An article posted Sunday at Salon.com examines why the biggest band of the modern rock era has become such a lightning rod for criticism.
Titled Leave U2 Alone: Why Did One of Our Best Rock Bands Become So Loathed?, the piece lays out some reasons why the group seems to be surrounded by a “thicket of negativity.”
Writer Annie Zaleski contends that “once musicians reach a certain level of fame, it’s open season on everything from their background to their intentions to their (perceived) overexposure.”
Their hugeness leads to them seeming “out-of-reach and untouchable,” which in turn makes them “particularly vulnerable to scrutiny.” She points out how Bono, in particular, can come across as both arrogant as with his defense of the band’s forced download of Songs of Innocence on iTunes and humble, as when he self-deprecatingly described his recent bicycle accident.
She concludes that while U2 are very serious about their “music, politics and charity,” they “often aren’t taking themselves very seriously.” That, she says, is what has helped them survive as long as they have, and may enable them to get past what seems like a never-ending stream of hostility.