Unpopular Opinion: U2’s ‘Songs of Innocence’

Whenever anyone brings up U2 around college kids, their reaction is almost always the same: annoyance, disinterest and plenty of eye rolls.

U2 // PC: NPR

Young people typically don’t like U2 simply because they made their album, Songs of Innocence, download onto everyone’s iTunes library.

Three years after that incident, everyone (including Bono) understands that doing that was a mistake. However, that should not discredit U2’s talent and decades of musical influence.

Not only are there hits on Songs of Innocence, I mean come on, “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)” is fantastic, but the band has written classic anthems and seemingly endless rock bangers since the ‘80s.

When someone feels the need to mention the Songs of Innocence incident, it shows me that they’re just trying to add to a conversation they know nothing about.

If all I knew about Kanye West was the beef with Taylor Swift, would I really be able to call myself educated about him?

Since I was brought up listening to U2, I was unaware of how many young people dislike them.

U2’s reliable fan base is generally made up of older people who experienced their greatest albums as they were released. U2 has made many musically impressive albums that younger people probably do not listen to, simply because the one time they remember an album release, it infiltrated their iTunes library.

To readers who may only know a select few U2 songs, I suggest listening to The Unforgettable Fire and The Joshua Tree to truly understand why people love and respect U2 so much.

There should be no doubt that Bono is a talented lyricist, musician and activist. Though many people think he is too preachy and political, I believe that his message is essential.

U2’s The Joshua Tree

Fans can expect Bono to talk politics at every concert, and there is something to be said for an artist who uses their platform to promote change and growth.

Bono isn’t someone who is all talk, either. He co-founded the One Foundation to combat extreme poverty and continues to be active politically.

Bono’s goal is to spread love around the world and fight against the systems that create inequality and poverty. It bothers me that many people find this abrasive, because ultimately they are fighting against the idea that everyone deserves to have a good life.

I’ve talked to many people who love classic rock, but usually when someone tells me they listen to classic rock, they don’t mean U2.

Now is the perfect time to listen to U2 because they are releasing their next album, Songs of Experience, this December. I also encourage you to become more musically informed about their monumental albums while you still have the chance to see them live!

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