U2 were never a great band. They’ve had some great songs here and there, and plenty of good ones, but at best they’ve always come in just under the line that signifies greatness on my personal musical barometer. That said, in their current form, U2 are just plain bad. There is nothing at all good about them right now – from their middling musical output to Bono’s pompous persona, there are really no redeeming qualities to this band at the present. Sadly, they are so horribly fucking awful, that it manages to taint the ability to listen to their back catalog, making even their really good songs somewhat unlistenable.
If you recall, back in September of 2014, the band vomited out their latest album, a stale, worthless record, the title of which isn’t even worth mentioning (if for no other reason than it pointlessly steals the title from William Blake, and doesn’t earn the comparison), by releasing it for free to anyone with any iTunes account. The public backlash was brutal. People felt invaded, personally, by the appearance of some phantom U2 album in their music library.
I fundamentally disagree with the people who were alarmed or offended by it. We should all be aware that while using iTunes, or Amazon Prime, or Spotify, or whatever, that we are in the ecosystem of a tech company, and naturally there will be advertising as that is an obvious revenue stream. However, a large part of the offense and disgust is due to the fact that: a) it’s a shit album; and b) people really dislike U2, more than any artist I can think of, except maybe Kanye West.
So, they’ve decided to try again, this time via some lame publicity stunt where they’re busking in the New York Subway. Multiple people walked by, and no one gave a shit. The music wasn’t good, and didn’t grab anyone’s attention. It wasn’t until people started realizing it was U2 that a crowd started forming. Even then, the majority of the people kept walking by, probably recalling that morning they woke up to find a garbage U2 album on their iPhones and felt all dirty and disgusting for being naive enough to actually give it a listen in hopes that maybe there’s a good song or two.
“Desire”? More like “Ret-i-i-i-i-i-ire.”
Go away, Bono. Just go away.