Sunday, September 21, 2008


I'm listening to The Ongoing History of New Music, and Alan Cross is playing a live version of the song "Elevation" by U2.

I'm going to go on the record here to say that, by and large, I don't enjoy the vast majority of U2's music. I like their early stuff, and there are a couple of tracks from Achtung Baby that I enjoy, but most of their stuff from then and beyond is completely overplayed. For the past decade and a half, though, it seems like they're more interested in bludgeoning three power-chords to death while Bono screams.

The same affliction has followed Sloan since about 1999 (Navy Blues and beyond). Their latest song, "Believe In Me", is a little better... but do you remember "People of the Sky", "Penpals", "The Lines You Amend", or anything One Chord To Another and before? They were quieter, smarter and nimbler; they weren't so obviously trying to be ultra-cool rawkstars, spending more time posing with hair artfully tousled than writing interesting-sounding music.

Perhaps the most obvious example of this hamfistedness — dull, simple, loud, stupid music — is the likes of Nickelback, who have mercifully faded from their perplexingly chart-topping ways. To be honest, I don't know what kind of rock is being prominently played on radio stations like The Edge these days; every time I flip my radio to that, there are tight-harmonizing, minor-keyed, woe-is-me wailings from some gelled-up fops from a nondescript city like Columbus, Ohio complaining about how much their life has sucked. Am I to believe the likes of Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance dominate "rock" in 2008? Please tell me this isn't true.

In the meantime, I'll just keep listening to Dylan.

No comments: