U2's Songs of Innocence....Five Year Later

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by americanscientist, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. Odysseus

    Odysseus Forum Resident

    Los Angeles, CA
    I bought into the ATYCLB hype during the album build up and release back in 2000. I felt burned by Pop and wasn't crazy-excited about "Beautiful Day" but I kept hearing how ATYCLB was a "return to form" and "their best album since Achtung Baby" and all the tropes that I've since learned to be weary of when I hear/read them now.

    I immediately liked (and still like) "Stuck in a Moment", "Elevation" and "Walk On", and "Kite" grew on me after several listens but without fail every time "Wild Honey" starts I tune out. The second half of ATYCLB is sooooo boring and forgettable.

    Aside from a handful of songs from subsequent releases (if even that many) I haven't been able to get into U2 ever since. I think "Magnificent" is one of the best songs in the group's catalog, and I like "Every Breaking Wave" and "Electrical Storm". I'm sure there are a few others that I like that I can't think of atm, but that's about it for me and later period U2.
    TaumpyTears, DrZhivago and sunking101 like this.
  2. Kim Olesen

    Kim Olesen Gently weeping guitarist.

    Odense Denmark.
    I don’t have any U2 albums apart from the one gifted to me by Apple. It is fine when my 10000 ipod classic occasionally picks one of the songs when on shuffle. I quite enjoy it that way. So i am happy with that present from Apple.
    TaumpyTears likes this.
  3. blind_melon1

    blind_melon1 An erotic adventurer of the most deranged kind....

    I had no issues with the way it was released.
    It’s not a bad album, not great, not terrible.

    I won’t delete it from my phone, but I do get annoyed every time I connect it to my car and

    say baa baa bara
    Baa baa baa bara

    ... starts.

    Time :laugh:
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  4. Ken Wood

    Ken Wood Forum Resident

    I don`t know this album but was thinking about U2 the other day. When I got to know them they were a really fresh enjoyable band. I kind of lost interest in them after Rattle and Hum. I remember thinking Zooropa is a bit over the top and didn`t quite get their message about the dangers of modern media (maybe it was too early). By Pop Mart I just couldn`t take them serious anymore - this mix of capitalism criticsm and then presenting it in such a megalomaniac way was just a bit hard to swallow. Anyway, through years I learned that Bono is a very much hated man and while I get it that his social awareness stance is sometimes getting on one`s nerves as well as the fact that being probably pretty full of himself (like most rock icons) not quite gelling with that I really have no idea when he started to be considerd uncool und don`t quite think he deserves these hard feelings.
    Sorry for the more than general rant but I saw a U2-thread and thought I`d drop it here. :)
    Man at C&A likes this.
  5. jeffmo789

    jeffmo789 Give The Gift of Music!

    New England
    Innocence Live in Paris DVD versions are better, if you are curious. Pack more emotional wallop with the video storyline too.
  6. Son of Ziggy

    Son of Ziggy Forum Resident

    People liked Bono during the Zoo TV era because he stopped banging on about politics and saving the world and had some fun. He started swearing and smoking, drinking. They flaunted the modern media for kicks. Irony at its finest.

    They started hating him again because he became the unpleasant Joshua Tree persona again, yes, trying to save the world.
    Lazerize and TaumpyTears like this.
  7. Panther

    Panther Forum Resident

    Tokyo, Japan
    I agree, that's the best era, for sure.

    But we seemingly part opinions on Songs of Innocence, which I think is mostly great. Not saying it's a masterpiece, but for a band of their vintage it's pretty impressive.
    Lazerize, Panama Jack, twicks and 3 others like this.
  8. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Maybe the video for New Year's Day conditioned me to feel this way, but those early U2 albums are so good to listen to on snowy, wintery days. We had a bunch of snow early this week, and listening to both Boy and October seemed so fitting those days.
    davers, PDK, twicks and 1 other person like this.
  9. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Minneapolis, MN
    trying to make the world a less crappy place is such a terrible thing to do with one’s time. :rolleyes:
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  10. markreed

    markreed Forum Resident

    Absolute nonsense.

    At the time of release - about 11 months before 9/11 - "Beautiful Day" was HUGE. The band were on the ropes after Pop, which whilst selling well (U2 are probably the only band where selling 7,000,000 albums would be regarded as a flop), was rushed and an underwhelming final album, coupled with a few bad shows to start the tour with. Pop was the only time the band had scheduled a release date, and booked/sold a tour before the album was finished and thus, rushed to finish the LP : The Edge was adding backing vocals at the mastering stage (!) and the chorus to one of the songs was written on the final morning of recording. Pop was unfinished at the time of release, and six of the tracks off it have been re-recorded post album release for either single mixes or compilation albums. ATYCLB was a clear reset of the bands direction, cutting off the more experimental edge of their work, focusing on accessible choruses, simpler production and more straightforward sincerity that connected with the bands lapsed fanbase after the more obscure Zooropa / Passengers / Pop releases. I firmly believe that those three albums were and are great, but were not as successful because people had expectations of sincerity and accessibility of the band that those albums did not provide. ATYCLB was their clear and avowed intention to "reapply for the job of biggest / best band in the world." with clear, direct, sincere songwriting aimed at capturing universal emotions.

    The 911 connection came from the two month Arena tour that started the month after 9/11, with songs such as Kite, Walk On, and others that addressed mortality and hope - songs that were written long before 911 and seemed to capture the sentiment of the time that retrospectively became part of the time.

    Moments like this were unique :

    As an outsider (of sorts) in Europe, Bono waving the flag sometime felt a bit weird, but at that point, U2 belonged to the world, and not their fans.
    iloveguitars and Gavaxeman like this.
  11. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Minneapolis, MN
    It was a successful record (and tour) before 9/11. I was at the peak of my fandom so I was definitely paying attention then.

    Anyway. SOI still isn't very good, unfortunately. It tries so hard, but just doesn't get there. (Trying too hard really seems to be their problem this decade)
    Gavaxeman likes this.
  12. markreed

    markreed Forum Resident

    I was very, very harsh on Songs of Innocence when it came out : which was before Songs Of Experience, and it was only with that album, and the tour in 2015, that Innocence made more sense as the first half of a whole. Some of Innocence - "Every Breaking Wave", "Iris" "Cedarwood Road", "Invisible" (on the deluxe edition) - is amongst the best work they have ever done. And some of it - "Sleep Like A Baby Tonight" - easily the worst. It feels incomplete without Songs Of Experience though.
    PDK likes this.
  13. jeffmo789

    jeffmo789 Give The Gift of Music!

    New England
    I prefer to listen to SOI/SOE together and on shuffle.

    Pop can be improved using single mixes, live versions and even b-sides.
  14. slop101

    slop101 Guitar Geek

    So. Cal.
    I liked this album more, and realized how good it was after seeing them tour behind it and hearing many of the songs done live. And yeah, easily their best since Zooropa.
  15. twicks

    twicks Forum Resident

    Interesting; I actually think it works better as a standalone "look back at youth" thing.

    I never really got the "experience" angle on SOE. I guess Bono learned that...we all need love?
  16. markreed

    markreed Forum Resident

    Lyrically Innocence was the first record that looked back on their childhood from the perspective of an adult. Experience seemed, lyrically, far more jaded and cynical, as well as calling back to a number of songs from Innocence, with "American Soul" and "13" referencing parts of "Volcano" and "Song For Someone."
  17. Jochen

    Jochen Forum Resident

    Listened to it a few times, it was alright. I hadn't listened to U2 in a few years at the time, and I specifically revisited Pop as a result.

    I appreciated getting a free album, idk why everyone was whining so much about it. Bunch of ungrateful crybabies.
  18. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    Los Angeles, CA
    Rather weak knowledge of history it appears . . . .
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  19. Squealy

    Squealy Forum Hall Of Fame

    Did the live Innocence and Experience album come out yet?
  20. Dreaddazzman

    Dreaddazzman Forum Resident

    Via the fanclub? If so, yes or at least I got my copy.
  21. twicks

    twicks Forum Resident

    I think people would have picked up on the theme for Innocence. Lyrically, Experience just seems like a standard U2 record.
  22. Panama Jack

    Panama Jack Forum Resident

    SLC, UT
    Sleep Like a Baby Tonight, to me, is an incredibly powerful indictment against pedophilia and is one of my favorite songs of the album with its creepy sugary melody and rhythm. Once you know what the song is actually about, it makes you feel slightly squeamish and uncomfortable listening to it, which is the whole point!! Brilliantly executed IMO. I absolutely love SOI. I love how vulnerable and personal it is. I love that it has a purpose more than just another U2 album. It meant something to the band and it shows on every song.

    Music is subjective and so others can obviously like it or not, but I half wonder if most of those who say they hate this album only feel that way because it's become sort of en vogue to hate all post-2000 U2, and so they never really listened to it or gave it a chance, and/or because they'd already decided they hate it before they ever heard it simply because it wasn't an AB clone.
  23. sunking101

    sunking101 Forum Resident

    Yorkshire, England
    I guess that's true for some, along with "Bono is a twat so therefore the album is rubbish" etc. However I was a massive, hardcore U2 fan until ATYCLB dropped, and to be honest I'd been a little peturbed by Zooropa too. Those two albums managed to turn me off the band and it wasn't until I played NLOTH that I tuned back into U2. I hated HTDAAB and both experience albums. They contained some good songs but the style of HTDAAB put me off and there were too many naff, cheesey tracks on Innocence/Experience for me to consider the albums worthwhile.

    Recently I've been playing all the later albums again but employing a filter whereby I expect less from the band. As a result I'm beginning to connect with HTDAAB but I still don't rate the two 'songs of' albums. Hopefully the band will come back with another decent album. They need to stop playing it safe though and they also need to trim down the length. I hate bloated 'made for CD' albums and much prefer 8-10 tracks.
  24. vonwegen

    vonwegen Forum Resident

    When it popped up in iToons, I was not thrilled by it. But on vinyl, SOI blossomed. Still cannot get into SOE, though. Maybe, one day...

    That's what happened with Zooropa: the new Chris Bellman-cut vinyl really made me appreciate the production a whole lot more--and it's now one of my U2 faves.
  25. Dreaddazzman

    Dreaddazzman Forum Resident

    SOI took a number of listens before it clicked with me. My guess is that many people are no longer willing to devote time to an album that doesn't immediately click with them.
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