As one who rarely uses hyperbole, I mean, like never in a million years…never ever, I have thought long and hard about a statement that I am going to share with you. It is one that I firmly believe in. It’s so controversial, you may spit out your coffee, even if you’re not drinking any. If you’re standing, you better sit down. If you’re driving, pull over. If you have her mask, put it on. Sorry. Here it is….U2’s next CD will be the most important CD in U2’s entire career! That’s right, MOST IMPORTANT! There, I said it. I’m walking right out into the sunburst street and singing my heart out…”U2’S NEXT CD WILL BE THEIR MOST IMPORTANT!” Why? I’m glad you asked.
First & foremost, I’m an Achtung Baby guy. From top to bottom, side to side and every which way but loose, it’s their best work, but it wasn’t their most important. GASP!!! Judas!!!! Fire this punk’s ass, right now! Sit back down, relax and breathe. Now, before all you U2 loyalists hit me with the “They had to go away and dream it all up again” bula bula or the “Four guys chopping down the Joshua Tree” rigmarole, let me point out the obvious, U2 were very relevant back in 1991. AB would have received critical acclaim if it were their 1st, 2nd or 40th CD, it was that good, but it wasn’t vital to their existence or relevance at the time. The Joshua Tree was so popular and so masterful, that if AB had flopped, U2 would have received a pass and they would have rebounded with Zooropa. Rattle & Hum was a mere hiccup, hardly a major hit to their relevance. The same can be said about U2 recovering from Pop. All That You Can’t Leave Behind reclaimed U2’s top spot as the biggest band in the world….but times have changed, and U2 and their fan base are now entering uncharted waters with music’s version of Sharknado circling, waiting to see blood roll in with Every Breaking Wave.
Say what you want about NLOTH, it failed, plain and simple. Yes, U2 fanatics were going to buy it, just like they will buy the next one, but you’re not the demographic U2 is still looking for. NLOTH failed to create any radio hits or connect with a live audience – that’s why U2 bailed on most of it midway through the 360 tour. It also failed to deliver a measurable new audience to the band’s already huge fan base. Hence, my belief that this next CD will be their most important. As great as U2 have been, they cannot recover from two flops back to back. It’s not like they’re soccer players that are used to flopping. Interestingly enough, U2 did something never done before in music history. U2 is the only group to return off the biggest tour in musical history less relevant than when they began the tour. Mainly due to the commercial failure of NLOTH. U2 does not care about highest grossing tours or money. Been there, done that. They care about being relevant and that means radio.
The landscape of music has changed dramatically since 1991. Their new CD will not sell millions, due to the internet, illegal downloading, and the ability to buy songs individually, but there are other ways of creating a connection to a new, younger audience, and keeping U2 relevant in today’s music market. Radio hits. U2 NEEDS to create songs that translate well to the radio, not just the AM stations that play Glenn Miller either. From high school rooftops to bingo parlors in nursing home basements, U2’s life needs to be fragrant, that means radio. If there is anyone that can write lyrics that U2’s core audience can relate to and be hip enough for a young audience to enjoy, it’s Bono. Think of it as Scriptures meet Skechers, or psalms meet pompoms. Not only is the sweetest melody the one we haven’t heard yet, it’s also the most important. The “What have you done for me lately,” five year wait will be long forgotten if U2 brings a rocking new CD that reaches both the younger and older audience. If U2 produces another flop, they will long be remembered as the group that started as a Boy and ended up as frail old over the one tree hill men.
This is why their next CD will be their most important!
Let the comment carnage begin.
"U2's Most Important Move...EVER!",