U2, Songs of Innocence: My Review

I’m always up for something free, and if that is a piece of music, then I’ll give it a fair listen too. So when Apple ‘gave’ me the latest U2 album, Songs Of Innocence, I thought I would give it a go.

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With the launch of iOS 8 and the iPhone 6/6 Plus, Apple offered every iTunes account holder a free copy of the new U2 album Songs Of Innocence. In fact, there was a small uproar on the Net because Apple forced it to everyone – even if you didn’t want it, it just appeared in your iTunes.

Me, I am up for trying anything that’s free. My main musical taste is dance and hip hop with Chicane, The Prodigy, Utah Saints, Dizzee Rascal, Cypress Hill, Eminem, and Jay Z being my top listened to.

I have a relaxed side with Ed Sheeran, Frank Sinatra, and Caravan Palace, but I do also have a rock interest with the likes of Nirvana, Green Day, Limp Bizkit, and Dire Straits.

I have to admit I have never been a U2 fan. I like my music on the edge (no pun intended) of a genre and found U2 on the pop side of rock. But I decided to give the new free album a fair listen. O over the past few weeks I have been been playing it. Here is a breakdown on my thoughts of each track.

1. The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)

This has to be my favourite track from the album, which might be purely because I heard it more times, as it was featured on the recent Apple adverts. It is a very catchy track with a great rift, reminding me of ‘Vertigo’ from a few years back.

2. Every Breaking Wave

A much mellower track reminiscent of songs from the The Joshua Tree album. This track is a grower.

3. California (There Is No End to Love)

Faster paced. An okay track, but nothing realy stands out, and I am not keen on the vocals. Quite a generic U2 sound.

4. Song for Someone

A chill out track. This has to be my least favourite track on the album. It is far too slow and at times it feels like the lyrics are out of sync with the music. I’m not into relaxing rock.

5. Iris (Hold Me Close)

This took a long while to get going – and then didn’t really go anywhere. I expected more from this track. An average track with quite an annoying chorus.

6. Volcano

A darker track, loving the intro and chorus. The vocals seem to have a vocoder effect on them. This is my second favourite from the album.

7. Raised by Wolves

Lovely build up leading to a catchy chorus. A great track with almost rapping lyrics – I could almost see Jay Z adding his skills to this.

8. Cedarwood Road

It started off a very heavy track with a Led Zeppellin sound to it, but descended in to a mellower sound. I do like the composition of it. It doesn’t sound like a regular U2 track and has grown on me a little.

9. Sleep Like a Baby Tonight

Lovely electro sound mixing a Goldfrapp/La Roux sound with a rock edge – although it is spoilt by the high pitch vocals. I am liking this track a lot – but that must be my electronic side creeping in.

10. This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now

Another generic U2 sounding track with a slight ska sound to it. By this point the novelty of a free album was wearing very thin.

11. The Troubles

A wind down track with some female vocals from Lykke Li, which is a nice change from hearing Bono. A first I didn’t like it, but after a few listens its seems a nice end to the album.

Conclusion

Anyone who gives an entire album away for free should be commended, whether you like their music or not. For me, the U2 sound is something I can leave. They make some catchy tracks, but in general it’s not really my taste.

If you are a fan of U2 I am sure you will be pleased. When it comes to trimming music from my phone I will probably keep ‘The Miracle’, ‘Volcano’, ‘Raised by Wolves’, and ‘Sleep Like a Baby Tonight’, but the rest will go.

Take a listen and see what you think.


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