastic.  Its the obvious single.  The first single is supposed to be the catchiest song, not the artiest most introspective.  I just do not understand why people don’t like this song. Because of the “sexy boots” line?    Its perfect if you listen to the rest of the lyrics.


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I totally understand about leading with a catchy single, not the song where you have to mine the gold even if there is a huge pile of it. I think they could have done better than The Miracle or You're the Best Thing About Me, but I definitely don't hate either song (just rank them last or near to it on otherwise strong albums). But my first reaction on GOYB was "this is garbage" not "meh, kinda catchy but not much to it" like with the others I mentioned.

It wasn't just the Sexy Boots at all, it was basically the whole song minus Let Me In the Sound. Just the Sexy Boots was the easiest way to sum up the cringe.

That said, I won't give up. If I can find anything to like, I will.

I even plan to revisit HTDAAB after this. That's commitment, baby.

At least I've scored 1.5 new songs already - love MOS and like NLOTH.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Tortuga on August 08, 2018, 09:08:46 PM
That’s the great thing about music.  Different things speak to different people but there is something for everyone.


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Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: laoghaire on August 08, 2018, 09:26:23 PM
Yer damn tootin'!

Signed,

Somebody who really, really loves SOE
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: 03/9/81 on August 09, 2018, 07:55:31 AM
Yup, and I happen to really like Sexy Boots.
I think It's a super catchy tune!

I may not be the a huge fan of SOE, but I like a few of the songs.
I don't love every song on every LP that U2 has ever done.
But I don't have too, and neither does anybody else.



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Yer damn tootin'!

Signed,

Somebody who really, really loves SOE
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Clarky on August 10, 2018, 05:04:08 AM
As long as you acknowledge and accept that you are in the limited minority, that's fine. Boots is widely seen as one of their weakest and I wholeheartedly agree. Shame it had to be on such an experimental album that for the most part wasn't trying to be commercial and catchy.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: 03/9/81 on August 10, 2018, 05:20:37 AM
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As long as you acknowledge and accept that you are in the limited minority, that's fine. Boots is widely seen as one of their weakest and I wholeheartedly agree. Shame it had to be on such an experimental album that for the most part wasn't trying to be commercial and catchy.

Yes, I know that, and yes I accept that. As long as other's can accept, that I like it, and guess what - we aren't all uniform fans that ALL love the same things. I don't look at boots in a musical way, when I hear it, it makes me feel like dancing.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Tortuga on August 10, 2018, 06:38:49 AM
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As long as you acknowledge and accept that you are in the limited minority, that's fine. Boots is widely seen as one of their weakest and I wholeheartedly agree. Shame it had to be on such an experimental album that for the most part wasn't trying to be commercial and catchy.

Seriously??  As long as we accept that we are dumb for liking it, its okay if we like it?  Why, thank you for your blessing.


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Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: 03/9/81 on August 10, 2018, 07:14:19 AM
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As long as you acknowledge and accept that you are in the limited minority, that's fine. Boots is widely seen as one of their weakest and I wholeheartedly agree. Shame it had to be on such an experimental album that for the most part wasn't trying to be commercial and catchy.

Seriously??  As long as we accept that we are dumb for liking it, its okay if we like it?  Why, thank you for your blessing.


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Don't waste your breath Tortuga, I don't! You do you! Music is like politics, and religion, everybody has an opinion, everybody believes they're in the right, everything is how you perceive things. Like what you like, and don't let someone's else's opinion hinder you. Moving on! 
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: laoghaire on August 10, 2018, 07:45:12 AM
Yeah, that's dumb. It's ok to like a song, album, band, as long as you meet some rando's criteria of acknowleding that rando's declaration? Lol
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: 03/9/81 on August 10, 2018, 08:02:03 AM
Just cause I feel like it:

https://youtu.be/Q8C1zaBAzF0

Justice version Sexy Boots.
Bye -
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Bundang Dave on August 10, 2018, 09:58:55 AM
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As long as you acknowledge and accept that you are in the limited minority, that's fine. Boots is widely seen as one of their weakest and I wholeheartedly agree. Shame it had to be on such an experimental album that for the most part wasn't trying to be commercial and catchy.

Seriously??  As long as we accept that we are dumb for liking it, its okay if we like it?  Why, thank you for your blessing.


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Hey, not every song is meant for the masses, so no worries if the masses can't appreciate one that you do.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: hollywoodswag on August 10, 2018, 11:47:30 AM
Don't feel bad for liking Boots. I'm in the camp that enjoys it as well. That intro to the 360 live version takes it up to another level, too.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Tortuga on August 10, 2018, 03:07:16 PM
Hey thanks but I would never feel bad about liking something.  I just don’t like it when people try to make something subjective like art either “right or wrong” or “good or bad”.   Its like food.  No two tongues are alike.  What tastes salty to one person is lacking to another because their tongues are physically different.  Our brains are physically different as are our life experiences.  So it is silly and snobby to judge art as objectively good or bad when its quality can only be judged subjectively and individually.

And, incidentally, if it did matter, critical reviews for Boots were mixed, not universally bad.


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Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Clarky on August 10, 2018, 06:02:15 PM
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As long as you acknowledge and accept that you are in the limited minority, that's fine. Boots is widely seen as one of their weakest and I wholeheartedly agree. Shame it had to be on such an experimental album that for the most part wasn't trying to be commercial and catchy.

Seriously??  As long as we accept that we are dumb for liking it, its okay if we like it?  Why, thank you for your blessing.


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Don't waste your breath Tortuga, I don't! You do you! Music is like politics, and religion, everybody has an opinion, everybody believes they're in the right, everything is how you perceive things. Like what you like, and don't let someone's else's opinion hinder you. Moving on! 

Lol that fact that Boots isn't thought of as being very good is just the statistical truth. And I happen to fall into the category that supports that. I'm not saying that you can't like a song that most others don't, ob-v-ious-ly. Do you really think another U2 fan could be that narrow minded and dictatorial? I get it, it's music. Hey I like Rebecca Black's Friday. I'm not wrong. I suppose I just see way too much "my opinion overrules your facts" attitudes in today's world that I react in a slightly unsympathetic way - which I know is not what you're doing.

Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: 03/9/81 on August 10, 2018, 06:30:10 PM
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As long as you acknowledge and accept that you are in the limited minority, that's fine. Boots is widely seen as one of their weakest and I wholeheartedly agree. Shame it had to be on such an experimental album that for the most part wasn't trying to be commercial and catchy.

Seriously??  As long as we accept that we are dumb for liking it, its okay if we like it?  Why, thank you for your blessing.


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Don't waste your breath Tortuga, I don't! You do you! Music is like politics, and religion, everybody has an opinion, everybody believes they're in the right, everything is how you perceive things. Like what you like, and don't let someone's else's opinion hinder you. Moving on! 

Lol that fact that Boots isn't thought of as being very good is just the statistical truth. And I happen to fall into the category that supports that. I'm not saying that you can't like a song that most others don't, ob-v-ious-ly. Do you really think another U2 fan could be that narrow minded and dictatorial? I get it, it's music. Hey I like Rebecca Black's Friday. I'm not wrong. I suppose I just see way too much "my opinion overrules your facts" attitudes in today's world that I react in a slightly unsympathetic way - which I know is not what you're doing.

Lol! It's a song, that's all! Nothing more then a song. Facts are facts, nobody is arguing you about statistical truths. But like you like Rebecca Black's Friday (I had to Google who she is), we like Sexy Boots!

LOL! As a matter of fact! I live in Canada! I'll be wearing boots as of November till the end of March! Lol! And sexy one's. Had to add some humour to this because It's just gotten ridiculous! Lol!
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: shineinthesummernight on August 10, 2018, 09:08:40 PM
I'm sure you wear your sexy boots quite nicely :o :o
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: laoghaire on August 11, 2018, 11:29:05 AM
So yeah it's not just an Eno influence but the intros to a lot of songs sound fully written by him - Fez, White as Snow, Cedars, MoS, Unknown Caller.

In TUF I hear only a tiny bit of his direct input - I would guess that opening riff to the title song.

I don't know how to hear Lanois' input.

Anyway, another question: where can I find the alternate lyrics for Unknown Caller? I mean lyrics with an alternative to the computer jargon.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: laoghaire on August 11, 2018, 12:36:47 PM
What does Breathe remind me of? Something John Lennon did?

Lol at the cockatoo line.

I'm starting to like the album. It was no indictment that I didn't get into it immediately. In fact the songs that are easiest to like can often dry up quickly.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: laoghaire on August 11, 2018, 01:43:32 PM
What do people think about the rap at the end of Moment of Surrender in the live performances? I watched the one at the Rose Bowl. I think the delivery is good but some of the lyrics are a bit cringe-y, which is too bad because it was close to awesome. But faith in a clown is just too jolting in a bad way, lipstick trace is also similar.

Also, Bono keeps using this face like snow image (Acrobat, Invisible, MoS rap) - what the hell does that mean anyway? I bought it for Acrobat, I'll live with it for Invisible, but it feels cheap in the MoS rap.

I keep complaining about the rap but it's mostly because it's almost good!
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Bundang Dave on August 11, 2018, 01:47:54 PM
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So yeah it's not just an Eno influence but the intros to a lot of songs sound fully written by him - Fez, White as Snow, Cedars, MoS, Unknown Caller.

In TUF I hear only a tiny bit of his direct input - I would guess that opening riff to the title song.

I don't know how to hear Lanois' input.

Anyway, another question: where can I find the alternate lyrics for Unknown Caller? I mean lyrics with an alternative to the computer jargon.

I'm pretty sure the Fez intro bit is all Lanois, not Eno. He (Lanois) talks about it in one of the documentaries that came out about the making of the album.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: laoghaire on August 11, 2018, 02:02:50 PM
Ah, my bad.

Where else (in a specific place in another U2 album) can I hear Lanois?
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Tortuga on August 11, 2018, 03:21:04 PM
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Ah, my bad.

Where else (in a specific place in another U2 album) can I hear Lanois?

The easist way to do that is listen to Lanois’ solo work and then you will recognize it.  Also interesting, when you’re listening to Lanois’ albums, listen for Edge’s influence.  Its all over.

In general Lanois takes a lighter touch with his production with U2 than he does with other artists.  That said, “Grace” is an obvious one.  “In A Little While” I think shows his input.  Lanois’ trademark is that he sounds organic and electronic at the same time.  “One Step Closer” makes me think of Lanois’ solo work.

The albums of other artists that Lanois produced and members of U2 helped out on are interesting too. Emmy Lou Harris Wrecking Ball is produced by Lanois and Larry plays drums on some of the songs.  Robbie Robertson’s self-titled album is produced by Lanois and has Bono and Edge on a couple of songs.  The “Million Dollar Hotel” soundtrack is very Lanois and has a lot of U2 on it.

Off NLOTH, COL has Lanois’ influence.  On JT, RTSS, Mothers, Exit...although that’s very much Eno too.  I don’t think Lanois had really landed on his own sound as much yet at that time.



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Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: laoghaire on August 11, 2018, 03:43:36 PM
Nice description!

I listened to a bit of Lanois, great idea. I should listen more but it already gave me a good sense. (Off of Shine). There was a bit of familiarity.

I also tried a couple Eno tracks and I was surprised how fully New Age it was. I mean, I knew his sound was ambience but I was used to it being mixed into rock and roll, and the two tracks I heard were 100% straight up New Age and 0% rock or anything else.

I have to listen to NLOTH album closer to tease them apart.

FWIW I think Eno sounds better with U2 than alone - my first impression. There's more stuff going on in the Eno/U2 collabs. I do like the mixture of their sounds.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Tortuga on August 11, 2018, 04:12:28 PM
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Nice description!

I listened to a bit of Lanois, great idea. I should listen more but it already gave me a good sense. (Off of Shine). There was a bit of familiarity.

I also tried a couple Eno tracks and I was surprised how fully New Age it was. I mean, I knew his sound was ambience but I was used to it being mixed into rock and roll, and the two tracks I heard were 100% straight up New Age and 0% rock or anything else.

I have to listen to NLOTH album closer to tease them apart.

FWIW I think Eno sounds better with U2 than alone - my first impression. There's more stuff going on in the Eno/U2 collabs. I do like the mixture of their sounds.

Eno doesn’t really intend his ambient work to be listened actively the way you listen to pop or rock.  It is intended to be something that just becomes part of the environment.  For example, his music for airports was literally created to be used as a sound installation.

He does have more mainstream Pop/rock releases too, such as “Another Day on Earth”.


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Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Moonstarsky on August 11, 2018, 05:02:38 PM
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Nice description!

I listened to a bit of Lanois, great idea. I should listen more but it already gave me a good sense. (Off of Shine). There was a bit of familiarity.

I also tried a couple Eno tracks and I was surprised how fully New Age it was. I mean, I knew his sound was ambience but I was used to it being mixed into rock and roll, and the two tracks I heard were 100% straight up New Age and 0% rock or anything else.

I have to listen to NLOTH album closer to tease them apart.

FWIW I think Eno sounds better with U2 than alone - my first impression. There's more stuff going on in the Eno/U2 collabs. I do like the mixture of their sounds.

Eno doesn’t really intend his ambient work to be listened actively the way you listen to pop or rock.  It is intended to be something that just becomes part of the environment.  For example, his music for airports was literally created to be used as a sound installation.

He does have more mainstream Pop/rock releases too, such as “Another Day on Earth”.


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If you look back into U2's producer history, you'll find that Lanois/Eno goes back to the mid - 80's. The maturity in the music, the sound that's been produced on the albums shows the influence of both Eno/Lanois.

Eno's music is indeed ambient new age background music. Lanois's is more of a folky sound. They've both won producer awards, and started working with U2 as of Unforgettable Fire. It threw the band into a whole other spectrum of success.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: laoghaire on August 12, 2018, 03:30:38 PM
Ahhh, I've hit that sweet, sweet nirvana of album infatuation.

Magnificent grew on me. The "I was born to sing for you" verse is amazing.
Unknown Caller works for me. Even the weird lyrics. No, especially the weird lyrics because they are based in meaning for me.
Breathe is different and cool. Still don't know why the song sounds so familiar though.
White as Snow is hitting some harmonic in me. It's freaking gorgeous. I know the music is not original but it's stunning, the lyrics are genius, Bono's vocals are transcendent.
His vocals on Moment of Surrender are also genius, though some might consider them overwrought. But when else can you bleed that much emotion if not rock bottom? I love how jarring the opening line is, then it breaks into such longing with "run free" - just up and down, defiant and needy and immediately relieved and chastised and shamed, back and forth.
NLOTH is a charging bull.
Cedars will probably light up for me soon.

I was on a hiatus so I've had the strange experience of unwrapping 3 "new" albums in the same year. Of course, I still have to give Bomb another chance at some point. If it goes off for me, that'll be 4.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Moonstarsky on August 12, 2018, 05:45:07 PM
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Cedars will probably light up for me soon.


If you close your eyes and put aside that you know It's a U2 song. Just listen carefully during Cedars, you'll wonder during a few lines, whose song is this and whose singing Bono or Leonard Cohen.  Cedars, to me is their Leonard Cohen song. Enjoy it.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: laoghaire on August 12, 2018, 06:35:45 PM
"Beat poetry" is what has occured to me so far.

You're right, one could forget it's a U2 song.

The ending is cool.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Tortuga on August 12, 2018, 07:53:30 PM
Cedars is my favorite on NLOTH.  One of my favorites of all U2.  Lyrics are fantastic.  Just my opinion but there is nothing on the last two albums that even comes close.

This line in my mind is like a plea to God who we sometimes feel has forsaken this world:

So high above me, higher than everyone
Where are you in the cedars of Lebanon?



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Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Moonstarsky on August 12, 2018, 10:36:27 PM
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"Beat poetry"

If you like that Try Your Blue Room. Bono does his Cohen their as well.
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/MuyAPwAg0oU
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: shineinthesummernight on August 14, 2018, 08:03:31 PM
Glad that you're enjoying NLOTH, Laoghaire. 
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: laoghaire on August 14, 2018, 08:19:02 PM
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Glad that you're enjoying NLOTH, Laoghaire.

Thanks! I really am! Things are lighting up like mad! (Not the dreaded three yet, but give it time).

I sneak off to listen to stuff when I can :)

Oh, and Cedars is going great too.

I didn't mention Fez but I had already gone through my love for it earlier, having just worked on that one alone.

Seperately I have discovered Fairytale of New York. I know that's weird to tie with NLOTH. But FONY is fascinating not just for the song but for - as I have learned - its popularity in the British Isles. Number one Christmas song? Like if I said happy Christmas you old ar*e to some Irish person they would likely just retort, hope it's our last? What does that say for culture? The song is very catchy and the tone is a masterpiece and very instructive somehow.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: davis on August 15, 2018, 05:36:46 AM
One way Eno has always influenced U2 albums is by doing constant remixing of stuff they've recorded, then playing it back for the band to show them new possibilities and directions in the work.  He is really a sound visionary (Lanois is more of a true musician).  So, aside from the synth work, Eno's influence is more nebulous but also more global. 

To give another example of the Eno influence, he was obsessed with gospel music when they recorded UF and JT.  He played a ton of it for the boys.  In that way, he may have been indirectly "responsible" for songs like MLK and I Still Haven't Found.  He was also lead producer on those albums.  The overall sound of those albums is something he helped lead/push them too. 

Listen to Eno's work with Bowie, David Byrne, and his solo stuff (Another Green World is an all time brilliant album), and you'll begin to get a sense of what he brings.  Dude's a genius in my opinion. 
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Clarky on August 15, 2018, 05:52:57 AM
My musical acumen is quite limited, but from what I have gleaned over the years based on the type of music that U2 has produced with different producers I would have to agree. I get a sense that U2 are pushed in a direction that leads to much more interesting work than when they aren't with him. The conventional tunes wear a little thin on me and I feel like Bono and the Edge get a little too cute with them sometimes, whereas Eno leads them down a path where they are navigating some unique soundscapes and exploring some very different ideas as a result.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Tortuga on August 15, 2018, 06:54:25 AM
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My musical acumen is quite limited, but from what I have gleaned over the years based on the type of music that U2 has produced with different producers I would have to agree. I get a sense that U2 are pushed in a direction that leads to much more interesting work than when they aren't with him. The conventional tunes wear a little thin on me and I feel like Bono and the Edge get a little too cute with them sometimes, whereas Eno leads them down a path where they are navigating some unique soundscapes and exploring some very different ideas as a result.

I suppose different people like different things but the Eno/Lanois albums are my favorites by far.  The funny thing is it seems like the lyrics are better.  To the point that I wonder if Eno is talking him out of lines like:

There is a light don’t let it go out
A baby cries on a doorstep
You were talking at me not to me

I know, I know UC lyrics, right?  But those are just artistically questionable.  What I don’t like is the cliche lines.  They make me think of Dr. Phil or something.


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Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: davis on August 15, 2018, 06:35:05 PM
Good point Tortuga.  I seem to remember reading somewhere that Eno had a list of trite or cliche words Bono was "not allowed" to use while recording Achtung.  And I think we can all agree on the lyrical brilliance of that album. 
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: laoghaire on September 26, 2018, 05:37:08 PM
Still working on this album, like it a lot. Thought I'd just update where I am for the NLOTH fans. This is in order of what grabbed me chronologically.

Before working on this album:
FEZ - Loved it, different, awesome.

Early faves:
MOMENT OF SURRENDER - Neat rhythm, deep subject, clearly a great song. I tend to hear the rap in my head at the end. Incredible vocals. Interesting bass hook. Great Gilmour-style solo.

MAGNIFICENT - Took a few listens to sink in but obviously a big tune.

UNKNOWN CALLER - I just wish I liked the middle section better, which is not to say I don't like it, but it's fairly epic overall.

WHITE AS SNOW - Melody might not be unique, but I love this song. Guitars are wonderful, Bono's voice is drop dead gorgeous, and his lyrics are at his finest. A big fave of mine.

CEDARS OF LEBANON - Cool, off the beaten U2 path.

Later faves:

BREATHE - I was stuck on this song for a looooong time. My initial take on the song was that the music seemed derivitive of... something, never put my finger on it. And the big guitar riff seemed too ordinary classic rock to me. It got its teeth into me in a big way, though. This is going to remain a very important song for me. I'm telling you, weeks and weeks of multiple daily listenings. I think there must be layers to the song so you can hear new things bit by bit.

NO LINE ON THE HORIZON - It was "okay" the first time I heard it. Was a little put off by the vocals. But now I "hear" it and it's great. The charging guitar is fantastic. I love how it steps back during the chorus for the perfect amount of time so you want it back. After one of the choruses, maybe the first but I'm not sure offhand, Larry does this kick that totally makes me put my fist through the air. I know Bono's ohs get some flak but I really like the yelling ohs section in this song. Those four descending arpeggio notes (like at the very end) are a great example of Edge minimalistic glory.

CRAZY TONIGHT - Arghhhhh! Arghhhhh! This has stuck its claws into me the last few days! I like it!!! I don't want to like it!!! Make it staaaaawp!! Also there's something about this song that hits the deja vu button. Not saying it's derivative, just that it just sort of triggers some vague memory-feeling. Let's see if I survive this.

That leaves Boots and SUC. I haven't gotten into either yet. We'll see if they are dredge or if one or both will become the California of the album, rising dead last but with a very strong finish.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: nulla uomo on September 29, 2018, 11:14:21 AM
I got very familiar with No Line after I had to put all my stuff in storage in 2010.  All of my CD's/Vinyl were put up (climate controlled, of course) and I was left with a few CD's in the car.  No Line was one of them.  I played it whenever I was in the car for a good part of six months.  I'm no expert, not a musician, and not a certified music reviewer.  I just go on emotions basically and since I just listen to U2 now, that's a perfect fit.  Some thoughts and feelings on No Line:

No Line On The Horizon - I love the way the guitar work propels this song along.  It's got a certain vibe to it.  Bono's voice competing with Edge's guitar.  "The songs in your head are now on my mind, you put me on pause. I'm trying to rewind and replay".  Cool.

Magnificent - One of my favorite U2 songs.  The bass lines at the start of the song and then Edge's guitar coming in full force.  This is rock 'n roll at its best.  "Only love, only love can leave such a mark
. But only love, only love can heal such a scar".  Glorious.

Moment Of Surrender - A long track, 7 minutes long.  It took me awhile to appreciate this song.  The mysteriousness, slow progression of the track and Bono's lyrics finally came through.  "At the moment of surrender I folded to my knees, I did not notice the passers-by and they did not notice me".  Still, I have to be in a "certain mood" to fully appreciate this winding ballad.

Unknown Caller - I really love this track.  The serene opening and then Edge's guitar coming in, lighting up the song.  The lyrics are excellent - "I was right there at the top of the bottom, on the edge of the known universe where I wanted to be" or "Restart and re-boot yourself, you're free to go.  Oh, oh shout for joy if you get the chance."  I love Larry's light percussion touch, keeping a slow beat throughout.  Edge's guitar is just right, not overwhelming but keeping a steady pace.  Great track.

I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight -  Yuck.  I've never liked this song and don't like song titles that are 9 words long.  The one redeeming feature of this song is how different it sounds live.  The little animated video for the song is cool - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4q_AHAMVQ9c.  But the live version of the song from the 360 tour is unique and nothing like the original track - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llHlZ9FT7VU. I can handle the song better in the 360 version.

Get On Your Boots - Generic rock 'n roll. Nothing stands out. It's sounds like Edge was replaced on guitar by some generic rock guitarist. 

Stand Up Comedy - See Get On Your Books.  The guitar sounds like Led Zeppelin light or something.  "The wire is stretched in between our two towers, stand up in this dizzy world, where a lovesick eye can steal the view, I'm gonna fall down if I can't stand up".  Sounds like the lyrics are trying to be a weird version of the fantastic "I Fall Down", except where "I Fall Down" is clear in its message, Stand Up Comedy is muddy, unclear and a weak song.

FEZ -- Being Born - "Let me in the sound".  I love the start to this great song.  "Six o'clock on the autoroute, burning rubber, burning chrome. Bay of Cadiz and ferry home, Atlantic sea cut glass, African sun at last". A trip in music.  I can just feel and see the Bay of Cadiz, the Iberian peninsula, the inlet to the Atlantic Ocean and the feel of the promise of the African coastal sun at last.  It's a trip, an exotic propulsion, melodic song of beauty.  You can actually feel this song.  It's great.

White As Snow - Beautiful, just so.  This is what a ballad is.  The quality of sound and the meandering pace of the song is spot on. Bono's voice is at its best.  As in Fez, a story is being told here.  "If only a heart could be as white as snow, If only a heart could be as white as snow".  This a classic song and deserves much more credit than it has received.  Gorgeous.

Breathe -  Good song but it sounds too derivative.  Something too familiar.  "Every day I die again, and again I'm reborn. Every day I have to find the courage, to walk out into the street". A common theme (which I like) in U2's work.  Being reborn, making yourself new again. Gathering the strength to carry on.  I like the theme but the song itself I'm not really sure about.

Cedars Of Lebanon - A delicious, moody track.  Little snippets of sound and voice peeking into the song. It fits my mood when I'm the most introspective.  Bono's voice shines so strong, painting evocative images.  The song is like a gentle flowing river.  It talks about life, love and the difference of what many of us are.  It speaks of the unknown and known.  "Return the call to home".  Home, yes that's where it all begins and where it all ends.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: laoghaire on September 29, 2018, 11:54:38 AM
Thanks for the write-up! We have similar takes with just a few differences. Mainly that I'm dyyyyyingggg on Crazy Tonight right now. I never thought I'd like it - it earned a "wtf - NO" on the first listen. I also like Breathe a lot better than you do, though we both hear the derivative something and ordinary guitar riff. But that "walk out into the street, with arms out, got a love you can't defeat" and all the rest is big for me.

I'm not sure if I've finished with Cedars yet, I like it but never got to the point of listening over and over like most of the others.

I am starting to think about writing notes on the album themes because they are coming clear at this point. Brilliant album. Genius, honestly.

Arghhh, Crazy!! I haven't figured this one out yet. Initially it was addiction, but it's so joyful, I have more work to do. Maybe it's a similar message as Breathe.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Chip on September 29, 2018, 06:17:41 PM
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The funny thing is it seems like the lyrics are better.  To the point that I wonder if Eno is talking him out of lines like:

There is a light don’t let it go out
A baby cries on a doorstep
You were talking at me not to me

I know, I know UC lyrics, right?  But those are just artistically questionable.  What I don’t like is the cliche lines.  They make me think of Dr. Phil or something.


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That is a great point, Tortuga. To continue a conversation from another recent thread here (and multiple ones over the years on this forum), if I look at what I consider to be albums with Bono's most poetic lyrics (TJT through Zooropa [including OS1], NLOTH), all of them have Eno as a producer. It makes me wonder not just if Eno influences Bono away from cliches (although that may well be true), but whether he might be an uncredited cowriter on some of them.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: laoghaire on September 30, 2018, 10:02:51 AM
Tortuga, I'm with you on A baby cries on a doorstep. No.

Nulla uomo, I will start a separate thread on nloth themes. Making some notes first.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Chip on September 30, 2018, 04:36:32 PM
I'm not a defender of "A baby cries on a doorstep" as a song lyric, but a few months back, when I came to like "13" after attending E&I, it came to me that Bono might intend the baby to represent innocence. (Compare that line with "I've got a question for the child in you before it leaves" in "13.") If so, there's a nice symmetry at the opening and closure of SOE. The newborn analogy also might hearken back to both "Miracle Drug" and "Fez -- Being Born," in both cases of which you can argue that birth represents a kind of innocence.

Other than that, it strikes me as possibly influenced by Harry Potter, and, if so, probably conceived by Bono as a lyric when his kids were younger.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: laoghaire on September 30, 2018, 05:03:40 PM
I thought it was something like that, or rebirth (the doorstep being the threshold for the world).

But I dislike it because, firstly, the image it invokes is really abandonment. A baby crying on a doorstep is a terrible thing. I don't think it was the intent, which makes it a big failure as an image. And secondly, it just sounds cliche.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Tortuga on September 30, 2018, 07:53:48 PM
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I thought it was something like that, or rebirth (the doorstep being the threshold for the world).

But I dislike it because, firstly, the image it invokes is really abandonment. A baby crying on a doorstep is a terrible thing. I don't think it was the intent, which makes it a big failure as an image. And secondly, it just sounds cliche.

Its super cliche.  But beyond that the whole innocence theme is just plain played out.  He’s been obsessed with it since HTDAAB.  Its time to dream it all up again.

I don’t blame him if he doesn’t have the creativity or energy left for that.  But I don’t think that’s the case.  I think he just needs a good long break followed by some fresh inspiration.

Plenty to talk about with the body of work from the last 40 years though.


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Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: laoghaire on October 01, 2018, 05:53:43 PM
So I realized why I am not nuts for Cedars - like it a lot! But not nuts.

I don't hear anything but cynicism in it.

Of course cynicism has its place. It's just not the thing I'm trying to hold on to.

Am I wrong? Is there optimism in it? I love the tune, it's creative, it's clever, it sounds great, but the message is what drives it for me.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: Tortuga on October 01, 2018, 07:33:28 PM
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So I realized why I am not nuts for Cedars - like it a lot! But not nuts.

I don't hear anything but cynicism in it.

Of course cynicism has its place. It's just not the thing I'm trying to hold on to.

Am I wrong? Is there optimism in it? I love the tune, it's creative, it's clever, it sounds great, but the message is what drives it for me.

I wouldn’t say there is optimism, unless you think the soldier bringing oranges is that.  But I don’t think of it as cynical either.  I see it as the reflections of someone whose seen a lot of bad stuff and feels depressed by the hopelessness of the world and the soul-less deals that have to be made. 
I think of cynicism as being suspicious or skeptical, with a certain amount of sanctimonious snark.  I see the character in COL as long having moved past that, and having accepted the reality that it is.

So thinking that by cynical you probably meant depressing or hopeless then I agree with you.  But I also think it is honest and makes you realize that just because you can’t fix something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do what you can.
Title: Re: Gonna dive into NLOTH - any pointers?
Post by: shineinthesummernight on October 02, 2018, 07:30:15 PM
Cedars is not one of my favorites off this album.  Not sure why; it just never did much for me.  I guess it seems to meander and not go anywhere lyrically or musically.