Rock critic Robert Hilburn at the LA Times answers questions, and this week there’s one about U2:
Q: It seems that U2 has garnered your attention on a lot of responses. What makes them so good in your opinion? Is it the fact that they have endured, be it evolved into a political statement for the poor of the world, or is it that they have returned to what they know best–music as a blues-based medium?
A: “I am a huge fan of U2. I think they are one of the half dozen great rock bands ever, a group that would have battled the Beatles for chart position and creative acclaim if they would have been around then. I find the music itself frequently inspiring, with the Edge’s guitar-playing leading us on truly wondrous sonic journeys. Plus, they have something to say in their music that is uplifting, yet reflects life’s struggles. The band has also amassed a strong body of work, has had the courage to change its style and direction from time to time, and is great live. In other words, I think U2 ranks high on any measurement. I’m also a big fan of REM, though I don’t find the music quite as revealing or as finely crafted.”