Songs of Innocence (and why everyone should quit hating on U2)

Published Friday, 31 July 2015

If you were given Songs of Innocence for free by iTunes when the album launched, then congratulations, you got a free gift! Didn't your parents teach you to be grateful for gifts you receive, even when it's an itchy, sweaty jumper knitted by your nan?

People keep hating on Songs of Innocence, U2 and Apple for this fiasco, and from my front row seat, it's clear that Tim Cook's overzealousness with this album was a contributing factor to this mess, and once again the people of the internet amassed into an angry pitchfork-wielding mob to go and lynch anyone they could blame for this.

An analogy for this reported by one of the lesser news outlets was that this was like Apple leaving you a wrapped present in your living room for you. Creepy, right?

Wrong.

A better analogy for this is that your boss has bought you a present and left it, wrapped, on your desk for you to find when you log in to iTunes. Remember that your iTunes library is owned by Apple, and that they have the right to modify it as they please (you did read the 47 pages of terms and conditions, didn't you?). They haven't violated your rights, your privacy, your country's sovereignty or the laws of physics or thermodynamics. They've just gotten a goodwill move wrong.

And in some cases, they haven't done anything wrong at all. There are still a few of us who looked forward to this album, people who are fans of U2, people who have listened to and still listen to their albums. You wouldn't turn down a free beer, especially when it's your favourite beer, so why would I turn down an album from a band I enjoy?

Especially when the album is a work of creative talent. Stop hating on Songs of Innocence. Be grateful for that sweaty jumper your nan knitted for you and keep it in the cupboard for a rainy day.