AchtungX SOE Review

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achtungx

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AchtungX SOE Review
« on: December 01, 2017, 11:12:16 PM »
Liked the layout of So Cruel's review, so I'm copping it. Everybody here should do their reviews.

I'm one of those people who got into U2 during Zoo TV and the 90s. I've been vocal about my distaste for their recent music (too poppy, hate Ordinary Love, etc.) I dug The Blackout at first, but after hearing Best Thing, GOOYOW and American Soul my expectations for the album plummeted. Well, let's see what I think after listening to it over and over since the leak. I might even surprise myself.

1. Love Is All We Have Left

Not the way I expected this to start. I hate auto-tune, but I think that might be because it's usually used too heavy handed. It's use here is very tasteful and helps with the atmospherics. Also Bono sounds like freaking Bono...not a screechy helium sucker, the sexy voice is back. Very Passengers-esque or would fit in on Gavin Friday's "Catholic" album. Wish it was longer.

9/10

2. Lights of Home

My 1st thought upon hearing this was "damn, they swerved us and released the weakest tracks first." This is dirty and gritty.

"I was born from a screaming sound
I can see the lights in front of me
I thought my head was harder than ground
I can see the lights in front of me
One more push and I'll be born again"

Beautiful. I've been critical of Bono lyrics in recent times, and he seems to have tightened up here and on other tracks. Will even forgive cribbing from Iris here. String version is slightly better IMO.

8.5/10

3. You're the Best Thing...

Earworm. Listened to it multiple times to try and "get it." Hate poppy U2. But it's definitely better than Crazy Tonight. It's good for what it is, a pure pop song. Catchy as hell.

6.5/10

4. Get Out of Your Own Way

Didn't like it nearly as much as I thought that I would from the video clip leak. I can take or leave Mr. Lamar's contribution. It's not needed. Another earworm, like Best Thing. So, same score.
6.5/10

5. American Soul

Nothing great. Lazy lyrics. It rocks, but I hear a GOYB drum fill in there that bugs me. A Vertigo/Elevation rocker. Probably will be very good live.

6.5/10

6. Summer of Love

The band, who in recent years has sounded unsure of themselves, sounds cocksure and confident here. The groove kicks ass on a car stereo. The lyrics have multiple layers to them. Bono sings in his proper register and sounds amazing. Classic. This is what Man and a Woman wished that it could've been.

9/10

7. Red Flag Day

I love this song. Adam is the star. Bono is a little high pitched, but love the background vocals. Great lyrics with multiple layers

9/10

8. The Showman

I had no clue what to expect. The title sounds clunky and unappealing, but I love it. Seems like something that Nick Lowe could done back in the 70s. Catchy as hell chorus. They sound relaxed.

9/10

9. The Little Things

I literally said "meh" when I saw the live performances of this on Periscope streams and TV performances. This version is special. It's a classic. It's a gem.

10/10

10. Landlady

Really like Bono's singing again. Hate the title. Will be a grower. The end is wonderful.

8/10

11. The Blackout

Sounds like U2 became 2000's era Duran Duran. Not a bad thing. Hate the "50 Ways to Love Your Lever" name checking. Otherwise the lyrics would be tight.

8/10

12. Love is Bigger....

A sleeper of a track. I expected it to be of the mediocre "One Step Closer to Knowing" variety.

8/10

13. 13

Damn you Bono for making a 40 year old man tear up.

7/10

Overall Album 8.5/10

The Extra's

Ordinary Love - Yuck.  0/10
Book of Your Heart - Very cool. should've made the album  8/10
Lights of Home - String version is slightly better. 9/10
You're the Best... - I usually hate remixes. This is inoffensive. 4/10

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Nice to know that Bono can still sing like classic, sexy Bono. I thought he was gone forever. Relatively little screeching from Bono. Adam shines here even more than he did on SoI. Larry is very solid. Fits the songs well. Edge is too restrained at times. Nice to hear Bono pushed back deeper in the mix. I didn't cringe once.

In my opinion, their best album since ATYCLB. There are a number of songs that have the "it" factor and don't deserve to be cast away at the end of the tour. I think the track order could be improved and Book of Your Heart included in it.
I saw Gloria live. Even if I never see the band live again, at least I saw Gloria live. :)

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Codeguy

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Re: AchtungX SOE Review
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2017, 11:21:10 PM »
That's a great review, well written and very on point!
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achtungx

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Re: AchtungX SOE Review
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2017, 11:26:28 PM »
Created this as an alternate track list.

1. Love is All We Have Left
2. The Blackout
3. Lights of Home - Strings
4. Book of Your Heart
5. Summer of Love
6. Red Flag Day
7. The Showman
8. The Little Things...
9. Love is Bigger...
10. Get Out of Your Own Way
11. American Soul
12. Best Thing
13. Landlady
14. 13 (There is a Light)
I saw Gloria live. Even if I never see the band live again, at least I saw Gloria live. :)