U2 – The Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree

U2The Joshua Tree Island U2 6 (1987)

I suppose it’s all the rage to trash this, but I would have to be a real dick to do that.  It is so popular and well known that it is just too easy to take pot shots at.  The thing is, it’s great and most bands would be lucky to ever make an album half this good.  Music geeks: get over the fact that this appeals to more people than the cult/underground/indie crap you love.  Its wide appeal makes it no less valid.  U2’s music really only works when they focus on the winsome romanticism that propels most of this album.  When they try to sound like “legendary rockers”,  the “newest reinvention of rock”, a copy of any number of post-punk groups, or some other appropriation, which sorry to say is most of the time, they sound positively contrived and annoying, with emphasis on the annoying part (uh, Bono, looking in your direction).  I can’t say this is a particular favorite of mine, but it’s a classic nonetheless.