Compact Review: U2’s Songs of Innocence

 

Songs of Innocence

U2 – Songs of Innocence
Rating: 68/100
Released: September 9, 2014

While Songs of Innocence doesn’t fair well when compared against the band’s most revered works (namely Achtung Baby and The Joshua Tree), there is something respectable about a band releasing solid material after over 30 years of working together. After 13 albums, they’ve pretty much figured out what U2 sounds like and didn’t opt to deviate much from the formula that has propelled them to be “the Biggest Band in the World” on a few separate occasions.

The songwriting is often centered around reflections of ‘firsts’ in the collective memory of the band. The opening track “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)” references the experience of seeing the Ramones for the first time; “California (There Is No End to Love)” tells of their first visit to California. Its a personal, relatively introverted record and that is decidedly a first for a band that built a career around only the most grand scale of sounds and emotions. Occasionally the album hints at new ideas like the dark synth bounce of “Sleep Like a Baby Tonight” and the fuzzy new crunch The Edge has applied to his usually sleek guitar riffs on “The Miracle” and “Cedarwood Road” but ultimately its a U2 album that sounds like a lot of other U2 albums.

If you are fan of the band, you can probably find something to like about the album but I wouldn’t expect Songs of Innocence to recruit a new fan base despite its unparalleled delivery method though stranger things have happened. At the end of the day, who am I to complain about a free album from a great band?

Top Tracks: “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)”, “Sleep Like a Baby Tonight”, “This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now”

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