esperago

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  1. esperago

    This SOE is shaping up to be a gem

    Esperago's Personal Review: U2 - Songs of Experience My ranking system is based on a scale of U2 songs, not all songs in general. Here we go... Love is All We Have Left This song is great. Not that melodic but it overall emotes a great sense of futurism and space. It’s something that would not have been out of place on Zooropa, Passengers or the Million Dollar Hotel soundtrack. It also feels like an unofficial, futuristic follow-up to One Step Closer to Knowing. I love it - might be my favourite tune on the album, despite it having such a short run time. (9 out of 10) Lights of Home Groovy and reminds me of a sonic cousin of Cedarwood Road (with ragged acoustic guitar). However, I can’t give The Edge too much credit here as the riff is directly lifted from an old Haim song. It’s definitely a groovy tune and I really enjoy the instrumentation of the song but in reality, the song doesn’t reach out an pull me in. As well, usually, U2 chanting/choral is stuff I normally find quite enjoyable but the end of Lights of Home gets a little church-y feeling with the “free yourself to be yourself” bit. It was an average lyric in the song ‘Iris’ and remains as such, for me, on this tune. (5.5 out of 10) You’re the Best Thing A fun throwaway-ish, radio friendly song in the tradition of Sweetest Thing (although a lot more groovy). I was average on it for about the first 10 listens but now have developed a greater appreciation for it. It’s catchy in that Beautiful Day sort of way (but nowhere near as epic, of course). I can’t help but sing when I hear it (nor can my kids). And it sticks in my head throughout the day - a sign of a good melody, I believe. So it’s gone from average to above average. (7 out of 10) Get Out of Your Own Way I like this song a lot. It comes in smooth, hits where it needs to and then slides away as nicely as it came. I think the melody and lyrics match up exactly, which doesn’t always happen. It’s like both elements of the song were forged from the same base ingredient. I also like the message of “I can help you but it’s your fight”. There’s a whole slew of U2 songs that I think are great but don’t rise to epic-level. This is one of those songs for me - a lot like Gone off of Pop. I love that song but it never claws its way into my soul like songs like One, UTEOTW, Streets, WOWY, etc. Nice tune though, kind of like it was plucked from the same reality-thread as When I Look at the World, Crumbs From Your Table and the album version of Crazy Tonight. (7.5 out of 10) ***KENDRICK LAMAR RANT… decent rant which resonates but I’m already tired of hearing it, nevermind down the road, months and years from now. American Soul Gosh, this one is a tough one for me. The lyrics are 50% good and 50% lame. The instrumentation and melody are 50% great and 50% yucky. Shouting “You are rock and roll” feels really old man-ish to me. Not young and hip. and the “Refu-Jesus” stuff… and also the Trump hating… not my bag of tea, especially coming from an Irish multi-millionaire. (Note: I’m not pro-Trump. I’m anti-Hillary and anti-Trump but most of all I am anti-the devolution of America. I hope for unity on both sides instead of sensationalism and division and so Bono’s lukewarm statements on the current situation are lame to me. He should have gone all in or not at all. At least have the conviction to make a statement, regardless if people like me disagree with him doing so… it would have made for a stronger, less awkward song). Now, having said all of this, I absolutely love how American Soul begins melodically. The kick drum and bass line are thick, heavy and driving and don’t have any sort of corny riff that The Edge sometimes throws-in (like he does on the second half of the song, during the you and I are rock and roll parts). Basically, half of this song is sooo good to my ears, that I excuse the other awful half and wind up with something that equates to slightly above average rather than lousy. (6 out of 10) Summer of Love I both appreciate and have a distaste for the struggles in Aleppo being snuck into a song that, on the surface, sounds like a song about girl and a summer fling. I think it’s great that a song can tackle a serious topic without having to be overly sombre or obvious. But it feels weird to forget about this and just sort of croon the song like it isn’t about a situation of suffering and despair. Lyrically, I dig the song. It reminds me of sibling to Cedars of Lebanon. I think Bono has a deep talent for capturing the atmosphere of a place and time and I wish he’d do it more. He nails it on Cedars of Lebanon, White as Snow, Miami, Miss Sarajevo, Winter, California, etc. The instrument melody and instruments are fine enough on this tune - sort of wiggly and sneaky-smooth… but the song never really seems to crescendo, which might be on purpose but I feel like there could have been a bit more creativity in the bridge section. In fact, this is a bit of a complaint of mine about U2 songs in general. Many times, the songs are missing hooks or catchy crescendos and bridges (like Discotheque or Blackout or this song). It’s fine enough but would definitely elevate the song a little higher. (6.0 out of 10) Red Flag Day Hmmm… I feel like I’m not allowed to dislike this song because it’s about refugees taking flight at sea. How dare I! lol. The thing is, it sounds a bit like “ska” or something. A little like the band Bedouin Soundclash but with Maroon 5-style vocals and little tiny pinch of No Doubt and a twist of 1980s echo when the Edge provides backing vocals. Despite my dislike of these aspects, I have to give U2 props for creating a unique song about an important topic. As well, I have respect for them creating a new type of sonic landscape for themselves within this song, while at the same time reaching down into their early 80s roots (and being a little rough and raw). But still, not really my cup of tea. (4 out of 10) The Showman (A Little More Better) This is a tough one to review and rate. It’s fun and zingy and I always appreciate the Edge and Bono doing the bro-mance thing. But it’s a weird song. It kind of reminds me a little of Buddy Holly, or perhaps Roy Orbison, with a little early Beatles thrown in. All of which are fine but not what I look for in my U2… as in, I don’t think I’d ever be in the mood to listen to U2 and this type of music at the same time. Again, as in Red Flag Day, I support them for trying out some new sonic ideas and for Bono to be so cheeky and open with his lyrics (describing his own ego). Still though, this song sort of associates itself with the territory of Wild Honey, A Man and a Woman and the unreleased/rare Flower Child. Fine little ditties but songs I never really return to unless I’m doing a complete song-by-song play-through of the album. (4 out of 10) The Little Things That Give You Away I’m big on this song. The lyrics, the creeping, building melody and a bridge that soars, rather than just acts like filler. The lyrics resonate with my personal experiences in life, even if not directly. I absolutely love the “sometimes the end isn’t coming, sometimes the end is here” line. It’s a thought that I have never really considered and from my perspective, quite a heavy thought at that. For so many people, every day, they must have this realization as they say goodbye to a dying loved one. Bono’s lyrics on the bridge are equally as resonant: “Sometimes I can’t believe my existence, I see myself from a distance… can’t get back inside…” and so on. Speaks to my spiritual journey over the past years and to my journey with my wife throughout the past few decades. It’s also great that this song builds to a big, huge ending. I’m looking forward to hearing this one in concert. Love this song. (9 out of 10) Landlady Damn Bono. Damn him! It’s such a lovely song but goddamn, it’s loveliness just won’t sink into the depths of my being. All because of the use of the term “landlady”. Now, yes, I’ve read the interview where the Edge discusses why they ultimately decided using that term was “okay” but I still can’t get past it. All I picture when I hear Bono singing it is some old cat-lady, grey-haired, 70 year old land lady in a cardigan, stopping by to complain and collect the rent. Now that’s an image I don’t want to conjure when I listen to any music, nevermind a U2 song. Props to Bono for just owning it though, and writing such a sweet song to his wife (and allowing us to be privy to these thoughts). I also am happy with the bridge and his soft-rap-style lyrics during it. It makes the song stronger. My actual thoughts on this song include a fantasy where U2 makes this their next single and just OWNS the landlady aspect. They make a video featuring Bono and a 70 year old landlady having a romance in various locations within a Brooklyn brownstone apartment building. Gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes on the roof, slow dancing next to leaky pipes in the basement, waking up next to each other on a cold winter morn… just a love affair between a geriatric and a rockstar. (6.5 out of 10) The Blackout I appreciate and enjoy this rock song more every time I hear it. Maybe some of the finest overall work of Larry and Adam - especially Adam. Killer bass riffs and kick drum, and I really verbal cadence of Bono’s verses. The choruses and bridge fall a little flat. I wish the song would boil-over into a frenzy like the live version of Bullet The Blue Sky - it feels like it should. But it doesn’t so all in all, it doesn’t move from a good U2 song into a ‘great’ or ‘epic’ U2 song. Maybe the live version will develop and grow, in the same way Bullet has. (7 out of 10) Love is Bigger than Anything in its Way All the positive reviews are saying that this is the anthem to beat, but I’m not on the same page as most of these reviews. It’s a nice song, to be sure - and a sweet sentiment to express to his kids. However, it seems to be a paint-by-the-numbers tune. It sounds like a number of other bands could have written the song, which is a strange thing to consider when describing U2, as U2 always sounds so recognizable and U2-y. Even the double singing that happens during the first half of the bridge doesn’t even sound like Bono and the gang. If I just heard that part of the song, with no context, I’d do a double take to really tell if it was Bono. I’m being pretty harsh here, on a song that is overall pretty non-offensive… and uplifting and positive. But it just sort of comes across as a U2 ballad without heart and soul. Maybe the first time they’ve created such a song…? (6.0 out of 10) 13 (There is a Light) First off, I enjoy the tie-ins to Songs of Innocence that are peppered throughout Songs of Experience. I originally dislike the Volcano tie-in but have come around and with ’13’, my opinion is the same. I enjoy it. So this song, well, it’s a nice reflective tune and a decent way to close the album. It doesn’t quite live up to how much I like Grace, Yaweh, Cedars and The Troubles as a closer but it’s nice, meditative and fits nicely into the sonic timeline of a few earlier U2 songs. What I mean, is that it reminds me of successor to ‘The First Time’ or maybe some of the works off of the Million Dollar Hotel OST, such as ‘Never Let Me Go’ and/or ‘Stateless.’ I dig the atmosphere and ambiance of this song. (7 out of 10) Book of Your Heart I can see why U2 left this off of the album proper. Not that it’s a bad song, but it’s just a little too different in theme to be cohesive with the rest of the album. Actually, this song reminds me of a soundtrack song - not quite from something like a James Bond film but from a similar yet dark movie, with some yearning and pain taking place. Maybe it’s the song that rolls over the end credits. There’s some sort of relationship to Fez-Being Born going on in this song, although I can’t quite put my finger on it. Perhaps, even, it is a spillover from Songs of Ascent. There’s a lot of deep lyrics and chanting going on. For me, it’s a highlight of the deluxe version of Songs of Experience. That being said, I’m not the kind of person that plays a lot of darker, brooding-type music. I usually play music to be uplifted or to sing along. So I imagine this will be one of the gems of U2’s deep catalogue that I go back to and and thoroughly enjoy from time to time. Still quite good, though. (8 out of 10) Lights of Home (St. Peter’s String Version) I don’t think this version is as good as the album version. The album version just owns what it’s setting out to do and trying to be. This version seems more watered down and more like it was adapted to appear in on a film soundtrack. Interestingly, my theory -my totally unfounded theory- is that this was the ‘backup’ version of the Lights of Home, in the off-chance that Haim wouldn’t grant the rights to sample their song and/or appear doing backup vocals. True or not, this version just isn’t as good as the album version, yet I’m glad they included it, just as they included a few versions of The Troubles on SOI. (4.5 out of 10) *Average Score for Songs of Experience, as calculated: 6.5 out of 10 *My personal, non-calculated opinion score is: 7 out of 10
  2. esperago

    Ticket Buying Experience - Feedback for U2.com

    I'm not sure you can honestly say "at this point", we never know where the band will be setup. Every single stage in U2's past has been completely obvious where they will be setup, for example: ZooTV... normal shaped stage/one end of the field, PopMart... normal shaped stage/one end of the field, Vertigo... large, round-shaped stage with circular catwalks. Even with the 360 tour, while it was less clear on the stadium diagrams, one could make the assumption that all seats had a decent view unless the stage was situated at one end of the field, instead of right in the middle. But as I, and others, have noted, not only is there almost zero indication with the EI stage diagram but there have been a few anomalies with the diagram as well. I believe one of the European diagrams was shaped differently but perhaps because the arena had restrictions due the arena's design. Also, I believe the San Jose diagram indicated a possible "home stage" area, looking quite different from all the other diagrams. Personally, I can only afford tickets that are in the $100 range. The "best" tickets in this range are situated in the corners of the arena, which means there are four possible areas to choose from. It also means that two of these choices will be an entire arena away from the band, if there is a "home stage". While seeing any U2 concert is better than seeing no U2 concert, we are all going through the motion of deciding how and where to spend our money. If I had the choice, which really I should, right? Well, if I had the choice, I would want to sit as close as possible to the band, not an entire arena's length away. I wouldn't complain about this if I was purchasing tickets through the general public sale but as a long-time fan club member engaging in a pre-sale, it would certainly be nice to ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT I'M BUYING WITH MY MONEY. At this point, I don't.
  3. esperago

    Ticket Buying Experience - Feedback for U2.com

    Yes, it was my hope that the moderator would merge them into this thread, hence the title: "Ticket Buying Experience - Feedback for U2.com" Instead of something like "Ticketmaster sucks"
  4. I wish to start a general thread for feedback regarding the general experience of purchasing tickets through this member pre-sale. It would be nice to have an opportunity to express our thoughts and perhaps give suggestions as to how to improve the process in the future. My comments are: I just had success in purchasing two tickets for the first Phoenix show but I do feel disappointed in that I am limited to buying tickets to just a single show. I am flying across the continent -from Halifax Canada to Phoenix- and would have really appreciated being able to buy tickets to both shows in Phoenix. I know I can still take my chances next week with the general public ticket sale but I don't think a couple of pre-sale tickets for both nights is an unreasonable thing to expect. I understand the fear of scalping and the ticket limitations of playing arenas vs. stadiums, however, I, like so many others, feel that after spending thousands and thousands of dollars on U2 over the years, the opportunity for a few extra pre-sale tickets would have been nice. I am also disappointed in the short notice and lack of details in relation to this tour and the ticket sales. It's fine that our pre-sale codes arrived slowly but what I would of liked to have known, is: 1) Better details about the stage, its position and a high resolution image/map of how it will be laid out. This is extremely important to a buyer when they are spending $200 to $800 on tickets. The stage appears rectangular but there are some indications that there WILL BE an actual "end platform/main platform" to the stage. If this is the case, my tickets might be at the opposite end of the arena - obviously NOT what I would have opted to purchase if I had known the setup. 2) The Dublin concert dates (even a rough time frame) 3) If there will be another tour-leg in 2016. Are they coming back to North America? Many cities have been overlooked. Will they tour Latin America, Australia, etc.? If so, I'd happily overlook the current 2-ticket limitation in favour of saving my money and taking-in a foreign U2 concert in 2016. I am still glad, though, that I was able to take advantage of the pre-sale. I appreciate that this is offered to fan club members. I also appreciate the tiered pre-sale access as a way to show appreciation for long-time fan club members. "Thank you" for these things and a "no-thank you" to the other points I've expressed above.
  5. I just had success in purchasing two tickets for the first Phoenix show but I do feel disappointed in that I am limited to buying tickets to just a single show. I am flying across the continent -from Halifax Canada to Phoenix- and would have really appreciated being able to buy tickets to both shows in Phoenix. I know I can still take my chances next week with the general public ticket sale but I don't think a couple of pre-sale tickets for both nights is an unreasonable thing to expect. I understand the fear of scalping and the ticket limitations of playing arenas vs. stadiums, however, I, like so many others, feel that after spending thousands and thousands of dollars on U2 over the years, the opportunity for a few extra pre-sale tickets would have been nice. I am also disappointed in the short notice and lack of details in relation to this tour and the ticket sales. It's fine that our pre-sale codes arrived slowly but what I would of liked to have known, is: 1) Better details about the stage, its position and a high resolution image/map of how it will be laid out. This is extremely important to a buyer when they are spending $200 to $800 on tickets. The stage appears rectangular but there are some indications that there WILL BE an actual "end platform/main platform" to the stage. If this is the case, my tickets might be at the opposite end of the arena - obviously NOT what I would have opted to purchase if I had known the setup. 2) The Dublin concert dates (even a rough time frame) 3) If there will be another tour-leg in 2016. Are they coming back to North America? Many cities have been overlooked. Will they tour Latin America, Australia, etc.? If so, I'd happily overlook the current 2-ticket limitation in favour of saving my money and taking in a foreign U2 concert 2016. I am still glad, though, that I was able to take advantage of the pre-sale. I appreciate that this is offered to fan club members. I also appreciate the tiered pre-sale access as a way to show appreciation for long-time fan club members. "Thank you" for these things and a "no-thank you" to the other points I've expressed above.
  6. esperago

    Where are our pre-sale codes? (MERGED)

    Hovering over the name above your profile photo does indeed show how long you've been a member. Nice tip!