Saturday, December 12, 2015

U2 are duller than you are

I was trying to watch a U2 concert on Showtime, motivated by the delusion that Iwould be able to remember exactly why I was briefly obsessed with thisband in the Mid-80s.Ten minutes in to the performance, the Edge's echoing chord work and Bono's humorless, crucified bellow did me in, the choiciest of the choice songs.Even a band as monumentally pretentious as the Doors (at their worst) were reliabe for crafting tight rock-pop hits that were all the things a radio friendly tune requires, qualties that achieved a singular state that is, in itself, a combination of real work and the visitation of varying degrees of dumb, blind luck: listenability. The songs got you, it kept you, and the next you know the experience is over and your on the other side of it all whistling the chorus, mumbling lyrics you    only half understood.  It's an old aggravation and many bands have displayed it and kept in my decades as a music writer , but it still applies to U2 especially. It's a pose, hewed with honest emotion and genuine conviction, but it is a pose all the same, a stylized sheen that is set to make them attractive in theory . This, for me, makes them agreeable intellectually, but it doesn't mitigate the monotony that makes their music a music a self-regarding drag. Missing, perhaps, is the old "hit song" aesthetic, where there was an emphasis on tunes that were differentiated stylistically, given managable time contraints, given hooks , beginnings, middles, ends, and concerning things that are not the result of a crisis of concious or the search for a nebulous spirituality that no one seems able to find. I have to say that after 3 chords, U2 becomes a loud tedium. They don't have songs, they have a "sound". Some find it stirring, rocking, bracing. I find it bracingly the same from tune to to. It's not that they haven't written a solid rocker and a cogent ballad in that massivley reverbed catalogue of theirs, it's just that unlike mining the albums of the Stones or REM (among so many others), there are not that many good-to-great tunes to amuse yourself with until you come upo

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated due to spam. But commentaries, opinions and other remarks about the posts are always welcome! I apologize for the inconvenience.