Many fans will enjoy this album’s radio-friendliness, and its warm hugs. “Making a spectacle of falling apart,” he confides, “is just the start of the show.”. Three years later and its successor ‘Songs Of Experience’ feels less of a companion piece and more like the record they were meant to make in the first place. Certainly, the icy, quivering strings that open the album (which, deliciously, recall Choir on Perfume Genius’s No Shape LP) could have given way to a spacious sidekick to 2009’s No Line on the Horizon. Incidentally, and maybe due to a fear of failure or paranoia they would become something of an irrelevance, ‘Songs Of Innocence’ was painfully safe and at times, felt pretty aimless. Fans will find plenty to savor on Songs of Experience–it’s their best since How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. Last modified on Wed 21 Mar 2018 23.49 GMT. Songs of Experience, clicks into place more boldly than Songs of … U2's 14th album is 'Songs of Experience.'. Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound OffFor me this gets better with every listen. To understand how the band reached this point, you have to go back almost a decade. I don’t know this band anymore. Later, Kendrick Lamar declaims a preacherly interlude between “Get Out of Your Own Way” and “American Soul”; the latter deploys bluesy garage riffage whose distortion must be what gave Bono the confidence to bellow, “For refugees like you and me, a country to receive us/will you be our sanctuary, REFUJESUS!”. On the surface, Songs of Experience sees U2 striving to remain relevant by employing tricks of the trade popular in today's music. They provide a sense of succour that denies the urgency of the here and now. For one thing, not all its errors are overwhelming--if the Auto-Tune feels a bit jarring, the song it decorates is still pretty great. Later, Kendrick Lamar declaims a preacherly interlude between “Get Out of Your Own Way” and “American Soul”; the latter deploys bluesy garage riffage whose distortion must be what gave Bono the confidence to bellow, “For refugees like you and me, a country to receive us/will you be our sanctuary, REFUJESUS!”, Daftness is customary on a U2 album–Bono’s howlers are funny! They record albums as excuses to tour, they embark on tours as excuses to transport massive steel structures from city to city and set world records for Largest Stage Ever. There is little evidence, however, of any alarm or horror here: both key to Blake’s Experience poems. Music Review: U2 - Songs Of Experience. Tempos are alert, riffs punchy, melodies sharp. By Mark Beaumont. U2 may not have recorded the same album five times since 2000, but they may as well have; by now U2 albums as individualities don’t matter. Of course, ‘The Blackout’ is less scathing. Its pop-rock disguised as Important Rock and the disguise is transparent. Bono’s pointed lyrics helped illuminate a handful of tracks but in truth these were the only aspects of the album to really savour. But on Songs of Experience U2 ignore their past and instead saunter ahead with hooking melodies and sing-along choruses. 50. They’re so big specific albums don’t matter. . There is rather more on the consolations and risks of love. In the 2016 mockumentary comedy Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, written by and starring The Lonely Island, a Justin Bieber-style mega buffoon named Conner4Real agrees a ludicrous deal with an electrical appliances … This album sounds like something Maroon 5 would be ashamed of. U2 albums have an odd way of flattening out stylistic particularities: deviations from a norm reinforce the norm when the band treats them as deviations. The emotional climax of The Little Things That Give You Away is one of several moments that promise more than the album as a whole can deliver. To say they’re not what they were is a gross understatement. They call one song “Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way,” a platitude that suits. U2’s fourteenth album won’t mysteriously appear on your iPhone, which is probably for the best. In the 2016 mockumentary comedy Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, written by and starring The Lonely Island, a Justin Bieber-style mega buffoon named Conner4Real agrees a ludicrous deal with an electrical appliances company to upload his new album onto their products. It contains fleeting proof of a band still capable of making sparks fly. But these Songs of Experience lack William Blake’s moral fervour or rage. Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound OffGlancing over this, this kind of reads more like a solid 2 than a 2.7. To say they’re not what they were is a gross understatement. I know for me, I spent a lot of time looking back at my youth and punishing myself for choices I made, just as the nurse does. All this publication's reviews. With its Blakean set-up, there was hope that U2’s Songs of Experience might have seen the mature U2 pugnaciously restate their purpose, 14 albums into their career. 29th November 2017. When by-rote big ballads ‘The Little Things That Give You Away’ and ‘Landlady’ autopilot along, the untutored ear might think they’re ripping off Coldplay’s ‘Up&Up’ or The Killers’ ‘Miss Atomic Bomb’.