Author Topic: New U2 album SONGS OF INNOCENCE  (Read 39139 times)

morgan1098

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New U2 album SONGS OF INNOCENCE
« on: September 09, 2014, 03:19:51 PM »
So that just happened. U2's new album available NOW, totally free worldwide through iTunes. Unbelievable. Apple might not be able to keep celebrity selfies private, but they did a pretty dang good job of keeping this a secret.  :)

A few notes:
*New version of "Every Breaking Wave" is on the album.
*Invisible and Ordinary Love are NOT on the album.
*Production, on various tracks, by Declan Gaffney, Flood, Paul Epworth, Ryan Tedder, Danger Mouse
*iTunes exclusive through mid-October, at which point I'm guessing we'll see a CD and vinyl release, and probably with different artwork.

Here's a track-by-track rundown from Rolling Stone. My head is still spinning. I just can't believe this!

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/u2-songs-of-innocence-surprise-album-guide-20140909

morgan1098

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Re: New U2 album SONGS OF INNOCENCE
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2014, 03:27:06 PM »
From U2.com:

On October 13th the physical release of Songs of Innocence comes with a 24-page booklet. A deluxe, gatefold double album, contains an acoustic session of songs from the album and four additional tracks: Lucifer's Hands, The Crystal Ballroom, The Troubles (Alternative version) and Sleep Like a Baby Tonight (Alternative Perspective Mix by Tchad Blake)

The album will also be available as a gatefold, double white-vinyl LP with an exclusive remix of "The Crystal Ballroom".

God, Part II

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Re: New U2 album SONGS OF INNOCENCE
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2014, 03:42:13 PM »
Two complaints: 1) would really like "Invisible", in its current edit or otherwise, on physical media and 2) as someone who finds the resurgence in popularity of scratchy vinyl to be a bunch of empty hipster hype, I'm crushed that the vinyl edition gets an exclusive track. Beyond those two gripes, I feel nothing but rapturous astonishment today.

miryclay

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Re: New U2 album SONGS OF INNOCENCE
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2014, 04:15:22 PM »
Tchad Blake worked with Pearl Jam and that mix should be interesting. Also hopefully we will get an acoustic mix of EBW. Yeah, but what a day. And another one on the way!

morgan1098

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Re: New U2 album SONGS OF INNOCENCE
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2014, 04:57:17 PM »
Tchad Blake worked with Pearl Jam and that mix should be interesting. Also hopefully we will get an acoustic mix of EBW. Yeah, but what a day. And another one on the way!

I know! Normally I'd laugh off Bono's announcement (Songs of Ascent anyone?), but coming today, as part of this coordinated and masterful release campaign, I'm inclined to take it seriously. Un-freaking-believable. I didn't think U2 could surprise me anymore.

http://www.u2.com/news/title/remember-us

miryclay

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Re: New U2 album SONGS OF INNOCENCE
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2014, 07:27:02 PM »

morgan1098

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Re: New U2 album SONGS OF INNOCENCE
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2014, 09:05:14 AM »
More bonus tracks are possible at select retailers:

"U2 and Universal Music Group will face some hurdles due to disgruntled retailers. Sources say Target has a policy of not carrying any title that was first released to digital retail. Target refused to initially carry Beyonce's self-titled album following her surprise iTunes exclusive, and Amazon withheld the usual prime page placement. To entice retailers, Universal is offering four tracks that iTunes will not have until November, according to sources. Some retailers could walk away with more tracks, as sources say Universal has three additional tracks for select retailers."

Full article in Billboard here: http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/6244247/u2-songs-of-innocence-download-numbers

u2expert

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Re: New U2 album SONGS OF INNOCENCE
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2014, 11:52:32 AM »
VIDEO - A studio, exclusive with U2 recording Songs of Innocence...
https://twitter.com/U2/status/510084877891280897

Cheers,
u2expert

September 9th, 2014 - shock, excitement, confusion, rotation, discovery, rotation, sleepless, weakness...

God, Part II

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Re: New U2 album SONGS OF INNOCENCE
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2014, 12:40:02 PM »
More bonus tracks are possible at select retailers:

as sources say Universal has three additional tracks for select retailers."

Saw that article last night. I really, really hope "Invisible" is one of those tracks because it feels sorely missing from the new album and would be a perfect thematic fit to it. In fact, for the copy of SoI I made for playing in my car, I put "Invisible" as track one.

Aaron

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Re: New U2 album SONGS OF INNOCENCE
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2014, 06:53:24 PM »
Just posted an update on the front page...there are two different images in use for the cover right now...one on iTunes and one on Beats.  If you hit the link on the front page (www.u2wanderer.org) it'll show you both. 

http://www.u2wanderer.org/disco/view.shtml?images/comparison.jpg may work as well.

dagobah

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Re: New U2 album SONGS OF INNOCENCE
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2014, 01:37:36 PM »
Concerning the tracks on Songs Of Innocence:
Every Breaking Wave - I love it
Song For Someone - I love it
Iris (Hold Me Close) - I love it
Raised By Wolves - I like it
Sleep Like A Baby Tonight - I love it
The Troubles - I love it

My initial impression is . . . . . . if U2 had put the above tracks on the album with Ordinary Love and Invisible, I would consider Songs Of Innocence an incredible return by U2.  But the remaining tracks are making me work a little.

God, Part II

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Re: New U2 album SONGS OF INNOCENCE
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2014, 10:41:45 AM »
Now that I've officially reached the point where I've spun the CD-R enough times that I've lost count, I'm ready to give my high-level thoughts on the album.

A) As someone who finds ALL THAT YOU CAN'T LEAVE BEHIND to be highly overrated by fans (I love all things U2, but ATYCLB is near the bottom for me, personally; it suffers from a surplus of "losing steam" songs) and HOW TO DISMANTLE AN ATOMIC BOMB highly underrated (it's my third favorite of the group's, behind THE JOSHUA TREE and ACHTUNG BABY), I can't quite rank SONGS OF INNOCENCE at the HTDAAB level, but it's not too far under, and it handily bests NO LINE ON THE HORIZON, ATYCLB and POP in the band's recent history. It's probably equal to ZOOROPA in that it features not a single fair or poor song, just a laudable range of good-to-great ones.

B) My favorite tracks are:
    1. "Every Breaking Wave" -- I've seen some complaints that this song comes off like "With or Without You"-lite, which is a fair criticism, but that doesn't stop it from still being a devastatingly beautiful, achingly emotional track. If you're a step below "With or Without You", you're still light years beyond the treacle most bands produce in their slower, softer works. I do find it ironic, though, that, due to the fact that it's dying so blatantly in terms of radio airplay, I've been desperate for so long for U2 to bring some good, authentic, fist-pumping, chest-thumping, foot-stomping rock-and-roll back to the fore only for my favorite track to end up being "a chick song"!
    2. "This is Where You Can Reach Me Now" -- This one really seems to have fans divided, but I absolutely relish this track. Has U2 created a song this funky and swanky since "Mysterious Ways"? I think not! I always feel that one of the band members seems to "own" each album, their talents coming to the foreground and providing a type of sonic signature to the album. NO LINE ON THE HORIZON featured Bono's strongest, clearest, most striking vocals in many years; THE JOSHUA TREE is an hour-long experience brimming with some of the most confident and trademark guitar work Edge has ever created; Larry has never put his stamp on an album as fiercely as he does in WAR--from the opening beats, you know he'll be leading the band's charge throughout. I say all this to opine that SONGS OF INNOCENCE is very possibly Adam Clayton's finest hour. He charges through the album like a runaway train, taking no prisoners, and "This is Where You Can Reach Me Know" highlights his prowess, offering up such a fantastic backing rhythm, I can't help but shake my butt in a way I've, frankly, never associated with U2 before. This song is sexy, fun, and deliciously off the wall.
     3. "Volcano" -- Oh my God. This track is everything U2 wanted "Get On Your Boots" (which I like!) to be but came up short. If this isn't chosen as a single (though, let me be clear, "Every Breaking Wave" needs to be the very next choice), all four band members need a good slap upside the head. Every time I hear this track, I'm waylaid by the unshakable confidence all four members bring to it. This song sounds like the culmination of a band that has, for once, achieved 100% of what they set out to accomplish when the first notes of it were born. I howl this one on the way to and from work like it's the last song I'll ever sing.

My least favorites are "Song for Someone", which is rather lovely, and it is growing on me, but it never seems to fully take flight in the way U2's best slower tracks do (and which "EBW" certainly does), and the track which every other U2 fan on the planet seems to think is one of the album's best--"The Troubles". Now, mind you, most of "The Troubles" is a fine piece of work, anchored by a moving melody and Bono's open-hearted vocals. The trouble (no pun intended) for me (and it's a big one, knocking my appreciation of the overall track down more that a notch or two) are the vocals by Lykke Li. I'm sorry, but I'm just not a fan of them at all. At first, I thought I was just having a knee-jerk negative reaction to the fact that a female voice had worked it's way into the sound of a band that's almost universally presented itself as four working-class-upbringing, calloused-fingered men, but upon further reflection, I realized that can't be it. I was never too bothered with the female background vocalists that have infrequently appeared in U2 tracks (notably, in a song like "Red Light") and I actually cherish the powerhouse contributions of Dorothy Terrell on RATTLE AND HUM's live performance of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and Sinead O'Connor in "I'm Not Your Baby". It's just that I'm rather repelled by Lykke Li's hesitant, ethereal, fey vocals, especially on the heels of ten such commanding, confident, "you can take the mantle of World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band from our cold dead hands" tracks. I find myself thinking back to the female vocalists I love and it's names like Stevie Nicks, Chrissie Hynde, Courtney Love, Sinead O'Connor, Annie Lennox, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett and Siouxsie Sioux that are ones who came to mind, so I guess I just prefer a tougher, grittier, more raw style when it comes to the sound of women vocalists. Lyyke Li's tentative, sleepy stylings come off like a less secure Lorde to me and don't mesh well at all with the power of Bono's. I've seen word that one of the bonus tracks pending on the physical release of SONGS OF INNOCENCE is an "alternate mix" of "The Troubles"; I have my fingers and toes crossed that, musically, it's near identical to what we already have, but eschews Lykke Li altogether in favor of Bono singing the entire track solo. If that's what we mercifully end up with, the current album version will quickly become one of my least played U2 tracks ever. Whoever it was on the production team whose creative thinking brought Lykke Li into the fold goes home without any ice cream.

In closing, I would say that I've lived in no small amount of fear and trepidation of this new album. Five years of incessant tinkering, with more producing "cooks in the kitchen" than the band has ever used before, should have completely neutered the finished album into a milquetoast blend of every least challenging idea. Instead, impossibly, it resulted in the most sure-handed, consistent album they've released in over 20 years. I don't know how U2 continues to pull off magic like this, especially in their fourth decade, but I guess it all comes down to the words of Bob Waugh, PD of adult alternative WRNR Baltimore: "Once a name, always a threat. Until proven otherwise, U2 is still U2."

morgan1098

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Re: New U2 album SONGS OF INNOCENCE
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2014, 12:59:59 PM »
Awesome review, God Part II. I'm hoping to post my own thoughts at some point.

In the meantime, listings for the deluxe CD on amazon and elsewhere suggest that it will have different artwork, although the nature of said artwork remains to be seen:


morgan1098

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Re: New U2 album SONGS OF INNOCENCE
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2014, 09:01:24 AM »
U2 is on the cover of Time magazine again! The preview below suggests that Songs of Experience will not just be another new album, but also the introduction of an entire new music delivery format that could "save the music industry" (oh wow, more ammo for the U2 haters).

This link is just a preview article. As far as I know the full article online is only available to subscribers.

http://time.com/3393297/u2-apple-new-digital-format/

God, Part II

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Re: New U2 album SONGS OF INNOCENCE
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2014, 02:48:19 PM »
U2 is on the cover of Time magazine again!

Just to be clear, U2 is only on the cover of the international edition. Readers in the United States, you're going to have to import yours. *irritated sigh*