U2's New Album

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Listyguy
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U2's New Album

Post by Listyguy » Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:59 pm

So U2 released a new album for free on iTunes today. I haven't listened to it yet, but given that it's free, I think I'm going to have to soon.

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Re: U2's New Album

Post by Luke JR68 » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:15 pm

I hope it is pretty good, it would be a shame if U2 wasted a marketing effort this fantastic on a mediocre album :D

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Re: U2's New Album

Post by irreduciblekoan » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:25 pm

Just finished track 5 and, you know, I really like it. And I'm someone who wasn't a fan of How to Dismantle... or No Line on the Horizon. Now, I will need to finish the second half of the album of course, but I'm already detecting a return to careful songcraft, quality melodies, atmosphere and vitality that was missing since 2000.

Also, very interesting that it was produced mainly by Danger Mouse, though I can't immediately notice his touch.

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Re: U2's New Album

Post by irreduciblekoan » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:08 pm

Just finished my first listen. Although there were a couple of moments that didn't quite satisfy me (such as the song "Cedarwood Road" which I felt was Bono trying to do too much), I still think it's easily their best album since 2000. I am interested in seeing how the critical reaction to this album will be. U2 sound younger here than they have since the '90s. Atomic Bomb sounded like old men who TRIED to sound young. This album actually sounds authentically young. I can definitely hear Danger Mouse's influence more in the second half of the album.

Time will tell if the moments that didn't quite hit me yet, such as "Cedarwood Road," will grow on me later. For some reason I can see this album as a bit of a grower.

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Re: U2's New Album

Post by PlasticRam » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:18 pm

The first song was ruined for me by the line "I was young, not dumb." I can just here some young U2-fan going "Wow, Bono understands me!" Just so lame, idk. But I'm still giving this album some chance. Next two songs sound okay. I think this is gonna be the U2 album that is gonna get ranked in the decade-end lists. Definitely good for new U2, but can't even compare to their masterpieces.

Edit: And I don't know if it's good even for new U2. At least it's not complete shit. 6.2 I gave it, which is kind of like 3.1 stars.
Last edited by PlasticRam on Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
I feel like that

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Re: U2's New Album

Post by irreduciblekoan » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:22 pm

Bono's songwriting has always been a liability. I never have listened to U2 for the lyrics. :lol:

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Re: U2's New Album

Post by whuntva » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:44 pm

I just downloaded it, but my thoughts will come when its done.

I'm disappointed "Invisible" isn't on there. I know it was done for a promotion, but it's my favorite U song since "Walk On".
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Re: U2's New Album

Post by DocBrown » Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:34 pm

It seems that this was distributed to about half a billion accounts in 113 countries. Wonder where that will put it on the Billboard charts? Just think, even Bruce has a copy of a 2014 album now.

And in my opinion the price was right.

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Re: U2's New Album

Post by Maschine_Man » Thu Sep 11, 2014 12:52 am

So is everyone going to do this "stripped down" album cover thing now? ugh.

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Re: U2's New Album

Post by Setherex » Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:06 am

DocBrown wrote:It seems that this was distributed to about half a billion accounts in 113 countries. Wonder where that will put it on the Billboard charts? Just think, even Bruce has a copy of a 2014 album now.

And in my opinion the price was right.
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Re: U2's New Album

Post by Nick » Thu Sep 11, 2014 4:12 am

I haven't heard the album yet, but I'm sure Rolling Stone is writing their 5 star review of it as we speak.

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Re: U2's New Album

Post by Jirin » Thu Sep 11, 2014 4:28 am

Nick wrote:I haven't heard the album yet, but I'm sure Rolling Stone is writing their 5 star review of it as we speak.
Posts like this are why some forums have 'Like' buttons. ;)

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Re: U2's New Album

Post by Listyguy » Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:44 pm

Nick wrote:I haven't heard the album yet, but I'm sure Rolling Stone is writing their 5 star review of it as we speak.
And here it is: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/album ... e-20140911

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Re: U2's New Album

Post by PlasticRam » Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:57 pm

You gotta be freaking kidding me...
I feel like that

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Re: U2's New Album

Post by Jirin » Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:14 pm

Haha.

Just listened to it. It's...fine.

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Re: U2's New Album

Post by Nick » Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:38 pm

Listyguy wrote:
Nick wrote:I haven't heard the album yet, but I'm sure Rolling Stone is writing their 5 star review of it as we speak.
And here it is: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/album ... e-20140911
I'd brag about calling it, but this was so predictable it's not even worth it. Is there any human being on earth who finds this the least bit surprising?

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Re: U2's New Album

Post by Live in Phoenix » Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:04 pm

I'm generally a U2 fan, but the last time they were awarded five stars, I thought Rolling Stone was off by a few stars.

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Re: U2's New Album

Post by Jirin » Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:47 pm

Rolling Stone seems set out to perpetually convince themselves that the same rock bands that made their bread and butter back when they were relevant are still the bands producing the best material today. So any time one of them releases an album that is even good, five stars.

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Re: U2's New Album

Post by Nick » Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:52 pm

So it's been obvious for a long time that Rolling Stone loves to jerk off aging classic rockers recent albums, particularly those by U2, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen. But just how true is that? I decided to look up Rolling Stone's ratings for every U2, Dylan, and Springsteen album from 2000 onwards. Here's what I've come up with-

U2-

All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000): 4/5

How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004): 4/5

No Line on the Horizon (2009): 5/5

Songs of Innocence (2014): 5/5


Bob Dylan-

Love and Theft (2001): 5/5

Modern Times (2006): 5/5

Together Through Life (2009): 4/5

Christmas in the Heart (2009): 3/5

Tempest (2012): 5/5


Bruce Springsteen-

The Rising (2002): 5/5

Devils & Dust (2005): 4.5/5

We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (2006): 4/5

Magic (2007): 5/5

Working on a Dream (2009): 5/5

Wrecking Ball (2012): 5/5

High Hopes (2014): 4.5/5


So long story short, if you're U2, Dylan, or Springsteen, the only possible way you can get an album less than a 4/5 from Rolling Stone is if you put out a Christmas album.

What does a 5 star ranking really mean when you give one to an album like "Wrecking Ball" or "Songs of Innocence"? Can Rolling Stone really put either of those albums on the same level as "Born to Run" or "The Joshua Tree"?

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Re: U2's New Album

Post by JimmyJazz » Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:04 pm

I don't know, I quite love Love and Theft and Modern Times by Dylan actually, and consider them to be well-made works by an older artist reflecting on how his country has changed over the years. I also don't agree with the ageist bias being exibited by some here that an artist can't produce great, or at the very least, interesting work just because they are old (or else your going to be telling me that Bowie, Waits, Nick Cave, and late Johnny Cash aren't at least interesting or compelling, which I can't buy as being true). When I am a filmmaker I don't exactly plan to stop what I love to do just because I hit 50, for example.

Nevertheless, it is obvious that Rolling Stone has an unnatural fetish with the aformentioned artists (and that U2 album, is, unfortunately, not a return to form for them to be perfectly honest). It's more just a quick get rich scheme on both U2 and Apple's part.

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Re: U2's New Album

Post by Nick » Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:07 pm

JimmyJazz wrote:I don't know, I quite love Love and Theft and Modern Times by Dylan actually, and consider them to be well-made works by an older artist reflecting on how his country has changed over the years.
Oh, I really like those albums too. As well as "Tempest" (which doesn't deserve 5 stars, but is quite good) and "Wrecking Ball" (which also doesn't deserve 5 stars). But yeah, it's clear Rolling Stone's love affair with the classic rock era is a bit much.

EDIT: "All That You Can't Leave Behind" is appropriately rated. It's one of U2's best albums, imo.
Last edited by Nick on Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: U2's New Album

Post by PlasticRam » Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:17 pm

I didn't realize the bias was that bad. I actually really like the three Dylan albums and even recommend them for the albums poll, but High Hopes and Songs of Innocence might literally be the two worst albums I've heard from this year.

Edit: But I only listen to recommended albums though. Songs of Innocence wasn't complete shit as I said, but High Hopes pretty much was IMO.
Nick wrote:EDIT: "All That You Can't Leave Behind" is appropriately rated. It's one of U2's best albums, imo.
Completely agree. My 3rd or 4th fav U2 album. If Rolling Stone could go back in time, they would give it 6 stars by their standards.
Last edited by PlasticRam on Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I feel like that

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Re: U2's New Album

Post by DocBrown » Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:54 pm

More than the five stars, the fawning language of David Fricke's (RS) review is simply laughable. "...a triumph of dynamic, focused renaissance: 11 tracks of straightforward rapture..." This album is inoffensive. It is far better than "Horizon", which Bono would have to pay me to download, and about equal to "Atomic Bomb" But to compare it to Joshua Tree, or even Achtung, Baby, takes a certain chutzpah that only RS can be capable of.

The rating is legitimate only if elsewhere in this week's RS we find they've gone to a ten star rating system.

Also, I think the distribution gimmick was probably 90% Apple, 10% U2. U2 is gonna sell a shitload of records whether to consumers or to Apple; they don't need to spam a half billion listeners. I'm not gonna complain if Apple gives me a free album; unless it's something totally outside my comfort zone, I'm probably gonna give it a listen. The last free album I got from iTunes was Leonard Cohen Live in Fredericton, a perfectly acceptable and enjoyable EP. If this album is not equally enjoyable (it isn't), I know how to delete it from my library.

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Re: U2's New Album

Post by Jirin » Fri Sep 12, 2014 1:30 am

Of course older artists are capable of putting out great albums. I'm a fan of Love and Theft.

But I don't see them fawning over Roy Harper's 'Man and Myth'.

The problem isn't that they are giving good reviews to new albums by old artists. The problem is that they are doing so indiscriminantly to specific artists based on prior greatness.

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Re: U2's New Album

Post by GucciLittlePiggy » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:24 am

I'm not noticing the same bias around here that Jimmy does. I don't think anyone here actually feels that older artists are less capable of great music than younger artists simply because of the age gap. I do, though, join in the chorus that questions Rolling Stone's quickness to give out five-star ratings to artists seemingly based on reputation alone.

Anyway, I really wish I could contribute to the discussion of the album, but I don't have an iTunes account and I don't want to download it simply for the purpose of listening to one album. U2's one of my favorite bands, though, so I think there's a good chance I would enjoy this album.
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Re: U2's New Album

Post by Nick » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:48 am

Just listened to it a few hours ago. It's decent. It has some nice production flourishes here and there, and it's not bad lyrically, but I can't help but feel like most of this album is the musical equivalent of wallpaper.

A solid 6/10 or so from me.

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Re: U2's New Album

Post by VanillaFire1000 » Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:04 pm

2nd half is much better than the first half. Maybe if that old sourpuss Brian Eno was allowed to work on it it would have turned out better.

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Re: U2's New Album

Post by Mattceinicram » Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:29 pm

It was really bad, not even going to give it the benefit of the doubt because it was free. Rolling Stone is embarrassing.
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Re: U2's New Album

Post by whuntva » Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:24 pm

It was okay.

It's not as bad as many other reviewers will say.

It feels more like the "same old, same old" I've heard since 2000. It's never bad, but there was no real standout.

It's much like "No Line" in that all the songs blend together, with no songs standing out.

I like the heavy stuff better. "Volcano" and "Cedarwood Road" being my favorites.

But "Invisible" would've greatly benefited the album!

3/5. Got it for free, so I can't complain too much. Could've been better, but not bad as it stands.
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