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New U2 album "Songs of Innocence" available free on iTunes


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U2 is done as a creative force. Done, and has been for the better part of 20 years. Coldplay, a band whose entire shtick is being U2 for people who are threatened by any music that's the least bit challenging or interesting, is more of a creative force than U2 is. This whole thing reminds me of the time when MSNBC was first getting started, like 1997 I believe, and I went down to Times Square and they had it playing on a giant screen. I said to my friend, "Well, that's ONE way to get people to watch MSNBC."

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C'mon, the U2 album is no classic but it's certainly better than the last couple Coldplay albums. Let's not get crazy.

 

In terms of career trajectory, this album is the equivalent of the Stones' "Bridges to Babylon." Maybe that puts things in perspective in terms of what people should be expecting, creatively, from U2.

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I think it's a really good album actually....especially the last six songs - almost 90's U2 in terms of qualify.  Volcano, Raised by Wolves, and This is Where you can Reach me all have incredible energy and have elements of earlier stuff from Boy and War.  Cedarwood is classic U2 with a great riff. Sleep Like a Baby Tonight could easily fit on Pop or Zoorapa.   The Troubles with Lykke Li is simply a stunning song.  I have no idea how anyone can say they are not a creative force anymore just based on that song alone.  Coldplay doesn't come close, with their Euro trash disco sound and absolutely terrible lyrics.  Please see lyrics to "Sky Full of Stars" song for an example of Martin's juvenile and just plain stupid.  I liked earlier albums, but Coldplay is just drivel now.

 

The album deserves a few spins.  It's better than the last three in my opinion.  Unfortunately, a lot of reviewers seem to have written the review even before hearing the actual music, just based on their Bono hatred.  The amount of hatred for U2 on the internet is kind of weird and surprising. 

 

And people now complaining about free music!  Give me a break.  If it was Beyonce, Jay-Z or those other pop artists the hipster establishments deems "cool" nowadays, you wouldn't hear jack about how "invasive" and "unconcomrtable" it all was.

 

Bottom line, while U2 will never reach the heights of Achtung Baby, Joshua Tree, etc., they are still a great band making worthy music after all of these years. 

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U2 is done as a creative force. Done, and has been for the better part of 20 years. Coldplay, a band whose entire shtick is being U2 for people who are threatened by any music that's the least bit challenging or interesting, is more of a creative force than U2 is. This whole thing reminds me of the time when MSNBC was first getting started, like 1997 I believe, and I went down to Times Square and they had it playing on a giant screen. I said to my friend, "Well, that's ONE way to get people to watch MSNBC."

I heart this post.

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I view U2 as one of the most creative and influential bands of our time.  

 

However, their heyday was decades ago... And like many other once great bands still playing today, they have become a novelty of themselves.

They will always be saddled by their legacy, and comparisons to early material will always be there, but the album standing on its own is more finely crafted and better than most of the stuff out there that passes for mainstream indie rock (The Killers, The Black Keys, Coldplay, Arcade Fire - all extremely overrated).  Take any song on the album and forget the name of the band, and it won't get the level of crap it's getting now. 

 

And all of this talk of "relevance."  The richest company in the world just invested $100 million into this supposedly "irrelevant" band.

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For those of us who are U2 fans, it's a nice, surprise gift. For those who don't want it, you can treat it like spam and ignore it.

 

On the rare occasions that I play U2 it's either "All that you can't leave behind" or "Zooropa", but nothing else. I gave a couple of listens to this new album but I still prefer ATYCLB, I think it has aged pretty well. 

 

But a new U2 album is always good news to folks in the music industry. It means a new cycle of touring and fans buying all sorts of merchandise and special editions. 

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C'mon, the U2 album is no classic but it's certainly better than the last couple Coldplay albums. Let's not get crazy.

 

Coldplays latest Ghost Stories was pretty banal but at least there were some honest emotions to be found there, this new U2 is the most soulless affair from a big band since REMs Around the Sun which is pretty painful since honesty and their "holy fire" was once their biggest asset. Lyrics from the generic Bono-generator, ultra-slick production making these songs instantly ready for an elevator in a supermarket near you and almost no memorable melodies... after a couple of listens I fear it really is their worst yet and maybe the worst album I've heard all year. The last song is the only one that stood out somewhat. I'm a U2 fan up until (the sometimes unfairly maligned) Zooropa and even a ATYCLB had its moments but this and NLOTH is the sound of a band churning out an album because that's what their shareholders and the whole factory surrounding the U2 brand expect once every 5 years.

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Coldplays latest Ghost Stories was pretty banal but at least there were some honest emotions to be found there, this new U2 is the most soulless affair from a big band since REMs Around the Sun which is pretty painful since honesty and their "holy fire" was once their biggest asset. Lyrics from the generic Bono-generator, ultra-slick production making these songs instantly ready for an elevator in a supermarket near you and almost no memorable melodies... after a couple of listens I fear it really is their worst yet and maybe the worst album I've heard all year. The last song is the only one that stood out somewhat. I'm a U2 fan up until (the sometimes unfairly maligned) Zooropa and even a ATYCLB had its moments but this and NLOTH is the sound of a band churning out an album because that's what their shareholders and the whole factory surrounding the U2 brand expect once every 5 years.

totally disagree, sorry.  The lyrics are actually more honest and personal than anything since Achtung Baby.

 

"Honest emotions" for Coldplay?   Example of Coldplay lyrics from last album:

 

'Cause you're a sky, 'cause you're a sky full of stars

I'm gonna give you my heart

'Cause you're a sky, 'cause you're a sky full of stars

'Cause you light up the path

 

I don't care, go on and tear me apart

I don't care if you do, ooh

'Cause in a sky, 'cause in a sky full of stars

I think I saw you

 

'Cause you're a sky, 'cause you're a sky full of stars

I wanna die in your arms

'Cause you get lighter the more it gets dark

I'm gonna give you my heart

 

I don't care, go on and tear me apart

I don't care if you do, ooh

'Cause in a sky, 'cause in a sky full of stars

I think I see you

I think I see you

 

'Cause you're a sky, you're a sky full of stars

Such a heavenly view

You're such a heavenly view

 

I think my four year old could write better lyrics.  Talk about ready-made elevator music.  Bono is fucking Bob Dylan compared to Chris Martin

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If you'd actually listen to that album all the way through you'd notice A Sky Full of Stars in an outlier (sounding like a leftover from the rather hollow and meaningless Mylo Xyloto) and nothing else on it is similar in musical style or lyricism. It's the obligatory "hit" they probably had to write to keep their record company happy (featuring Avicii, says it all really).

 

Song of Innocences biggest problem is that even when Bono does churn out personal lyrics the slick and hollow way it is produced and predictable songwriting makes it all sound very unbelievable. Like it has gone through a ton of focus groups to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Coldplay just like U2 worked with a gazillion producers on their last album but at least it doesn't sound like they put 10 guys in the recording studio just to overpolish things till there's nothing even remotely interesting left (well, except on A Sky Full of Stars).

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On the rare occasions that I play U2 it's either "All that you can't leave behind" or "Zooropa", but nothing else. I gave a couple of listens to this new album but I still prefer ATYCLB, I think it has aged pretty well. 

 

But a new U2 album is always good news to folks in the music industry. It means a new cycle of touring and fans buying all sorts of merchandise and special editions. 

"War" or "The Unforgettable Fire" don't do anything for ya?

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"War" or "The Unforgettable Fire" don't do anything for ya?

 

Sorry, I'm just a casual listener who happens to like a couple of albums while those two albums you mention, from what I know, are considered doctrinal by diehard fans.

 

I must confess that I'm a bit perplexed by the "who the heck is U2?" campaign started by teenagers on "social networks". It's hard to believe given that at various points in the past decade, and in the 90s, U2 have been omnipresent and have been considered by everyone "the biggest band on the planet". And yet it's another clear sign that the band is becoming more and more irrelevant and their future legacy is compromised as they fall into the collective oblivion.

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Whether the oblivion they fall into is collective or individual, "War" and "The Unforgettable Fire" are two of the best albums of rock, period. I commend them to your listening attention.

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I must confess that I'm a bit perplexed by the "who the heck is U2?" campaign started by teenagers on "social networks". It's hard to believe given that at various points in the past decade, and in the 90s, U2 have been omnipresent and have been considered by everyone "the biggest band on the planet". 

in the 00s, most of those teenagers were 5 years old or younger, or not even born.

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in the 00s, most of those teenagers were 5 years old or younger, or not even born.

 

Agreed, but I still find it hard to believe, this irrelevancy. This has always been the "one-size-fits-all" band, so much has been spent in marketing, merchandising, touring, and all of a sudden they're total strangers to a sizeable population. Despite disappointing sales of the past few albums, I still expected the U2 brand to continue strong for a few more years. Maybe they're only visible when they tour?

 

Many bands have fallen into oblivion: R.E.M. as an example, but those were never branded as the biggest on the planet, and they never had U2's ambitions, so it shouldn't come as a surprise.

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Whether the oblivion they fall into is collective or individual, "War" and "The Unforgettable Fire" are two of the best albums of rock, period. I commend them to your listening attention.

 

I would add in Joshua Tree, of course.  Unforgettable Fire is my favorite though.  Bad is such a great song.

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I would add in Joshua Tree, of course.  Unforgettable Fire is my favorite though.  Bad is such a great song.

 

Bad is great but the "recorded version" only shows a start of how great it could be....see live version on some 4 song cd they had after initial release.  Not sure of name but it had 4 songs and Bad live was on it.....that was epic...and of course the Live Aid Version.

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