So Cruel's SOE review

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So Cruel

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So Cruel's SOE review
« on: December 01, 2017, 05:32:51 PM »
I must admit, my anticipation for this release was the lowest since I became a fan back in 1988. I remember lining up at the record store for Pop at midnight in 1997 and going home and listening to it till 4am. In the last week I started to get that feeling again. A few reviews on here from those that heard the leak had me getting excited, even though out of the 4 songs I had already heard, only 2 really connected with me.

This morning I dropped my daughter off at school and headed over to the store to pick up SOE. I wasn't going to kid myself, there wasn't much work getting done today. I have now listened to it in full 3x and here are my initial thoughts.

1. Love Is All We Have Left

What is this? SOE or a left over from the Unforgettable Fire? Starting the album off with a hymn, I dig it. It has a later day Bowie flavor to it, which is pretty cool. A fresh start.

7/10

2. Lights of Home

What's this I hear? The ghost of Gone is in there somewhere. I hear it in the piano in the chorus. A bluesy solo from the Edge. They go for the big ending and it works. I think I kinda like the string version better though.

8/10

3. You're the Best Thing...

My thoughts on this song have already been written. It's a good pop song, but I don't really come to U2 for good pop songs. Good is the enemy of Great, isn't it Bono?

6/10

4. Get Out of Your Own Way

I really like this song. Yes, it's on the pop side, but it has a bit of bite. The one thing I hate is that they lifted the bass/drums from Beautiful Day. That drops it down a bit but this is a song that i'll keep coming back to. Maybe a guilty pleasure.

8.5/10

5. American Soul

This albums Miracle or Boots, just that it doesn't suck. It's not great and it's kinda odd to use a piece that was already released 3 years ago, but the song is still decent.

6.5/10

6. Summer of Love

This may be the blandest U2 song I've heard. It's not even b-side material. It's not truly offensive like Peace on Earth or Song for Someone, it's just completely vanilla and is filler which you usually don't find on U2 albums. First skip able track.

3/10

7. Red Flag Day

I read this could have been on War, and I agree. It just wouldn't be one of the better songs on War. I like it, but don't love it. Reminds me a bit of This is Where You Can Reach Me Now. Same type of vibe.

6/10

8. The Showman

Yup. This one's a lot of fun. A bit of Springsteen, a bit of the Kinks, a bit of the Stones. Should have been the first single. People would be singing this in bars and parties ahead of You're the Best Thing. Will be a good live song.

8/10

9. The Little Things

This is the U2 we've grown to love. Epic, moody; this one would have fit on almost any U2 album since the Unforgettable Fire. I've liked this song since I heard it live the first JT show. Only complaint would be that there could have been an epic Edge solo to close it. He's a minimalist, but I'm just sitting here imagining what someone like Jimmy Page would have done to close out this song.

9/10

10. Landlady

Very nice. The sound of a mature rock n roll band not trying to appeal to kids. This may grow to be one of my favorite later day U2 songs.

8.5/10

11. The Blackout

When I first heard this I wasn't that impressed. I can say that hearing it on the album I am liking it more. Like American Soul it's U2 doing a rock song like Miracle or Boots that doesn't suck.

7/10

12. Love is Bigger....

Ohh boy. A big clunky sappy title and a song that slips too far into Coldplay territory for my liking. What's next, a rendition of Kirk Van Houten's Can I Borrow A Feeling? This one is gonna be skipped.

3/10

13. 13

Song for Someone redux. Song for Someone is number one on my worst U2 songs ever list. This one won't make that list, but I just don't see the need for it. The song was already done. We've heard much of this before. Not impressed and a very weak way to end the album.

2/10

Overall Album 7/10

The Extra's

Ordinary Love - I need another version of Ordinary Love like I need a hole in my head.  1/10
Book of Your Heart - a good song that should have made the album ahead of a few others.  7/10
Lights of Home - very cool. I like this string version more then the album version. 8.5/10
You're the Best... - this one can go in the trash. 2/10

All in all a good, but bit uneven effort from the band. There are some definite highs and few lows. The album ends for me with a couple of duds. If it was up to me this would be the album that should have been released.

1. Love Is All We Have Left
2. The Blackout
3. You're the Best Thing About Me
4. Get Out of You're Own Way
5. American Soul
6. Book of Your Heart
7. Red Flag Day
8. The Showman
9. Landlady
10. Lights of Home (String Version)
11. The Little Things That Give You Away

« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 05:35:56 PM by So Cruel »
Definitive U2 Top 10: 1. One, 2. Bad, 3. With Or Without You, 4. Running to Stand Still, 5. So Cruel, 6. Ultraviolet, 7. I Still Havenít Found What Iím Looking For, 8. Hawkmoon 269, 9. Red Hill Mining Town, 10. Luminous Times

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Codeguy

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Re: So Cruel's SOE review
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2017, 06:11:55 PM »
Wow SoCruel - so different from mine. To each his own, but thatís not what I expected from you


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guest20

Re: So Cruel's SOE review
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2017, 06:14:45 PM »
Interesting. I expect to have a similar opinion on several of these tracks, given their descriptions.

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So Cruel

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Re: So Cruel's SOE review
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2017, 09:51:37 PM »
Wow SoCruel - so different from mine. To each his own, but thatís not what I expected from you


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May I ask what you expected?

From reading some of the reviews of others before listening to the album myself, I thought I'd really like Red Flag Day as it hearkens back to the War era, but the song to me is decent, but nothing special. There are a lot of U2 songs many dislike that I think are pretty good - Yahweh, Wild Honey, In a Little While, Man and a Woman, are all songs I like that a lot of others don't. Like you said, to each their own!
Definitive U2 Top 10: 1. One, 2. Bad, 3. With Or Without You, 4. Running to Stand Still, 5. So Cruel, 6. Ultraviolet, 7. I Still Havenít Found What Iím Looking For, 8. Hawkmoon 269, 9. Red Hill Mining Town, 10. Luminous Times

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Codeguy

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Re: So Cruel's SOE review
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2017, 09:59:01 PM »
Wow SoCruel - so different from mine. To each his own, but thatís not what I expected from you


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

May I ask what you expected?

From reading some of the reviews of others before listening to the album myself, I thought I'd really like Red Flag Day as it hearkens back to the War era, but the song to me is decent, but nothing special. There are a lot of U2 songs many dislike that I think are pretty good - Yahweh, Wild Honey, In a Little While, Man and a Woman, are all songs I like that a lot of others don't. Like you said, to each their own!
I love Yahweh, in a little while and wild honey - definitely to each his own.

Not sure what I expected necessarily - more that I didn't expect you to place the pop-rock stuff so highly.
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So Cruel

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Re: So Cruel's SOE review
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2017, 10:41:42 PM »
Wow SoCruel - so different from mine. To each his own, but thatís not what I expected from you


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

May I ask what you expected?

From reading some of the reviews of others before listening to the album myself, I thought I'd really like Red Flag Day as it hearkens back to the War era, but the song to me is decent, but nothing special. There are a lot of U2 songs many dislike that I think are pretty good - Yahweh, Wild Honey, In a Little While, Man and a Woman, are all songs I like that a lot of others don't. Like you said, to each their own!
I love Yahweh, in a little while and wild honey - definitely to each his own.

Not sure what I expected necessarily - more that I didn't expect you to place the pop-rock stuff so highly.

You know, it's not really because I don't like pop songs, there are a lot of artists who have done some great pop rock songs - the Stones, the Beatles, INXS, the Police, Elton John, Prince, Bowie, and lots more, it's just that's not where I see U2 strengths. They are not a great pop rock band, although they have written a few great pop rock songs - Mysterious Ways, Angel of Harlem, She's a Mystery, etc.. are all unbelievable songs. It's when they try to write a song specifically to be "relevant" or get a hit that I think they lose their way. I'll Go Crazy is a perfect example of this. It just sounds forced.

For me I'd rather hear a really good pop song like Get Out of Your Own Way then a piss poor rock song like The Miracle or Get On Your Boots.  I think U2's sweet spot is songs like The Little things..songs that have a great melody, but have that angst/emotion/passion that U2 do better then anyone else.
Definitive U2 Top 10: 1. One, 2. Bad, 3. With Or Without You, 4. Running to Stand Still, 5. So Cruel, 6. Ultraviolet, 7. I Still Havenít Found What Iím Looking For, 8. Hawkmoon 269, 9. Red Hill Mining Town, 10. Luminous Times

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Codeguy

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Re: So Cruel's SOE review
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2017, 11:10:41 PM »
Wow SoCruel - so different from mine. To each his own, but thatís not what I expected from you


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

May I ask what you expected?

From reading some of the reviews of others before listening to the album myself, I thought I'd really like Red Flag Day as it hearkens back to the War era, but the song to me is decent, but nothing special. There are a lot of U2 songs many dislike that I think are pretty good - Yahweh, Wild Honey, In a Little While, Man and a Woman, are all songs I like that a lot of others don't. Like you said, to each their own!
I love Yahweh, in a little while and wild honey - definitely to each his own.

Not sure what I expected necessarily - more that I didn't expect you to place the pop-rock stuff so highly.

You know, it's not really because I don't like pop songs, there are a lot of artists who have done some great pop rock songs - the Stones, the Beatles, INXS, the Police, Elton John, Prince, Bowie, and lots more, it's just that's not where I see U2 strengths. They are not a great pop rock band, although they have written a few great pop rock songs - Mysterious Ways, Angel of Harlem, She's a Mystery, etc.. are all unbelievable songs. It's when they try to write a song specifically to be "relevant" or get a hit that I think they lose their way. I'll Go Crazy is a perfect example of this. It just sounds forced.

For me I'd rather hear a really good pop song like Get Out of Your Own Way then a piss poor rock song like The Miracle or Get On Your Boots.  I think U2's sweet spot is songs like The Little things..songs that have a great melody, but have that angst/emotion/passion that U2 do better then anyone else.
couldnt agree more
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So Cruel

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Re: So Cruel's SOE review
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2017, 02:30:47 PM »
Interesting. I expect to have a similar opinion on several of these tracks, given their descriptions.

So Wookie, have you heard the album yet? Interested to hear your thoughts.
Definitive U2 Top 10: 1. One, 2. Bad, 3. With Or Without You, 4. Running to Stand Still, 5. So Cruel, 6. Ultraviolet, 7. I Still Havenít Found What Iím Looking For, 8. Hawkmoon 269, 9. Red Hill Mining Town, 10. Luminous Times

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guest20

Re: So Cruel's SOE review
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2017, 02:35:39 PM »
Interesting. I expect to have a similar opinion on several of these tracks, given their descriptions.

So Wookie, have you heard the album yet? Interested to hear your thoughts.

I finally gave it a listen last night and...

It did not go well. I'll post a review in the following days, since I should probably take some more time to articulate my thoughts and give SOE a fair shake. The only track that I enjoyed was the opener.

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So Cruel

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Re: So Cruel's SOE review
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2017, 02:39:32 PM »
Interesting. I expect to have a similar opinion on several of these tracks, given their descriptions.

So Wookie, have you heard the album yet? Interested to hear your thoughts.

I finally gave it a listen last night and...

It did not go well. I'll post a review in the following days, since I should probably take some more time to articulate my thoughts and give SOE a fair shake. The only track that I enjoyed was the opener.

Ouch! Yes, i'd give it a few more tries. I listened to it in full 3x before posting my thoughts. I think there are some really big highs on this album (Landlady, Little Things, GOOYOW) and a few big misses (13, Love is Bigger...).
Definitive U2 Top 10: 1. One, 2. Bad, 3. With Or Without You, 4. Running to Stand Still, 5. So Cruel, 6. Ultraviolet, 7. I Still Havenít Found What Iím Looking For, 8. Hawkmoon 269, 9. Red Hill Mining Town, 10. Luminous Times

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Jswallow

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Re: So Cruel's SOE review
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2017, 02:46:40 PM »
 Just wish people would give it a few more days before they review SOE, It's definetly a grower Like most U2 albums are & why are so many people missing the connection between both albums that's why you get to hear SFS & Volcano ??...you can bet your life if we get Songs of Ascent there will be more connections to the previous 2 albums
 The album for me is a very strong album but each to their own...

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guest20

Re: So Cruel's SOE review
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2017, 03:02:53 PM »
While I'm nearly certain that Songs Of Ascent has long been an abandoned project, I'd really rather the band not continue with it if it isn't. Creating a trilogy of these "Songs Of" albums borders pretentiousness, and also forces U2 to make a commitment that will only feel obligatory towards the end of the album-making process.

It's best for U2 to move on.

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guest87

Re: So Cruel's SOE review
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2017, 03:13:41 PM »
While I'm nearly certain that Songs Of Ascent has long been an abandoned project, I'd really rather the band not continue with it if it isn't. Creating a trilogy of these "Songs Of" albums borders pretentiousness, and also forces U2 to make a commitment that will only feel obligatory towards the end of the album-making process.

It's best for U2 to move on.

Just wait until they release The Great American Songbook Vol I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII etcetera.



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guest20

Re: So Cruel's SOE review
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2017, 03:17:15 PM »
While I'm nearly certain that Songs Of Ascent has long been an abandoned project, I'd really rather the band not continue with it if it isn't. Creating a trilogy of these "Songs Of" albums borders pretentiousness, and also forces U2 to make a commitment that will only feel obligatory towards the end of the album-making process.

It's best for U2 to move on.

Just wait until they release The Great American Songbook Vol I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII etcetera.

Vol. 1: The Book Of Trump

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Poncke

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Re: So Cruel's SOE review
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2017, 02:54:02 PM »
While I'm nearly certain that Songs Of Ascent has long been an abandoned project, I'd really rather the band not continue with it if it isn't. Creating a trilogy of these "Songs Of" albums borders pretentiousness, and also forces U2 to make a commitment that will only feel obligatory towards the end of the album-making process.

It's best for U2 to move on.

This
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