Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Best of 2014 - Songs of Innocence - U2

Best of 2014

Song: Sleep Like a Baby Tonight
Artist: U2
Album: Songs of Innocence

One of the biggest head-scratchers of 2014 was the outrage U2 got for partnering with Apple and making their 13th studio album a "free gift" as part of the companies product-launch event in September.  Music fans felt "violated" when the album showed up in their iTunes "without consent" and musicians argued that U2 had "devalued music" by giving the album away for free, despite the reported $100 million they received from Apple for this "free gift.".

I really didn't get it.  It was... awesome.  And they one-upped BeyoncĂ© to boot.

But all of that is inconsequential because Song of Innocence is the best record they've released in over a decade, leaving their last, the okay but U2-by-numbers No Line on the Horizon in the dust and mining more private, personal depths than they ever have before in their thirty-eight year history.  It feels like a rebirth of sorts but more importantly, it has some of the bands most crackling songs of their career.

The "rock" songs of Innocence also take some exciting turns in terms of production thanks in large part to Danger Mouse who handles the majority of the album's tracks (along with Flood and Ryan Tedder.)  The band sounds so alive on tracks like "Raised by Wolves" and "Volcano," and explore layered, creepy depths with the sinister "Sleep Like a Baby Tonight."

And yet if it's classic U2 you're looking for go no further than track two's "Every Breaking Wave," a gorgeous, BIG track about the difficulty of giving yourself completely to someone else.  It's the U2 the world fell in love with in the first place.

I tend to like an underdog so admit that the hate spewed at this record and the band may have influenced me a bit but ultimately, Song of Innocence has made me LOVE U2 again, something that hasn't happened since the early 00s.


Sleep Like a Baby Tonight
Every Breaking Wave

No comments: