Mostly, I think that often a song just doesnt resonate with me, more than strongly disliking it for any other reason. Or I dont like the music. Like Mofo--I dont care what the words are, the music just irritates me.
Hey MarsGirl! Good thoughts. I wanted to pick this one part and say something. It hit me when you said the music in Mofo just irritates you. I totally concur! Believe me, I'm all for experimentation and stretching musically, but maybe the biggest reason I don't enjoy Mofo is because it's like an anti-melody work, and for me U2's biggest strength across the board are their musical and vocal melodies. For me, I think that's why Mofo seems like a non-U2 song, devoid of that element.
I agree. The songs that resonate best with me are the ones that are complex, making me feel like I'm floating away in a river of sound... I love songs like Breathe and Drowning Man which make use of non-traditional rock instruments (cello, violins). I like to focus on one instrument and listen to how it adds to the overall song. I like to hear things with "multiple ears." If the song is good enough, I can pick out every instrument, yet also hear how it fits into the whole. Music that makes me want to move (Crazy Tonight) or inspires me to sing even though I have a lousy voice (Breathe, Drowning Man, With a Shout) is the music I love the most.
I like REM but I have trouble listening to a whole record because the melodies are often kind of strange, rubbing me the wrong way in the same way Mofo does... like the music isnt whole with itself or something.
And, lastly, as a person with an English degree, lyrics are highly important to me. I love the study of words. So a great song is one with both great words (words that move me) AND great music to follow. I don't love the song as much if one or the other element is missing. I can love a song for its sound alone, but what makes my favorite is the one that has both the music and the lyrics that move me.