Casey Hudacko ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Nico Lang of The Daily Dot wrote an article this past week about the surprise release of U2’s new album, “Songs of Innocence.” In the article, titled “How U2 Became the New Nickleback,” Lang speaks on how the band has become infamous for being a band that “just plain sucks” rather than a band whose legacy speaks to generations of people.
What Lang is trying to say through this article is that U2 is no longer relevant, has become obsolete, and not cool anymore. Some have claimed that it’s not U2 that people don’t like, it’s Bono—which, if you know anything about Bono, you certainly don’t understand. Besides being a fantastic lyricist, he has worked proactively on the fight against AIDS in Africa. He is a humanitarian who has given money, time, and resources to the best of causes. From the perspective of a person that has never personally met Bono or gotten to know him, how can he not be liked? If you’ve never met him and don’t know him, how can you decide that you don’t like him? He’s never been in the media for doing something bad or scandalous as many American “artists” have.
There is also a bit of a “hipster” approach to U2 that Lang speaks about. People stopped liking them because of it they got too big. U2 didn’t do anything wrong, but that’s just how people’s minds work. It’s cool, until everyone else likes it.
Lang also speaks about the changes in their style of music. He mentions that they are known for songs like “One” and “Walk On” which unify people and hold a good message. He speaks down on the new works of U2 and basically says that they were better a decade ago. But the music industry has changed. The musical taste of the consumers has changed. And the band itself has changed and grown since the last record they released. This album isn’t a replica of their older works, but that’s how it goes. The band is allowed to try something different or new if they want to, and they’ve done that with this album, “Songs of Innocence,” while still holding on to the classic U2 sound.
Lang also personally attacks Bono for his “penchant of religious imagery.” Since when is it a crime to be religious? Don’t we pride ourselves on having religious freedom? Why does it matter if he wears a cross and sings about his Irish Catholic roots? It shouldn’t matter. It’s his personal choice and he shouldn’t be condemned for it.
U2 is free to express whatever they want in their music. Not everyone has to like it, but some people do, and that needs to be respected. We all have different tastes in music, as we do with everything, but we should give credit where credit is due even if it isn’t our favorite album. If you listen to the album, you can hear that a lot of work and passion went into it and that’s all that matters.