The Taser's Edge



How U2 can become a musical snob and a personal jerk

I began listening to the newest U2 album, No Line On the Horizon, as I wrote the last post.  Did you ever hear the CCM/modern christian worship band, Tree 63?  Although there are plenty of other examples of Christian bands which have decided to be U2 clones in the past 10-15 years, Tree 63 stands out.  Why?  Their self-titled album from 2001 somehow sounds more like this 2009 U2 release than any U2 album that had come out before 2001.  Not sure how that’s possible.  Oh wait, there is one possibility: U2 has become the latest bad copy of itself.  The lameness of this album, especially in the areas of music and lyrics, deserves its own post.

I can no longer lie to myself about my music snobbery.  According to Metacritic, Rolling Stone is idiotic (for praising the album a lot) and Onion AV and Pitchfork get it right.  A quote from the latter: “The album’s ballyhooed experimentation is either terribly misguided or hidden underneath a wash of shameless U2-isms.”  Pitchfork’s so good at being a jerk.  By quoting them, I can pretend that I’m not also a jerk.  Or almost pretend: if Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois can’t save you, you really are lost.

Closing conflicting evidence: As much as I hate Edge’s guitar solos and as shaky as Bono’s voice sometimes seems in this Letterman clip from Tuesday night, U2 is still darn compelling live.  Also, in future I probably should hold off on reviewing an album until I’ve heard the whole thing.  Revisions possibly to follow.