Oh, yeah, just reviewing my "highly recommended" list of music (see previous post), I thought, "Not for everyone." And maybe that's the essence of my negative reaction to the U2 thing. Bono and company want to be everyone's favorite rock stars. They magically appear in everyone's iTunes library and declare "Love me!"
And U2 makes music that does work really well in huge stadiums with masses of people all swaying and singing along. And they are one of the best bands at doing that kind of massive presentation. And they aren't afraid to do a huge mass marketing push, that's all part of their mass appeal and approach. That's the way modern music behemoths do it. They overwhelm you and almost demand you jump on the bandwagon.
And it has nothing to do with whether the music is good or not. I mean, really, we can assume the music is good, it's not offensive, or too edgy, or quirky, or too particular, or too strange, or too weird, or too personal. Even when Bono writes a personal, heartfelt song, (and he is good at the kind of thing), it will be delivered in a very smooth, professional, slick and well produced way.
My list of alternative picks is made of records not for everyone. They are a little off-beat, maybe even weird, certainly kind of quirky, very particular, very personal, not trendy, and there is no massive marketing muscle behind them. You have to seek them out. They aren't gonna find you, they aren't gonna demand that you jump on the bandwagon. There isn't a bandwagon.
Those choices, well, they are about the music first and last. And the music is extraordinary, but also it's music that probably wouldn't really work in a big stadium full of people. And not everyone is gonna like them - that's a feature, not a flaw. And that's a good thing. A really, really good thing...
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