U2’s 13th studio album, which the band have dubbed a “kind of musical
autobiography” was released as a free digital download to iTunes
customers on Tuesday night to coincide with Apple’s launch of a new
iPhone and iWatch and, much as that corporate tie-in sticks in the
craw from a band born out of the punk scene, it’s a good record.
The band have reinvented themselves several times over their 34-year
career and although several tracks here could easily slip onto early
albums, it would be unjust to condemn Bono and co for failing to
reinvent the wheel yet again.
The album’s two bookends stand out on first listen, with The Miracle
(of Joey Ramone) opening the record in scuzzy, glam rock style and
the genuinely moving closer The Troubles arguably providing Songs of
Innocence with its high water mark.
In between, they dabble with Zooropa-style electronica, pumping dance
rock and Killers-esque glitzy rock ‘n’ roll and even when it feels a
little bit painting by numbers, they’re still U2 and nobody does it
Like this? Try these: The Killers, Hot Fuss; Arcade Fire, The Suburbs
By Andrew Greenhalgh