Saturday, September 20, 2014


When Apple announced the arrival of the latest IPhone and the introduction of the Apple watch last week,there was an additional surprise. The latest studio album from U2, "Songs of Innocence" has been given away for free to every person who has an ITunes account, which is roughly about 500 million people . While the news was met with some excitement, there has also been some critical backlash. The already-quite wealthy band has been accused of selling out for the all-mighty buck (U2 reportedly earned about 100 million for this stunt) to people feeling violated for having this album forced in to their ITunes libraries  (Sharon Osbourne and rapper, Tyler the Creator have been particularly vocal) and simply that U2  has further damaged the fragile music industry by giving away music.

I can certainly understand these viewpoints and perhaps some of them may be valid but I also think the record business needs to desperately breakout of the dusty mindset of trying to hang on to doing business as usual. Regardless of what you think of this promotion or their new album, U2 has benefited greatly as their back catalog has seen a surge in sales directly because of this publicity.

As for the record itself, despite the presence of contemporary producers, Ryan Tedder, Paul Epworth and Danger Mouse, "Songs of Innocence" still feels very much like a typical U2 album. This isn't necessarily a good thing as the expectation of the band's first album in five years was particularly high. With that much time spent, this album should be exciting, challenging and modern, There are certainly moments to be found on this nostalgic look back to their early days and musical influences but overall, "Somgs of Innocence" doesn't exactly inspire these feelings. The hit-making producers add their touch to the group's sound but what they contribute make some of the songs feel warmed over instead of fresh. I may come across a bit harsh but I actually liked much of this record. The problem is that it just feels too safe for a band known for their gritty, rebellious rock-n-roll spirit.

Here are two tracks that I particularly like from my free copy of U2's newest work:

"The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)" - U2 (2014)

"Raised By Wolves" - U2 (2014)


During a loving musical tribute while receiving this year's lifetime achievement award from BET, we were reminded of what an amazing ...