Originally posted by RattleandHum1988:SOE for me. SOI is fantastic, but it just sounds too orchestrated to my ears, and as a result it kind of falls flat.
SOE to me is the first interesting record U2 has done again since Pop. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's the first "good" record they've done, but the first interesting one since. Sonically it's beautiful, and lyrically it's just poetic as all hell. Bono's firing on all cylinders (except on American Soul lol) and it shows.
Sincerely hope the next album follows in its footsteps. Get Andy Barlow to do the next entire album, and make sure Bono has a near-death accident just before again (totally kidding, TOTALLY KIDDING!).
Couple other related thoughts:
1. Just to be clear that I do appreciate SOI in part - I do love particularly how SOI starts off joyful and becomes quite dark by the end. From "The Miracle" to "The Troubles" it kind of reminds me of albums like Achtung or Pop that start upbeat but go sort of downhill emotionally speaking by the close. It's like SOI is actually about losing innocence by the time the album is done.
2. SOE seems like it should have more of a calculated, orchestrated sound just like SOI, considering it also had way too many producers and also had the whole "we're going to postpone this thing because Trump got elected and Bono almost died" story. But somehow SOE escapes that for me...actually, it's maybe because of those events that it overall sounds more urgent. I love the callbacks to SOI (except for American Soul), the light/love imagery, the joyful atmosphere mixed with some pretty intense, crisis of faith kind of lyrics. It's got a great balance of emotions and musically just sounds more interesting to me than SOI.
Now it's time to listen to both albums back to back, as I haven't done that in a while and maybe that will change everything I just said!