Friday, July 23

Et tu, going downhill

A recent comment on Regit's blog made me dig up some nostalgic memories in the sounds of U2. As a band, they had a lot going for them with me, not least being their Irish roots (always been partial to Irish bands, dunno why). Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby are their most celebrated albums in my view, spawning very listenable and memorable tracks; but even their slightly less brilliant efforts such as Zooroopa and War are well capable of standing on their own. In my case, it's mood music, not for all times, nor for all situations; but something to revisit from time to time. Always tucked away in the dusty recesses of whichever corner I happen to keep my CDs in this month.

But why am I going to rant ? Because the recent years have seen them slide slowly into oblivion and the sods just don't have the decency to sink without a fuss. When did they jump the shark ? Was it their continual chase of movie soundtrack titles ? Was it Bono and his other interests and activities ? I don't know. But I was blissfully unaware of their forthcoming album until a furore erupted about its leaking onto the net. And now, painfully, I am forced to come to terms with U2 as they are today. Maybe this new album is good shit and will bring back the faithful. Maybe. Achtung managed that once. But there are lots of things about the circumstances of this purported theft which scream "marketing gimmick" to me. Colour me cynical.

And now, a difficult choice. Do I look for this album online ? Do I sample before I enrich one of the record labels with my cash ? and reluctantly, yet firmly, my answer must be no. It's a sad testament to how far they've fallen in my esteem that I value my (admittedly scarce) bandwidth higher than a listen to the goods and a possible buy. But hell, what do I know ? I'm just a 20-something stuck in a early 90s techno timewarp. Hardly your run of the mill music critic here.


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