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Album of the day (#2581): How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb

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Temporary33





#81 | Posted: 01/12/2018 21:43 | Post subject: Reply with quote
U2 has a lot of amazing works, this is complete garbage.

Really love Vertigo though.

EDIT:

Also, you could argue about a homeless man eating shit off the ground and that would be more interesting than a discussion about U2's music.
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rkm





#82 | Posted: 01/12/2018 23:18 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Temporary33 wrote:
U2 has a lot of amazing works, this is complete garbage.

Really love Vertigo though.

EDIT:

Also, you could argue about a homeless man eating shit off the ground and that would be more interesting than a discussion about U2's music.


I'm sure the discussion about U2 would be far more interesting if the majority of people saying they don't like this album spent any time engaging with it, and were actually able to articulate what it is they don't like.

EDIT:

I shouldn't be so general. For you to criticise the conversation and simultaneously contribute nothing to it, is lazy, unintelligent, and arrogant.

Thank you to everyone who made an effort in this conversation.
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AfterHours



Gender: Male
Location: Oregon, USA

#83 | Posted: 01/13/2018 00:20 | Post subject: Reply with quote
rkm wrote:
Afterhours,

I'm listening to Steve Reich right now, the end of Drumming Part II. I've often thought this but never voiced it. Dont you think there's a similarity to the rhythmic textures Edge achieves with delays? It's very reminiscent of "Where The Streets Have No Name". I'm not suggesting a direct influence, just independently achieved similar effect.


Drumming (1987) by Steve Reich


I haven't listened to Reich's Drumming in a long time but I wouldn't be surprised if there's a correlation.

I would agree with the following (so "yes" is probably my answer) and doubt I could articulate it better (note: may be an imperfect translation of actual text)...

"Musically, the most original element of their sound is not so much the tenor of Bono Vox (sometimes too melodramatic, to the point of seeming the parody of the operetta singers) as the guitar style of Dave Evans (The Edge), the whose simple figures frantically repeated gave rise to a small tonal revolution in the use of the instrument."

"Where the Streets Have No Name marks a new zenith of transcendental intensity, thanks to the frantic raga-like ringing tones of the instrumental overture and to the tribal beat."

--Piero Scaruffi
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rkm





#84 | Posted: 01/13/2018 01:05 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Good quote.

Reich's "Drumming" starts very simply, and builds in two ways: by adding to the simple rhythmic figures, and by shifting the phase of those figures in relation to each other. The whole work also builds by shifts in tone colour.

Edge is all about the same things. He uses multiple delays in stereo, with specific settings for each song (number of repeats etc). He's phasing his simple rhythmic figures with delays that are as loud as his original signal. He's building his rhythms by playing more or playing less. Some of the time it's just percussive string noise, without any note to it at all. He becomes a drummer.

Some examples:
"Where The Streets Have No Name" - 3/16 delay, 9/32 delay.
"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" - 1/16 delay, 3/16 delay

Reich explores the idea much more thoroughly, but they both use the idea in a compositional sense. That's the thing guitarists don't comprehend when they criticise Edge's "simple rhythmic figures' and think of his use of effects as a crutch. The effects aren't to mask his playing, they're an integral part of the composition.

Scaruffi's assessment of Bono made me chuckle, and think of this lyric:

And it's you when I look in the mirror
And it's you when I don't pick up the phone
Sometimes you can't make it on your own

I know that we don't talk
I'm sick of it all
Can you hear me when I
Sing, you're the reason I sing
You're the reason why the opera is in me

He's singing to his Dad. As I understand it, his Dad was also susceptible to the same melodrama, and would walk home from the pub singing opera and musical theatre numbers after he'd had a few pints.
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Lowkey



Gender: Male
Age: 21
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#85 | Posted: 01/13/2018 13:03 | Post subject: Reply with quote
It's really not that bad, I'd give it a 7/10 or so.

It's not as good as the album preceding it, but it is very listenable and has a few highlights
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sethmadsen
Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis


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#86 | Posted: 01/13/2018 19:28 | Post subject: Reply with quote
So I've been thinking about this discussion a bit and it almost seems like:

1) I wouldn't want to listen to an album I felt had a better version of it elsewhere. I've made that argument for not allowing new music to be good for me. It's like, oh this sounds like this other artist, I'd rather listen to the other artist I already think is better. Ultimately I find myself tossing a coin with this though. Sometimes I'm right and sometimes I'm terribly wrong.

2) It seems like reader response theory is a bit more interesting than I originally thought - the whole, the text doesn't exist until it is interpreted idea. In this case we have brilliant people interpreting the work completely different. I feel like I sit on the fence on it as I see both RKM's and Afterhours' arguments as both valid.

3) Lowkey said it better than I: This album really isn't that bad. As a matter of fact, the first 6 songs are pretty good (not the best ever - but I've yet to hear a better song conceptually or emotionally about modern medicine/miracle drug - and the various interpretations thereof. U2 live says music is their miracle drug before they play it). It was just REALLY disappointing for me because IMO, this is the first U2 album to have a crap song on it.
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AfterHours



Gender: Male
Location: Oregon, USA

#87 | Posted: 01/13/2018 22:14 | Post subject: Reply with quote
sethmadsen wrote:
So I've been thinking about this discussion a bit and it almost seems like:

1) I wouldn't want to listen to an album I felt had a better version of it elsewhere. I've made that argument for not allowing new music to be good for me. It's like, oh this sounds like this other artist, I'd rather listen to the other artist I already think is better. Ultimately I find myself tossing a coin with this though. Sometimes I'm right and sometimes I'm terribly wrong.

2) It seems like reader response theory is a bit more interesting than I originally thought - the whole, the text doesn't exist until it is interpreted idea. In this case we have brilliant people interpreting the work completely different. I feel like I sit on the fence on it as I see both RKM's and Afterhours' arguments as both valid.

3) Lowkey said it better than I: This album really isn't that bad. As a matter of fact, the first 6 songs are pretty good (not the best ever - but I've yet to hear a better song conceptually or emotionally about modern medicine/miracle drug - and the various interpretations thereof. U2 live says music is their miracle drug before they play it). It was just REALLY disappointing for me because IMO, this is the first U2 album to have a crap song on it.


I haven't really mounted any sort of argument about it except a few general statements and semi-pointed questions -- because to do so, I'd have to revisit the album. Which I'm not all that willing to spend my time doing. I dont think it takes much evaluation to recognize that the album isnt particularly creative and isn't emotionally extraordinary in any substantial way. It is as "singular" in these ways as thousands of other mediocre/decent albums are; as the fact that every artist/album has "something" to say; as in, no two are exactly alike. One could go through every album from the same year and find the exact same "significance" of insights in practically all of them as are being gone over in this page, though rkm undoubtedly has covered these in very well-presented, thoughtful and considered ways which not many could replicate.
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rkm





#88 | Posted: 01/13/2018 23:32 | Post subject: Reply with quote
A few thoughts...

- We all have different motivations in our appreciation of music, and in our collecting and list-making. Some are very focussed on finding the best example of a certain thing, and are happy to jettison lesser examples. Personally, my list-making is partly this, but is also partly about life-memory. Even if there are other albums that deal with similar themes, this is the album I was listening to that year, and therefore has become a permanent fixture.

- Further to the last point, and in regard to personality and music preference... and that Myers Briggs stuff (that is apparently rubbish). The last personality type indicator of the four letters is J (judging) or P (perceiving) and has to do with decision making. I've observed this in people I know. Some are very J (judging), very black and white. Music is either great or completely crap. They tend to be the type of people with very refined short lists of things they love. On the other hand, I'm very much P (perceiving), which means I have a hard time with absolutes. Everything is a grey area. Everything has meaning that can be divined, discussed, and chewed over (even when there's not very much concrete there). I also have a hard time letting go of stuff. My music collecting is large and cumulative. I've found this website and listmaking to require lots of J from me, that I generally don't possess.

- The burden of innovation. U2 had spent a decade mangling their sound and subverting their sincerity. You can view ATYCLB and HTDAAB in one of two ways. The first is that they had run out of ideas and became a caricature of their former selves. The second, and the one I prefer, is that they were stripping away the layers and returning to their essential elements.

- Further to that last point. With other forms of music, their is little to no burden for the form to change. With Blues, the form stays much the same, and the burden is on the performer to REALLY mean it. With folky singer-songwriters, the simplicity of form (perhaps a guitar and a voice) can serve to bring the voice and lyric into a stark light. Simplicity doesn't mean the music isn't complex.

- Lastly, expectation is everything. If you come to music expecting it to be meaningless rubbish, that's exactly what you're going to get.
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AfterHours



Gender: Male
Location: Oregon, USA

#89 | Posted: 01/14/2018 03:38 | Post subject: Reply with quote
rkm wrote:
A few thoughts...

- We all have different motivations in our appreciation of music, and in our collecting and list-making. Some are very focussed on finding the best example of a certain thing, and are happy to jettison lesser examples. Personally, my list-making is partly this, but is also partly about life-memory. Even if there are other albums that deal with similar themes, this is the album I was listening to that year, and therefore has become a permanent fixture.

- Further to the last point, and in regard to personality and music preference... and that Myers Briggs stuff (that is apparently rubbish). The last personality type indicator of the four letters is J (judging) or P (perceiving) and has to do with decision making. I've observed this in people I know. Some are very J (judging), very black and white. Music is either great or completely crap. They tend to be the type of people with very refined short lists of things they love. On the other hand, I'm very much P (perceiving), which means I have a hard time with absolutes. Everything is a grey area. Everything has meaning that can be divined, discussed, and chewed over (even when there's not very much concrete there). I also have a hard time letting go of stuff. My music collecting is large and cumulative. I've found this website and listmaking to require lots of J from me, that I generally don't possess.

- The burden of innovation. U2 had spent a decade mangling their sound and subverting their sincerity. You can view ATYCLB and HTDAAB in one of two ways. The first is that they had run out of ideas and became a caricature of their former selves. The second, and the one I prefer, is that they were stripping away the layers and returning to their essential elements.

- Further to that last point. With other forms of music, their is little to no burden for the form to change. With Blues, the form stays much the same, and the burden is on the performer to REALLY mean it. With folky singer-songwriters, the simplicity of form (perhaps a guitar and a voice) can serve to bring the voice and lyric into a stark light. Simplicity doesn't mean the music isn't complex.

- Lastly, expectation is everything. If you come to music expecting it to be meaningless rubbish, that's exactly what you're going to get.


Well put.

Though I'm not sure I agree completely on the "expectation is everything", though I do feel there's some truth in what you're saying -- just not so absolute. I've had countless albums improve/de-value (sometimes drastically) for me after I've already rated them (so I would be revisiting them with an expectation that they were already X/10). I like to think I'm pretty good at looking at what's there and relating this to what I know + experience about music/whichever art form (though I've made plenty of "mistakes" over the years).

Another thing I want to make clear is that I do not think a 5/10 (or whatever I'd rate this U2 album) has "no value". I suppose it's fair to say that I don't give a rip about such a work in relation to what I generally want to spend my time with, but a mediocre album is actually a decent/average rating in the grand scheme of things -- and a "masterpiece" compared to, say, a 1 or 2 or 2.5/10. It's just a (very) far cry from, say, Astral Weeks (9/10) or, more pertinently, The River (8.5/10) or Arcade Fire's Funeral (7.5/10).

There is a wide scale of "lesser examples" from my top-rated work(s) of music (Beethoven and Mahler's Symphony #9, Bach's Mass in B Minor...etc) gradually down the scale all the way to a 7/10 such as Sgt Pepper or Nevermind or OK Computer, which are superb/excellent -- each albums I like A LOT -- and then way on down to a 5/10 (or whatever) like this album.

Just like it is a very far cry from Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel to a mediocre, but mildly effective painting like for instance: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/87/43/95...a4711f.jpg

The linked painting is fine. It's not doing anything wrong and I would maybe even hang it in my house. But it's also not extraordinary or especially creative in any substantial way.

Etc...

Etc...
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sethmadsen
Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis


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Age: 33
Location: Ground Control
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#90 | Posted: 01/14/2018 03:42 | Post subject: Reply with quote
AfterHours wrote:
sethmadsen wrote:
So I've been thinking about this discussion a bit and it almost seems like:

1) I wouldn't want to listen to an album I felt had a better version of it elsewhere. I've made that argument for not allowing new music to be good for me. It's like, oh this sounds like this other artist, I'd rather listen to the other artist I already think is better. Ultimately I find myself tossing a coin with this though. Sometimes I'm right and sometimes I'm terribly wrong.

2) It seems like reader response theory is a bit more interesting than I originally thought - the whole, the text doesn't exist until it is interpreted idea. In this case we have brilliant people interpreting the work completely different. I feel like I sit on the fence on it as I see both RKM's and Afterhours' arguments as both valid.

3) Lowkey said it better than I: This album really isn't that bad. As a matter of fact, the first 6 songs are pretty good (not the best ever - but I've yet to hear a better song conceptually or emotionally about modern medicine/miracle drug - and the various interpretations thereof. U2 live says music is their miracle drug before they play it). It was just REALLY disappointing for me because IMO, this is the first U2 album to have a crap song on it.


I haven't really mounted any sort of argument about it except a few general statements and semi-pointed questions -- because to do so, I'd have to revisit the album. Which I'm not all that willing to spend my time doing. I dont think it takes much evaluation to recognize that the album isnt particularly creative and isn't emotionally extraordinary in any substantial way. It is as "singular" in these ways as thousands of other mediocre/decent albums are; as the fact that every artist/album has "something" to say; as in, no two are exactly alike. One could go through every album from the same year and find the exact same "significance" of insights in practically all of them as are being gone over in this page, though rkm undoubtedly has covered these in very well-presented, thoughtful and considered ways which not many could replicate.


Oh the first point was me agreeing with you if you didn't notice. Why listen to this album again if you really see little value in it. It isn't bad, but it isn't good.
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