Monday, April 27, 2009

New Music Monday Night

As I threatened on Sunday night, this is U2 week at The Skog Blog and I am giving a sincere effort to try and see if I can be converted to U2. I had spoken with Herms regarding this project and he didn't think that it was possible to go back and be converted. His reasoning was that at the time these first three albums were released they were groundbreaking. The fans were members of an exclusive club (more like a cult) and the music could only be heard on KJQ. I would like to think that I can be objective because I can honestly say that I have never heard these early albums in their entirety. I gave each one a listen at least once with headphones and then multiple times at my desk while working. I didn't skip songs, I just let them play. Here are my findings from Day 1.

U2 - BOY

Boy starts off strong with I Will Follow a song so good that my initial thought was I will follow this Bono character into musical salvation. Twilight, the 2nd track is a nice little song about a girl who falls in love with a vampire and was also very enjoyable. Then the wheels (not Wheels) fall off for a few songs until we get to Out of Control, which was by far the best song I heard all day - an instant classic. The rest of Boy is unable to reach the highs of Control and the remainder of the album kind of all ran together with no other songs that stood out to me.

U2 - October

Like Boy, this album explodes right out of the gates. Not since Laura Branigan sang her heart out has there been such a fantastic song titled Gloria. The second track I Fall Down is also excellent but then just like their debut the album seems to have quite a few filler tracks that didn't really resonate with me until the final track left me wondering, Is That All?

U2 - War

War is filled with songs that even the most militant U2 hater has heard and I would dare say, possibly like. Sunday Bloody Sunday, New Year's Day, and Two Hearts Beat As One have all been staples on alternative rock stations for years. The songs that I had not ever heard but enjoyed on War were Like A Song and the album closer 40.

All in all I was a bit disappointed with the first three albums. Only War has more than three or four good songs and usually the debut albums are a band's strongest efforts. Each album followed the same pattern of starting off with a bang and then kind of losing steam in the middle and then closing with a solid finale. Had U2 combined the great tracks from each of these and called the album October War Boy then we would possibly have a 13 track masterpiece that could standup against many of the greatest debuts of all time. At least my playlist of enjoyable U2 songs was expanded by a few songs so the day wasn't a complete waste.


Anonymous said...

I can tell this weeks blog is gonna suck already

brohammas said...

a very honest take from a confessed skeptic.

I should point out before you revert to your U2 sucks opinion, you just stated that U2's first three albums, al of which are pre-explosion into mainstreem, contain enough good material that if combined woud make a "classic".

Even though it would require compilation, yous aid it would equate to great. This should as of now completely remove the possibility of sucking.

I should in full disclosure submit that I refuse to listen to any U2 album after Rattle and Hum. Achtum Baby sucked and so did/does thier following efforts.

Great + sucks = great memories.

Kim said...

Okay, I need to totally disagree with brohammas. I could not understand the obsession of U2 until my senior year in high school when a large group of my friends were OB SESS ED. They gathered weekly to watch Rattle and Hum and one week forced me to join them. I fell asleep.

Over the year, I softened towards U2 and found myself enjoying them on occasion.

Finally, on my senior trip after a little waterskiing and disappearing in the night with a camping group, I found Achtung Baby, which is still my favorite album. I listened to it over and over and finally understood the crazy cult-like feelings for U2.

I so do not enjoy the early U2, which Aaron finds disgusting, but I am not sure how much music advice you can take from a girl who was in high school in the early 90s and still listening to Barry Manilow.

Spammon said...

I have tried to listen to all of their albums before, and they didn't really make me want to repeat any of their music until Joshua Tree. I thought Achtung and All That You Can't Leave Behind were good as well. Other than that, I must have missed the U2 Kool-Aid truck when they came through because I have no desire to drink it.

kg said...

I can definitely say that U2 does not suck balls and I might have been joking somewhat when I said they did, however, even today as I listen to their 'classic albums' I find them lacking relistenability. Yes I just made up that word. As previously stated, each album has 3 or 4 unbelievable songs but that's it. Does that make a band/artist truly great? That is what I have to decide this week. If the greatness of a handful of U2's songs qualifies them as the iconic band of our generation... Not so sure.

Corbie said...

You know where I stand on U2, on anything after Rattle and Hum, and on the total relistenability of any album even if it only has one song that I like. I'm just leavig a comment to show my support for your efforts and to tell anonymous that he/she sucks balls.