U2’s Forgettable Fire or How to become a pop heretic in just one easy blog post

I don’t like U2. Truth be told, I never really have. Maybe it’s because I spent far too much time living in Utah, where I’ve discovered that it must be an FCC regulation that a U2 song must be playing at all times, on at least one station. Maybe it’s because Zooropa really left a bad taste in my mouth. I’m not sure. I just know I really don’t think U2 is that good.

One thing I do know, though, is that U2 has been riding Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby for over 20 years, and every time you hear a U2 song on the radio made after those albums, it’s only because:
It’s U2–and they’re supposed to be best band in the world. They wrote a hand full of hit songs in the 80s and 90s
Call them the best branded rock band since the Beatles. But I digress…

I finally have proof that U2 has been riding its own shirt tails. Forget Discoteque. Forget that Batman Soundtrack Song. Their latest “hit single” is bad. As in “those annoying Yoplait Yogurt girls sitting around talking about how good the yogurt is” BAD.

I’m sure you’ve heard “Magnificent” off their latest album. Radio stations, if you still believe in them, have probably been force-feeding it to you. I haven’t listened to any of the rest of their latest album, and thankfully, I don’t have to. If the hit single is this bad, there’s no sense in listening to the rest. Magnificent is like U2 Unforgettable Fire-Lite. Take all the usual U2 style (the Bono wail, the echoing guitars), and then make it boring. No, make it elevator music. And you’ve got Magnificent. There’s nothing good about this music–it’s rehashed and photocopied, but using a copier that’s on its last leg and running out of ink.

Now, I know this is harsh…and I know that there will be plenty who will call me a heretic (what, insult the gods of the pop pantheon?!). At least by Itunes, it’s off the chart in popularity…

But then again, maybe I’m being too harsh on Bono and the guys. I mean, they HAVE been around a while, and most bands ride their own shirt tails after a good music run. REM lost it when they released Monster, and then somewhere a long the line, we had to endure a nauseating trip to Reno to become a Star. Coldplay just did it with that Ipod song album (yes, I know the title, but I prefer to refer to it in the same way we all refer to that Harry Potter nemesis). Either way, I think it’s time to admit it – U2 is done, or at least, should have been, a long time ago.

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Viva La Vida OR an Ipod Song and all his friends

Cold PlayJust got the new Coldplay CD. You know, I never thought that Cold Play could do better than the 04 classic – Rush of Blood to the Head…and after I got this new CD, I’m convinced…I’m still right. Even their last release, which was catchy and fun, but was too formulaic for me. This one, though, pales in comparison to even the popsy-put-together that was X&Y.

Viva La Vida isn’t only substandard, it’s like they wrote a cool song for the current Ipod commercial and then said, “Hey, let’s lay down a bunch of tracks we’ve been putting off for a few years and get some run while the commercial is hot.” Really, it’s 9 songs (the first song is a musical intro) and none of them are really noteworthy. In fact, it makes sense that this one was released on Itunes first…they’re trying to save people money on the purchase…get the whole CD for 8.99 (you can skip the first track)…it’s better than buying it for 15+ at the store.

I have to say, I think Coldplay is one of the cutting edge Indie Bands…they’ve built their sound into something mainstream, but haven’t really left it. This one, though, just doesn’t cut it.

Amazon Sucks

Weeks ago, I pre-ordered the new Death Cab for Cutie CD “Narrow Stairs” through Amazon so I could review it early on this site. Trying to get the free shipping, I also pre-ordered Cold Play’s Viva la Vida and the next book in the Stephenie Meyer “Twilight” series, Breaking Dawn. In spite of all my efforts to the contrary, Amazon is intent on sending me everything when the Meyer book comes out (in August).

So, rather than getting a nice review of Ben Gibbard’s new stuff…I get to review Amazon’s service for pre-ordering. So here you go:

It Sucks.

Yes, you can quote me. Even though I specifically requested the contrary, they did what was best for them, and went ahead and labeled my purchases to be shipped all together. So there you have it. If you want to pre-order something, AND you were hoping to get it before the rest of the Western Hemisphere got it so that you’d have at least the jump on a few people for a review…don’t go through Amazon.