The lyrical masterclass that is "So Cruel"

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restofit

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The lyrical masterclass that is "So Cruel"
« on: February 07, 2019, 05:19:22 AM »
Man this song used to drag massively for me, now it's my favourite on the album. I love the seemingly Lanois influenced drum beat and slow building simmering Eno atmosphere, It sounds almost mechanical, the atmosphere, akin to something like Down All The Days and Numb,

you don't if it's fear or desire, danger the drug that takes you higher - great line
 
I love the part when the song takes a change of direction for the last chorus: 

She wears my love like a see-through dress
Her lips say one thing, her movements something else
Oh, love, like a screaming flower
Love dying every hour
Ah, you don't know if it's fear or desire
Danger the drug that takes you higher?
Head of heaven, fingers in the mire
Her heart is racing you can't keep up
The night is bleeding like a cut
Between the horses of love and lust we are trampled underfoot



Listening to this part the other day I kind of got this sudden wave of realization about just how staggering good Achtung Baby is, musically and lyrically and this song could be Bono's lyrical masterpiece

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riffraff

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Re: The lyrical masterclass that is "So Cruel"
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2019, 06:40:25 AM »
Once you've admitted that Achtung Baby is U2's best album, you've found your true U2 feet.
Surrender, dislocate

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guest87

Re: The lyrical masterclass that is "So Cruel"
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2019, 06:43:49 AM »
The lyrics seem Springsteenian to me, and of course he rips off a Led Zeppelin title for a lyric.

Do we know whether the Edge's first wife was carrying on with somebody else?

Musically it sounds spacey.

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MPare1966

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Re: The lyrical masterclass that is "So Cruel"
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2019, 07:21:12 AM »
So Cruel is highly underrated. Always loved it in my case, and it remains a personal favorite.
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laoghaire

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Re: The lyrical masterclass that is "So Cruel"
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2019, 07:25:20 PM »
I have a tough time with So Cruel. I rank it last on AB but of course I don't hate it. I loved it when I was a teen but I wore out my old favorites, and am drawn to different songs in the oerve now.

Back to So Cruel, and specifically the lyrics. I admit there are some good lyrics in there. But I also think there are some really bad, cringey lyrics in there too. The overuse of similes strikes me as adolescent.

So, I dunno about So Cruel.

Everybody ranks TTTYAATW last on the album, but for me the Trilogy is not UV, Acrobat, and LIB, but TTTYAATW, UV, and Acrobat. No, I love LIB, but my trilogy is the part that transported me when I listened to it. TTT gave me comfort, UV bridged the comfort with darkness and light, and Acrobat was kind of the other half to UV. To me. I know TTT is a weird song choice for comfort, but forget the staggering drunk theme - Adam and Edge take me in their musical arms and rock all the hurt away. (And Bono always does that, even in the nastiest songs).

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So Cruel

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Re: The lyrical masterclass that is "So Cruel"
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2019, 10:48:54 PM »
One of U2's best songs and maybe Bono's best lyric.
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Codeguy

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Re: The lyrical masterclass that is "So Cruel"
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2019, 10:41:48 AM »
Her skin is pale like God's only dove,
screams like an angel for your love,
between the horses of love and lust we are trampled underfoot

Brilliant.
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Too tall to be a despot

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Codeguy

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Re: The lyrical masterclass that is "So Cruel"
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2019, 10:42:43 AM »
I have a tough time with So Cruel. I rank it last on AB but of course I don't hate it. I loved it when I was a teen but I wore out my old favorites, and am drawn to different songs in the oerve now.

Back to So Cruel, and specifically the lyrics. I admit there are some good lyrics in there. But I also think there are some really bad, cringey lyrics in there too. The overuse of similes strikes me as adolescent.

So, I dunno about So Cruel.

Everybody ranks TTTYAATW last on the album, but for me the Trilogy is not UV, Acrobat, and LIB, but TTTYAATW, UV, and Acrobat. No, I love LIB, but my trilogy is the part that transported me when I listened to it. TTT gave me comfort, UV bridged the comfort with darkness and light, and Acrobat was kind of the other half to UV. To me. I know TTT is a weird song choice for comfort, but forget the staggering drunk theme - Adam and Edge take me in their musical arms and rock all the hurt away. (And Bono always does that, even in the nastiest songs).

HERESY! Go to confession, you!
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Too tall to be a despot

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So Cruel

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Re: The lyrical masterclass that is "So Cruel"
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2019, 10:43:35 PM »
Her skin is pale like God's only dove,
screams like an angel for your love,
between the horses of love and lust we are trampled underfoot

Brilliant.

Bono has never been better
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The Exile

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Re: The lyrical masterclass that is "So Cruel"
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2019, 02:35:12 PM »
If you read the lyrics as though it's a conversation between two lovers about a three-way, it makes a whole lot of sense.
Listen as Hope and Peace try to rhyme,
Listen over marching bands playing out their time.

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laoghaire

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Re: The lyrical masterclass that is "So Cruel"
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2019, 04:55:51 PM »
Her skin is pale like God's only dove,
screams like an angel for your love,

Ok, see, I find this cringey. I don't care how pale her skin is, and wtf is God's "only" dove?

And WHYYYYYYY would her skin scream? And how does anything scream like a bleeding angel? Why even compare this person, who is destructive, to an angel in any way?

This smacks of sophomoric writing to me. It sounds good when you're 15 and you just broke up with your first girlfriend.

I'm sorry. I know it hurts when people shit on something you love.

between the horses of love and lust we are trampled underfoot

And this, this is fucking brilliant. There are some gems in here between the teenaged angst. A beautiful, evocative turn of phrase, and it has the incredible power of describing a complicated thing in just a few words.

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JFW

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Re: The lyrical masterclass that is "So Cruel"
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2019, 04:03:08 AM »
Her skin is pale like God's only dove,
screams like an angel for your love,
Love and sex are many times related to God and the holy spirit. Guess this is one of them. And comparing; that's the whole point. He still thinks she's an angel. There is a thin line between love and hate, constructive and destructive, angels and demons (in cristianity it is the same, only there choice they made is different)

Ok, see, I find this cringey. I don't care how pale her skin is, and wtf is God's "only" dove?

And WHYYYYYYY would her skin scream? And how does anything scream like a bleeding angel? Why even compare this person, who is destructive, to an angel in any way?

This smacks of sophomoric writing to me. It sounds good when you're 15 and you just broke up with your first girlfriend.

I'm sorry. I know it hurts when people shit on something you love.

between the horses of love and lust we are trampled underfoot

And this, this is fucking brilliant. There are some gems in here between the teenaged angst. A beautiful, evocative turn of phrase, and it has the incredible power of describing a complicated thing in just a few words.
See through in the sunlight

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redrunningred

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Re: The lyrical masterclass that is "So Cruel"
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2019, 07:39:39 PM »
I think one of the biggest reasons So Cruel’s lyrics are so important to the understanding of the song is that the instrumentation is simple and repetitive. While important part of the song it really drives home the importance of the lyrics.
Don't sit at the table
Until you're able to


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Banter

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Re: The lyrical masterclass that is "So Cruel"
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2024, 06:04:48 PM »
I have loved this version by Lemon Chile since U2 never really preformed this back during the ZooTV days