Hey U2 Fans, It’s No Longer 1991!

I am declaring that music is no longer subjective!  That’s right, Matial Law has been declared. Curfews are in effect. I am the John Lithgow to your Kevin Bacon’s Footloose.  When The Edge said, “If you don’t like U2 music, you’re not trying hard enough,” he was addressing the haters. I’m talking to the fans who haven’t yet bought into SOI hook, line and sinker.  YOU’RE NOT TRYING HARD ENOUGH!

Here’s what I’ve heard thus far over the past three weeks:  No hit single. Too radio friendly. Not experimental enough. Too much bass, not enough bass, just the right amount of bass. And my personal favorite, it’s brilliant, not Achtung Baby brilliant, but nevertheless brilliant. Throw a rock in the air and you’ll hit someone with an excuse to why some have had at best a lukewarm reception to Songs of Innocence. My question is…”Are you on drugs?”

Peel away the experimentation, the wrap around glasses, the Lemon, 360, MacPhisto and schtick, what are you left with? Songs of Innocence, that’s what. Why some fans need all the smoke and mirrors to help put Songs of Innocence into the win column for them completely amazes me.

Bono said it best a few weeks back in one of his interviews,

20105088“Why is it not like Zoo Station? Why is it not like Zooropa? It is not an experimental album. It is easy for me to blow your mind sonically. We can play with the desk and set off fireworks – U2 can do that all day. But this is about songs, which is a much more difficult thing to pull off…the production is not what we were about here. We were about getting out of the way of the songs.”


I noticed that after the first play! What are the rest of you listening to? This CD says to me that we are getting down to the nuts and bolts of U2 without needing a toolbox full of wrenches, crowbars and hammers to chip away at the glitz just to get to the songs. Hasn’t U2 always been about just that, the songs?

Another item Bono mentioned in the Fanning interview was:

“I can blow your mind sonically, that’s what we do for breakfast.  This is about songs.  Who can write songs like this?  There’s probably only four people who can write songs like this and I know all of them.”

You tell ’em Mr. Swag.  Sure AB, has more power chords and songs that rock, but I’m sorry my AB friends, SOI is better lyrically.  Millions of rock groups have made a career with power chords and no lyrics (Poison, White Snake, Winger, etc) but that’s not good enough for U2.  U2 needs more and so do their fans and SOI delivers like no other.

Being a teacher for 22 years now, I find myself always having conversations with new teachers about the use of technology. Take away the iPads, computers, Mac Books, apps and every other new gadget and what you are left with is the teacher. Many teachers hide behind technology and then are quick to blame the failed implementation of their lesson plan on technology. I have seen two decades worth of both great and not so great teaching, and the great teachers can teach a lesson wearing a strait jacket, using only one piece of chalk. They don’t need gadgets, technology or smoke and mirrors, and neither does U2.

U2-Achtung-BabyClose your eyes and see what you’re missing here. Open up your heart and soul and feel what you’re missing here. SOI is ATYCLB on steroids.  I’m not saying that any other CD cannot be your favorite, but substantiate why it’s your favorite (or not) with fact and reason.  To dismiss it outright for what it is not instead of what it is makes no sense to me.

Case in point, I had a long conversation with a fellow U2 fan who loves Achtung Baby. He thinks SOI is brilliant, but not better than AB. So I asked him, “What if the two unreleased songs that will be on the physical copy, “Crystal Ballroom” and “Lucifer’s Hands” are absolute gems….better than “Streets”, would that make SOI better than AB?” His answer was “No.” He said that he wasn’t ready to give up AB as his favorite. Makes sense????? Talk about being stuck in a 1991 moment that you can’t get out of.

People, if you want to live in the past with your Pop experimentation or your Zoo TV or your Lemons, Boom Cha’s and 1991 AB, have fun. Those of you who want to join me for the best U2 has offered, throw SOI on, sit back and enjoy. Granted, they’ll be no sleight of hand or twist of fate or Lemon to distract you, just some of the best soul pounding lyrics and rock & roll you’ll ever hear.

The following two tabs change content below.


An avid U2 fan, who doesn't take our group too seriously. Sixth grade teacher, married and have an 8 year old boy who is also a huge fan...he didn't have a choice.

Latest posts by joepit (see all)

Leave a Reply