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A break from tour stuff... NLOTH Reviews


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I was reading a lot of the reviews last night, from Rolling Stone, BBC etc...they were very mixed.

 

In the end I came to the conclusion that only U2 fans opinions matter, so just wondering what people think are the good/not so good things about the album.

 

I agreed with some criticism in the reviews (like Boots being bad choice of single, and a few dodgy lyrics) but I think some reviewers are too stuck up theirown arses and vain to give U2 credit for this brilliant album.

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My overall assessment of it:

 

It's better than Atomic Bomb and more risky than All That You Can't Leave Behind. ATYCLB is overall a better album, though. But again, it's muchbetter than Atomic Bomb, which I never listen to anymore.

 

Some of the songs sound a little too similar to old U2 songs (Unknown Caller has essentially the same guitar lick as Bad and I Still Haven't Found WhatI'm Looking For's intro).

 

Some of the songs I really love (Magnificent and Fez - Being Born are two of U2's best songs in years) but some of them leave me unaffected and/or bored(No Line On The Horizon, White As Snow, Moment Of Surrender).

 

So ultimately kudos to U2 for trying to be experimental again, but it seems a more hollow experiment than Pop and Zooropa. Say what you will about those twoalbums, but they really took some wild risks there.

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I think the change of direction is noticeable enough - not sure I'd want to see them doing a Radiohead (with Amnesiac).

 

As for Zooropa - it's a bit of fun but aside from Stay, First Time and Lemon (and possibly Dirty Day) it's weak so I can't rate it as an album.I'd say Some Days, Daddy's Gonna Pay and Babyface are among U2's weakest tracks.

 

I'm not surprised critics slated Pop but I'm stunned that most U2 fans have disgarded it and probably never given it enough time. Miami and Wake UpDead Man aside I think it's a great album - further removed from "conventional U2" than Zooropa was. Please and Gone are my favourite tracks onPop.

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See, I would completely disagree with you on Zooropa. It's easily my favourite U2 album. It's remarkably profound in its themes and musically daring. Ithink Lemon and Daddy's Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car are two of their very best songs, ever.

 

I'd take Miami and Wake Up Dead Man over the uninteresting convention-fest that was Atomic Bomb, too.

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droo wrote:

See, I would completely disagree with you on Zooropa. It's easily my favourite U2 album. It's remarkably profound in its themes and musically daring. I think Lemon and Daddy's Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car are two of their very best songs, ever.

 

I'd take Miami and Wake Up Dead Man over the uninteresting convention-fest that was Atomic Bomb, too.

Are you serious or just playing Devil's advocate? Everyone's entitled to their opinion mate but are you seriously saying that Zooropa isbetter than Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby.

 

About 90% of U2 fans would agree that those are the best two albums, as would the critics. And the other 10% would include War or Fire. That's not to saywe don't have favourites - I like Boy way more than War but I wouldn't claim it's a better album musically. If Zooropa is honestly your favouritealbum then you're missing out big time on the real genius of U2.

 

Being daring doesn't mean it's a better album. U2 is surely about sincerity, thats why I cant stand Boots.

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Are you serious or just playing Devil's advocate? Everyone's entitled to their opinion mate but are you seriously saying that Zooropa is better thanJoshua Tree and Achtung Baby? That's insane! (I just realised you didn't say better just your favourite!)

 

About 90% of U2 fans would agree that those are the best two albums, as would the critics. And the other 10%

would include War or Fire. The majority are rarely wrong.

 

That's not to say we don't have favourites - I like Boy way more than War but I wouldn't claim it's a better album musically. But if Zooropa ishonestly your favourite album then you're missing out big time on the real genius of U2.

 

I'm not trying to be unkind, but I had to say something when you said Dadd's Gonna Pay is one of U2's best songs.

Being daring doesn't mean it's a better album. U2 is surely about sincerity, thats why I cant stand Boots.

 

Anyway, i'm interested what you thought of HTDAAB. I have very mixed feelings about it, maybe we agree!

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Zooropa is indeed my favourite U2 album. I own the entire U2 discography and do enjoy them all (except for Atomic Bomb and October). I'm not missing out onanything. I find it overall more artistically exciting than any other U2 album. The Joshua Tree has some beautiful songs on it (Where The Streets Have No Namehas been a fave song of mine since I was four years old) but there are some underwhelming tracks on it (Mothers of the Disappeared, Exit, Trip Through YourWires). Same thing with Achtung.

 

I think people tend to focus on the singles from those albums and forget that the non-singles weren't so hot. Achtung may have had One, Even Better ThanThe Real Thing, and Mysterious Ways (at the risk of sounding argumentative, I don't like Mysterious Ways either), but it also had duds like So Cruel,Acrobat, and Ultraviolet (or as I call it, the Baby Baby Baby Baby Baby Baby Baby Baby song. You probably can figure out why I don't like it from that).

 

So I do agree with the critics about the popular songs from Achtung and Joshua Tree, but I don't let those songs elevate the entire albums they are on tofavourite status. I would say that War and All That You Can't Leave Behind are both better "albums" than Joshua and Achtung, too.

 

I am well aware of the dislike that many U2 fans have for Daddy's Gonna Pay... but I don't let that stop me from loving it as much as I do. I don'tsimply follow the majority.

 

Also, U2 has not always been about sincerity. Need I remind you of the entirely ironic and bitter U2 of the 90s? What was sincere about Zoo TV and PopMart?Nothing. They were ironic statements.

 

I get a sense of irony in Boots, as well. I don't think the song is as frivolous as people think. Bono sings in it, very much against type, that hedoesn't want to talk about wars and strife, just about sexy boots. The video is filled with juxtapositions of war and sex imagery. I have come to believethat Get On Your Boots is a stab at pop culture and the fact that even in a world where war is still rampant, the American culture remains focused on thefrivolous, like how Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston interacted at the Oscars and America's Next Top Model, Girlicious, etc. I think to take any U2 songat face value misses the point, and it's no different with Boots.

 

As for Atomic Bomb, I just find the entire album clumsy and uninspired. There's nothing on it that connects with me or speaks to me in any way. It'sjust shrill and noisy and a failed attempt to return to the rockingness of Boy and War. I can't seem to articulate what exactly it is about Atomic Bombthat rubs me the wrong way. I just know that it does, musically and lyrically.

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Ha, wow you wrote even more than me!

I take your point about Boots and I agree about the irony and what it means - I just find it makes me cringe with embarassment when it comes on the TV advertand radio. As I went on about in the other thread, it doesn't fit in or represent the album/band very well.

I have to disagree about the non-single tracks on Achtung Baby and JT. I think most fans rate these albums so highly because of all the tracks.

Okay you don't like Ultraviolet etc but I assure you most fans love these songs - just look what the most popular live requests are - Ultraviolet andAcrobat usually! As for Mysterious Ways, I can see how it could polarise opinion. It's there, but sounds dated now like Even Better....anyway, it was myfirst U2 album but 90% would agree!

You're not into the more gentle songs but the simple melody of Mothers of the Disappeared is truly beautiful. A bit like The First Time (i guess your leastfave on Zooropa) sort of in that sense.

I can't exactly say you're wrong about anything but you're definately in a minority - as long as your not one of those people who has to be theopposite to everyone else! I have a friend like that, he says October is better than Boy.

Atomic Bomb - it's very well made, almost over-produced. I think Bono sounds a bit whiney on it, better on this album. It's very cheesy in places, abit too sweet - it could do with a few darker less sentimental sounds in there.

I've come to the conclusion that rock music and light hearted silly lyrics dont go well and that upbeat rock usually equals cheese.

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By the way, Zooropa could win best album cover!

 

Anyway, I listen to every album through at least once every couple of weeks when I'm not listening to live stuff. Gonna put Zooropa on now and see ifyou've changed my mind. Btw, Stay has always been in my top 15 songs.

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I like many of U2's quieter songs. Grace, Promenade, "40", Tryin To Throw Your Arms Around The World are all spectacular, in my opinion. Idon't like Mothers of the Disappeared, though.

 

I'm sort of an "art bitch" when it comes to films and music. I like the impenetrable and bizarre. My favourite films list is made up of manyfilms that people dislike or find jarring (similar to Bono and his love of Wim Wenders!). I am aware that Zooropa is a very non-radio friendly, and evennon-fan friendly album. It's no surprise that fans tend to ignore it or openly dislike it. But, for me, the sheer depth of the material and the unabashedexperimentation of the album made me sit up and think "f*** yeah!" the first time I listened through it.

 

I started with U2 in 1995 with Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me, mainly because I was a dumb kid that like Batman Forever for some strange reason. I then gotinto The Sweetest Thing, and then remembered my mother listening to Where The Streets Have No Name when I was a kid and loving it. I picked up All That YouCan't Leave Behind after hearing and loving Beautiful Day and slowly introducing myself to the rest of their material.

 

I heard all the negative buzz around Pop and Zooropa, so I checked them out last. However, when I listened to Zooropa, fully expecting to be alienated by it,it ended up resonating with me.

 

That said, I am not one of those people who intentionally plays Devil's Advocate. I just tend to deviate from the majority opinion naturally.

 

Lastly, your friend is a moron for thinking October is better than anything. :P I mean that in the most light-hearted way possible.

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