Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"Songs of Innocence" U2 Free through iTunes for a few weeks

   I have been interested in what the Apple Watch might be so I had been acutely aware of the rumour mill around the iPhone 6/Apple Watch launch overnight. I had also been interested in the odd mention here and there of the new U2 record we've been waiting for since maybe October/November last year.  
   At least that was until we saw Chris Martin pictured leaving an NYC Studio having helped 'fine tune' some their work, alongside 'Dangermouse' and Adele's Paul Epworth, in late 2013/early 2014.
I guess I worked out from the rumours that U2 would play a role with iPhone 6 and then that their new music would be pre loaded in the iPhone BUT I didn't think we'd all get a copy overnight direct to our iTunes a/c. This was  a bonus on the day chosen for massive garage clean up post Weekend OUT where I had just been making and dumping stuff around the car for weeks. I enjoyed listening to the new songs today!!
   "Songs of Innocence" is vintage U2 where despite the production grunt, the tunes to me are a stripped back rock sound reflecting the era they draw on as stories. These songs are inspired by 'The Ramones' and 'The Clash'. These songs reflect on stories from Bono's youth through events, spaces and relationships.
   Does it help to know that "Songs of Innocence and Experience" are a collection of poetic works by William Blake. The second album was alluded to by Bono at the Oscars earlier in the year. I wonder if "Ordinary Love" and "Invisible" will be part of that or stand alone as songs in between.
   Blake's poetry in 'Innocence' reflects on childhood, societal loss of values, faith and belief and seem an interesting source for these album themes and names. I read where poet Alan Ginsberg thought they were always meant to be sung.
   At first listen I liked and was drawn to the 'stripped back' 70s sound where there are pop riffs but the songs have a reflective quality. Theme's of love, the loss of Bono's mother who died at her own Father's funeral, a bombing incident and even a song named with Bono's childhood address in mind are worth a few more listens. I hear faith exploration,
   It's no surprise I like it, but I am never too shy to say 'Pop' and 'Zooropa' are hardly high points for me in the bands catalogue, so U2 songs that disappoint do exist. Maybe I'll write some more about the tracks after I drive to and from the Upper Hunter tomorrow!! Anyhow maybe 500 million of you are listening to it already!!

"Let's try to figure out why we wanted to be in a band, the relationships around the band, our friendships, our lovers, our family. The whole album is first journeys—first journeys geographically, spiritually, sexually. And that's hard. But we went there." Bono, Rolling Stone

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