Why don’t I like U2? Because Bono is a dick? Well, maybe, but why is he a dick? What particular quality of theirs is it that stops their rockin’ monumentalism working for me? I think it’s this: rather than just be about bigness in a Springsteen or Steinman fashion U2 want to be a lens, focussing the tiny (you) through the big (them) so as to reach the EVEN BIGGER (what they’re singing about). Their massiveness wants to reference or appeal to an even vaster idea, usually metaphysical – they’re an almost literal ‘sonic cathedral’. The probem is that the Big Things they’re trying to lens lyrically or musically – God or The Evil Of The World or Blackness or even The (Post)Modern Condition – are just too huge for them to say anything useful about, maybe for anyone to say anything useful about in a rock context. U2 aren’t big for bigness’ sakes, content always seems terribly important to them – so much so that I simply can’t let it go and enjoy the shimmery noises or the hooks, I’m always painfully aware of what they’re Saying. Fighting is bad! BB King is good! What a confusing place the world is! They’re no more trite than most other rock bands, they’re just so LOUD about it.