The Times - All That You Canít Leave Behind left U2 in a rut

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an tha

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Re: The Times - All That You Canít Leave Behind left U2 in a rut
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2020, 10:31:27 AM »
Don't have access...

But from opening paragraph it looks like article is going to nail what so many of us have been saying for years...

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guest582

Re: The Times - All That You Canít Leave Behind left U2 in a rut
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2020, 10:44:48 AM »
Don't blame the album, blame the band.


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financeguy1

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Re: The Times - All That You Canít Leave Behind left U2 in a rut
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2020, 11:05:48 AM »
Don't have access either...I think you can sign up for Ä5 a month though...they also used to allow 5 free articles a month if you sign up for a free account...I don't know if that is still the case.

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SlyDanner

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Re: The Times - All That You Canít Leave Behind left U2 in a rut
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2020, 01:36:07 PM »
Don't blame the album, blame the band.

exactly

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Ito Okashi

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Re: The Times - All That You Canít Leave Behind left U2 in a rut
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2020, 01:53:03 PM »
The narrative that ATYCLB killed U2 is a cliche already. Don't disagree though... maybe a little.

That said, there are many reviews that are positive towards the album despite also mentioning how it poisoned the band for the worse going forward. There's a piece from Stereogum like that: https://www.stereogum.com/2103509/all-that-you-cant-leave-behind-turns-20/reviews/the-anniversary/

So the question is... does The Times likes or dislikes ALTYLB?

And the second question is... who cares?

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an tha

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Re: The Times - All That You Canít Leave Behind left U2 in a rut
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2020, 03:10:45 PM »
My own view is that the relative success of the album meant that u2 because they crave success/acceptance so much retreated into (rarely ever to come out of again) being a band making very safe, MOR music......ATYCLB became a template almost for them, a template they became unwilling maybe evem afraid to veer away from.

Trapped in a MOR bubble of their own making of ever diminishing returns.


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The Exile

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Re: The Times - All That You Canít Leave Behind left U2 in a rut
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2020, 03:16:14 PM »
My own view is that the relative success of the album meant that u2 because they crave success/acceptance so much retreated into (rarely ever to come out of again) being a band making very safe, MOR music......ATYCLB became a template almost for them, a template they became unwilling maybe evem afraid to veer away from.

Trapped in a MOR bubble of their own making of ever diminishing returns.


Agreed, of course. BUT I will say that there is about 2 full albums-worth of great material from the post-Pop era, it's just buried under all the shite. Like looking for baby Jesus under the trash.
Listen as Hope and Peace try to rhyme,
Listen over marching bands playing out their time.

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an tha

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Re: The Times - All That You Canít Leave Behind left U2 in a rut
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2020, 03:19:02 PM »
My own view is that the relative success of the album meant that u2 because they crave success/acceptance so much retreated into (rarely ever to come out of again) being a band making very safe, MOR music......ATYCLB became a template almost for them, a template they became unwilling maybe evem afraid to veer away from.

Trapped in a MOR bubble of their own making of ever diminishing returns.


Agreed, of course. BUT I will say that there is about 2 full albums-worth of great material from the post-Pop era, it's just buried under all the shite. Like looking for baby Jesus under the trash.

Not sure there is that much, but we of course all know what it mostly is.....

The stuff that they don't play live, promote or release as singles.

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So Cruel

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Re: The Times - All That You Canít Leave Behind left U2 in a rut
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2020, 04:49:37 PM »
My own view is that the relative success of the album meant that u2 because they crave success/acceptance so much retreated into (rarely ever to come out of again) being a band making very safe, MOR music......ATYCLB became a template almost for them, a template they became unwilling maybe evem afraid to veer away from.

Trapped in a MOR bubble of their own making of ever diminishing returns.


Agreed, of course. BUT I will say that there is about 2 full albums-worth of great material from the post-Pop era, it's just buried under all the shite. Like looking for baby Jesus under the trash.

Not sure there is that much, but we of course all know what it mostly is.....

The stuff that they don't play live, promote or release as singles.

I agree with Exile, there is a lot of solid material, and much of it wasnít even released on proper albums.
Jealousy, it's not what it's cracked up to be
Envy, gets you where you need to be

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an tha

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Re: The Times - All That You Canít Leave Behind left U2 in a rut
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2020, 04:57:13 PM »
My own view is that the relative success of the album meant that u2 because they crave success/acceptance so much retreated into (rarely ever to come out of again) being a band making very safe, MOR music......ATYCLB became a template almost for them, a template they became unwilling maybe evem afraid to veer away from.

Trapped in a MOR bubble of their own making of ever diminishing returns.


Agreed, of course. BUT I will say that there is about 2 full albums-worth of great material from the post-Pop era, it's just buried under all the shite. Like looking for baby Jesus under the trash.

Not sure there is that much, but we of course all know what it mostly is.....

The stuff that they don't play live, promote or release as singles.

I agree with Exile, there is a lot of solid material, and much of it wasnít even released on proper albums.

Personally i think to say a lot is pushing it and pushing it a lot.

But i think we've been round and round and round on this particular debate! Different strokes and all that.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2020, 04:59:58 PM by an tha »

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Ito Okashi

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Re: The Times - All That You Canít Leave Behind left U2 in a rut
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2020, 06:14:12 PM »
My own view is that the relative success of the album meant that u2 because they crave success/acceptance so much retreated into (rarely ever to come out of again) being a band making very safe, MOR music......ATYCLB became a template almost for them, a template they became unwilling maybe evem afraid to veer away from.

Trapped in a MOR bubble of their own making of ever diminishing returns.

Yes, it's true that ATYCLB changed the band forever... and for the worse considering I prefer everything that came before.

But I think there's a "moralistic" aspect behind this discussion which is more biased than completely objective, in my opinion. One thing is to critique the quality of their recent output (while understanding that it's subjective, of course), other is this pidgeonholing of U2 as "bold" before ATYCLB and "MOR" after, which I find to be a deceptive narrative, even if instinctively fitting.

There's an excess of focus on the texture of their sound to describe how "adventurous" is their music, which overlooks all other aspects of craft in their songwriting, and how mainstream it has always been, and how much similirity there is between everything they ever made. After all, U2 is a pop band, and they rarely do anything too crazy or outside the realm of well established influences (usually whataver is "in" at the time).

But when fans enjoy a type of sound and fall in love with the music, they like to inflate it with all kinds of superlative praises like brave, daring, experimental... When they dislike it, it's the opposite. But I rarely see much weight behind any of these claims, including magazine articles which usually just write fluff.

Not that U2 doesn't anger me sometimes with their remarks, lol. It pains me when they say about Zooropa that "the songs were not there"... just sad... which shows how lame can be some of their opinion, usually too much based on public reception.

Nonetheless, while I agree with you that they're too stuck in ATYCLB because it was their last ressurrection after a big scare, I also think they genuinely love the album, and maybe they learned something true about themselves while coming back to that approach... so it makes sense that they chose to follow that route ever since.

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Acrobat

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Re: The Times - All That You Canít Leave Behind left U2 in a rut
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2020, 09:48:13 PM »
Quoting the second paragraph....

"Kid A was Radiohead setting fire to the rulebook and dancing grumpily in its ashes. Kid A didnít care what you thought about it. With songs that owed more to Warp Records and progressive jazz than mainstream rock, Radiohead were quite calculatingly scaring off a portion of their fanbase. They had gone through their stadium phase. Time to move on."

Fast forward to 2017 - U2 have released SOI & SOE - and sandwiched in between those two is Radiohead's "Moon Shaped Pool".

Nuff said. U2 stuck wit the MOR shoite and Radiohead kept evolving.
What are we going to do now it's all been said.
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Ito Okashi

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Re: The Times - All That You Canít Leave Behind left U2 in a rut
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2020, 11:06:26 PM »
That's part of what I'm talking about.

A Moon Shaped Pool - awesome album, great music, a lot more better than SOE (is it even a comparison? lol). But evolving? I'm not convinced about that. Some tracks show impressive orchestration skills that I had not seen before in their output (Glass Eyes, The Numbers), but otherwise isn't it a lot like what defined Radiohead in this century? I don't mean to devalue the album since craft and emotion are my priorities, but it's also a safe space that was certain to please the fans. And exactly because it appealed to the concept of greatness of a generation, people will avoid calling it "safe".
« Last Edit: November 14, 2020, 11:09:07 PM by Ito Okashi »

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WookieeWarrior

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Re: The Times - All That You Canít Leave Behind left U2 in a rut
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2020, 03:33:54 AM »
I think what separates A Moon Shaped Pool is that the album feels more like a culmination than continuation. It compiles the top-notch production of In Rainbows, the songwriting sense of that album and OK Computer, and as you mention throws in Greenwood's superb orchestration. But it occupies a more composed headspace than those records. It's calm and perhaps depressing but not disconsolate like In Rainbows.

Certain to please? Sure. It was more about how they got there, if they could complete a maturation process twenty years in the making.

All That You Can't Leave Behind was U2 retrieving the mythical "U2 sound". Unfortunately, the band equated this with a guileless adult-oriented rock sheen. If Pop's follow-up was destined to strip things back, and I kind of think it was, ATYCLB was a fitting answer... just not a good one.