U2 and changing your mind and writing about music; initial thoughts on Live In London with a peek at “Death Of A Ladies Man”; a word about my writing
The Stone gave it 5 stars, Blender gave it 5 stars, Q gave it 5 stars. Unfortunately, “No Line On The Horizon” is one of the worst albums of U2’s career. If I was still writing professionally I’d have given it 1 star and now, a coupla weeks after my imaginary review, I’d have to raise it to 2 1/2 stars. “No Line” went, for me, from a simple disaster to a complicated disaster.
So why did we all get it wrong? A music critic, a freelancer, tends to do the band in town experience: review the album, see the show, do the interview, transcribe the interview, write the article, write the review. For two weeks you are fully immersed in the band culture and depending upon your take (U2 are becoming the Rolling Stones of the 21st century -great live, shame about the albums) you over react accordingly.
A pleasure of blogging may be the ability to change your mind about an album or an artist. Robert Nevin noted my immense dislike for Phish a decade ago. I loathed them and I don’t now. Go figure.
Phil Spector was a genius and Phil Spector was insane and he should have plead the insanity defense.
In 1977 he produced Leonard Cohen’s “Death Of A Ladies Man” (I was up to my eyeballs in “loud fast rules” at the time and didn’t even notice it) and though the album was much disliked back in the day it has aged enormously well. For instance, it is better than the recent “Live In London”; London mini review: 1) I hate the back up singers. 2) It doesn’t improve on a single original and 3) well, three is its a pleasure to listen to Cohen’s charming and humorous between song patter. So buy “First We Take Manhattan (Live)” and move on with your life. Me? I’m going to see him at Radio City Music Hall on May 16th and will have more to say at that time.
About my writing: anybody who has read my rock criticism will remember me as something of a dense writer except here i am trying to be clear to the point of translucency. At my age I can’t be bothered showing off any more… I just want you to understand the music.