The Miracle (of The Hype)

Attention U2ers: the following is not a track-by-track review of Songs Of Innocence, because, who cares what someone else thinks of an album, that’s like someone coming to your door, telling you what you should think of your favorite colour.
This is just me thinking out loud about these new 11 songs I have been playing non-stop on repeat for the last few hours.

11 Songs! That’s all it takes.

5 years, 4 locations, and about 64 different producers later, we got our 11 songs.
Was it worth the wait? Well, it’s too soon to te… You know what? Hell yeah it was worth the wait!

I like Invisible, really I do, but the production value on that song is very weak.
I was playing the track and could actually hear the band re-thinking the entire album’s production. And they brought in more people to help. And that was a great move on their part. Of course it was worth the wait.

Who was expecting an album release today? or a live performance? I didn’t.
Especially since this “spokesperson” went all over the place denying all the rumours.
Except, anyone can claim to be a spokesperson these days and get away with it, since credibility is not really the main goal of most news sources. Not any more.
“Hey, we have a spokesperson, doesn’t matter if they’re full of crap, who’s gonna check?”

Perhaps someone who is willing to fly across the Atlantic just for 5 minutes of their favourite band performing again after 3 years would check. But I digress, after all, we did get a new album today!

The record has been playing on repeat all day now, and I am not feeling any gaps.
No “hmm, that song doesn’t really fit after that one, does it”, no “I guess that must be the outtake that had to fill the 11th spot”, this is a wholesome album.

In the year 2014 AD, where the casual music listener will buy a few tracks and stick them in their shuffle playlist for while on the road, the car, the gym, U2 has released a proper album, one you want to listen in the order it came to us in, with an LP Side A and Side B, with the power to ignite track order debates the likes of which we buried back in the 80s.

There is no hit single in the traditional sense in Songs Of Innocence, in my humble opinion.
What I mean by that is, I fail to hear U2 trying to create a chart topper the U2 way, a-la Elevation,
I can instead hear U2 defining what a chart topper should really sound like going forward, a-la Lemon. And hey, every gambler knows…

Bono dug so deep looking for relevance, that he ended up finding…himself!
There is song writing coming from that dark place again, no throwaway Bongolese in sight.
Nobody rushed to say The Edge was on fire this time around, so he actually went and got on fire!
The Edge was the only reason I ever picked up a guitar, and I just got reminded why, 11 times in a row!
The rhythm section sounds better than ever. Adam has switched partners, traded Edge for Larry, playing for drums more than playing to fill those root note gaps Edge intentionally leaves, and that made a huge difference in music writing to me, and their sound throughout.

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 13.15.28No leaks this time around, either. Was it because of the new management’s style? Nah, wanna know why I think we didn’t get any leaks? Because U2 got cocky! And I don’t mean fake-cocky like “re-applying for the best band in the world job”, I mean “we won, game over everyone, go home” cocky.
They knew they had something great, they didn’t need to tease us. This might sound simple, but it’s in fact a great insight on how confident the band were with this work, and that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

As for the Apple iTunes release, that has got to be the work of the new management. And that was a brilliant move. Not only because they got a fixed amount of cash to release their album out to 500 million homes, making this the biggest album release in the history of human kind, but also because they made their intentions clear: they couldn’t care less if you download it illegally or get it off iTunes, or pay for it, what matters is that you will like it, and you will come see us where we live. Live!
And here’s a live performance of The Miracle, to show you we mean business! Early 80’s U2 business plan.

11 Songs! That’s all we needed. Bring on #U2015!

Raised By Wolves is slowly starting to stand out for me. This song is perfect, by all accounts.
Not sure if it’s my favourite, too soon for that, but it does stand out.
What do you think? Did you hear Glastonbury oozing out of the Volcano?

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