For three and a half decades, U2 has created a remarkable string of pop hits and best-selling albums, reinventing themselves more than once and trying new things again and again. But, perhaps inevitably for a band so big, they have come to seem out of touch: They appear to have sincerely believed that digitally injecting their new album into every iTunes in the world would be a welcome gift from a benevolent group of artists, rather than a creepy reminder that we’ve largely ceded control of our personal devices to the whims of corporate synergy.
The embodiment of all this, of course, is Bono, who has done genuinely good work in the world and yet whose self-appointed role as the world’s rock ’n’ roll messiah can seem, well, a bit much—never more so than when he is striking one of his favorite poses. You know the one: hands out as though on a cross, the singer, who loves grand gestures and has wrestled for years with his Christian faith, presents himself to be … sacrificed, I guess?
It’s an awkward (albeit fairly popular) visual, but one I can’t totally begrudge him: He and his bandmates from working-class Dublin really want to give back to their fans and to the world, if you ask me. So here’s to 34 years of Bono’s Jesus poses.