There are a couple of differences. For one thing, U2 have somehow been a major influence on basically every pseudo-alternative or pseudo-indie rock band of the past 15 years. And by influence, I mean way too many bands just straight up want to be U2. It's a really specific reason for a band to start sucking - "They suddenly decided they wanted to be U2" - but it happens disturbingly often.
And secondly, while most 60's/70's bands have pretty much been able to ride their nostalgia wave for pretty much all eternity so long as they keep doing what they do best, apparently U2 have started sucking again starting with No Line. I wouldn't know, since, again, I haven't heard them, but that seems to be the general assessment.
I don't like U2. I kind of feel the same way about U2 as John does about Rush (who I have a sort of dorky/guilty pleasure crush on). I like several of their songs and albums, but my disposition towards the band in general is always negative. I'm looking forward to John's reviews of them precisely because of how polarizing they are as a band. I'm honestly not 100% sure how John will feel about them, and it'll be interesting to find out.
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