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Review | Songs of Experience by U2

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Author: Noémi / Date: 04/12/2017 / Tags: Album Review
Review | Songs of Experience by U2
© 2017 Interscope Records. All rights reserved

Artist: U2

Genre: rock, alternative rock

Discography

Studio albums: Boy (1980), October (1981), War (1983), Under a Blood Red Sky (1983), The Unforgettable Fire (1984), Wide Awake in America (EP) (1985), The Joshua Tree (1987), Rattle and Hum (1988), Achtung Baby (1991), Zooropa (1993), Original Soundtracks No. 1 (Passengers) (1995), Pop (1997), All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000), How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004), No Line on the Horizon (2009), Wide Awake in Europe (EP) (2010), Songs of Innocence (2014), and Songs of Experience (2017)

Live albums: Under a Blood Red Sky (1983)

Compilation albums: The Best of 1980-1990 (1998), The Best of 1990-2000 (2002), U218 Singles (2006)

“Music can change the world because it can change people.”

– Bono

Songs of Experience represents more than just a back-to-basics, it’s one of the most honest album U2 has released in years.

Welcome back U2. We’ve missed you. This album could reasonably be called their peak of the decade. U2 has been the world’s greatest band for so long that, over the last 20+ years, they haven’t had to worry about their success. Since the late ‘90s, they’ve been releasing somewhat forgettable records, all while touring the world.

This time around, aging has brought them depth and texture to their music. Yes, there are a few minor flaws (read: dull xx-like guitar interludes and one too many mainstream pop choruses) but their ability to invest themselves in their sound with purpose and meaning makes it easy to overlook the maladroit touches.

Radio-friendly + heartfelt delivery + memorable choruses

Songs of Experience shimmers with Bono's solid vocal range. The album's concept is a contemporary take on maturity, politics, and universalisms which are highlighted through uplifting anthems (see songs: “Get Out of Your Own Way” and “American Soul”.)

More heaviness, more jamming, more energy

The band’s 14th album offers its audience elements of stellar, unencumbered contemporary sounds that are well balanced throughout all 13 songs.

  • “Love is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way”: a restless mix of beauty and love
  • “13 (There Is A Light)”: a heartfelt apology to Bono’s wife, Ali Hewson

“The problem with rock now is that it’s trying to be cool.” – Bono

U2 is committed to uplift and empower, not to be cool. All in all, you can focus on the grooves, the AC/DC-ish riffs, the collective playing or analyze Bono's punchy lyrics. His inspirational and broad vision remains the same in Songs of Experience, making it a warm hug of an album.

The ones you need to give a listen

  • “Lights of Home”: eclectic blend of emotions + Bono’s gorgeous vocals
  • “American Soul”: pure rock 'n' roll
  • “The Little Things That Give You Away”: classic U2 riffs + intense momentum
  • “Get Out Of Your Own Way”: hypnotic bassline and gospelized anthems

Feel like a little trip down memory lane? Stingray Music’s got all the U2 you’re looking for.

Rock Out 

Alt for Everyone 

Rock 

Stadium Songs 

Alternative Nostalgia