Showing posts with label u2. Show all posts
Showing posts with label u2. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - may 6, 2017 (VIDEO)

Man, I'm really proud of this episode. Long one, but a damn great one.

Next up, though... finally getting to Jason Eady, and I'm psyched - stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - may 6, 2017

There will be people who won't appreciate what this week means. Hell, I'd put money on the fact that there are plenty of people who have no idea who Kendrick Lamar even is - which yeah, if you've been listening to hip-hop at all in the past decade that'll blow your mind, but a mainstream crossover at this level does mean a lot more. Yeah, there have been plenty of acts who have scored a fluke #1 hit, even within hip-hop - but when was the last time an MC with actual bars snagged the top spot? Here's a little perspective: Biggie got there, but Tupac didn't. Neither did Nas. Jay-Z needed Alicia Keys to get to #1 in 2009. Eminem and Kanye both got there a few times, but they are both pop culture phenomenons in their own right. Lil Wayne never got there on his own - nor has Nicki Minaj or Drake. With Kendrick getting the solo #1... that sort of hit can create a sea change in pop culture, especially if it has any longevity.

Monday, September 22, 2014

video review: 'songs of innocence' by u2

I went into this hoping this was going to be good or that U2 was actually going back to their roots. Wishful thinking, I know, but man, still a disappointment.

Okay, I need to talk about some country and clear my head, so probably Tim McGraw next. Stay tuned!

album review: 'songs of innocence' by u2

On September 9th of this year, Apple unveiled its newest tech lineup, which included the newest iterations of the iPhone and the Apple Watch, the latest tech gimmick to try to replace the common wristwatch and will likely fall into the same fate unless Apple fetishists embrace it. But that wasn't the only thing revealed at that press conference - because rock band U2 announced that their newest album Songs Of Innocence would be arriving in your iTunes that very day for free should you choose to pull it off the iCloud.

And consumers revolted. Suddenly the big story was the backlash leveled against U2 for not only allying with Apple - which they've done extensively in the past - but that U2 had suddenly injected their newest album into everyone's iTunes library whether they wanted it or not. And the response was emphatic: people did not want this album, to the point where Apple released a tool specifically designed for iTunes users to get rid of the album instead of just waiting for the iCloud download window to expire. And honestly, I was a little shocked by this reaction - I mean, it's free music from one of the biggest rock bands on earth who hadn't dropped an album in five years, why the backlash?

Well, I suspect part of it is that people tend to be protective of what they put in their iTunes libraries, but the larger truth is that many people tend to have complicated feelings regarding U2. They started as one of the most potent and explosive mainstream rock acts of the 80s, known for earnest, explosive power, sweeping scope, and socially-minded lyrics... until Rattle & Hum exposed the mind-boggling pretentiousness and swaggering rock arrogance beneath it that made the band come across as more than a little preachy. Without warning, the band pulled a 180 and went straight for the self-aware shields of irony with Achtung Baby, throwing earnestness aside for a highly artificial image of cool that paid diminishing returns as the 90s wore on and U2 drifted more towards electronic music. This experimentation eventually ended in the flashy and intentionally empty-feeling record Pop, the mixed reception of which pushed U2 back towards the earnest, politically-minded anthems that made their fortune in the 80s. Unfortunately, the shift took a while to stick, mostly because the instrumentation lacked visceral punch and Bono's lyrics had taken a turn for the self-indulgent. And while they would fix some of the former - it was plainly apparent U2 was never going back towards the explosive power of War any time soon, which would probably be my favourite U2 album after The Joshua Tree - the lyrics remained spotty across 2004's How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb and 2009's even more scattershot No Line On The Horizon. And considering the opening buzz for this album was that it was going to be produced by Ryan Tedder, Paul Epworth, and Brian Burton aka Danger Mouse, the last whose work has taken something of a downturn this year on the new albums from Broken Bells and The Black Keys, I wasn't really looking forward to this album. But hey, it's U2, one of the greatest rock acts of all time, surely they could pull something together, right?