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ALBUM REVIEW: U2 Songs of Experience

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The much anticipated new U2 album is here! Check out my full album review of Songs of Experience! Order Songs of Experience by U2: Watch TRACK X TRACK for music reviews, news and commentary. Website: Facebook: Twitter: My Philosophy: I love music. I love all kinds of music. And I go into every album wanting to love it, so that’s my starting point for every review. Keep in mind, though, that music is a very personal thing. An album may hit me personally in a very different way than it hits you. That’s complexly natural and unavoidable, which is why I try to include some personal context in my reviews. It’s so you’ll have a better idea where I’m coming from. In the end, it’s still just my personal opinion, which is inherently biased, and which you may or may not agree with. Hopefully, once in a while, we’ll find common ground. Check out my novel, Hawkings Grove:
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Comments (20)
Clarence Christy # 6 december 2017 in 12:09 0
If you don't understand that "Landlady" is one of the best Love songs that Bono/U2 have ever done then not sure you should be really reviewing the album. To say its filler rather than the best song on the album is a disservice. From writing "Sweetest thing" for forgetting Ali's bday, this is a culmination of U2's entire existence and celebrating Ali for her being the foundation for him to always come home to.
Freedom # 6 december 2017 in 12:13 0
When a band like U2 uses AutoTune ... You know Rock is Over!
Freedom # 6 december 2017 in 12:16 0
Im a HUGE U2 fan. But this album is doody.
mistermayonaise # 6 december 2017 in 12:21 0
Do you know what will collapse under the weight? Your cupboard..
Stews Aquariums # 6 december 2017 in 12:24 0
"New Years Day" wasnt enough to peak your interest. Thats my favorite U2 song its a masterpiece. You know fuck all. Asshole
Alfredo Juarez # 6 december 2017 in 12:29 0
The mexican deluxe edition:
hampfsocke # 6 december 2017 in 12:32 0
The band is tiered. The band sounds tiered.
Jax Teller # 6 december 2017 in 12:37 0
Thanks for your very thorough and enlightening review. As a long time U2 fan I have followed their career from Boy to SOE. I am however disappointed in this new album. It just doesn't resonate with me and I’m 7 listens in. Yes, there’s some good lyrics with some good guitar riffs sporadically inserted but it fails to inspire me to want to listen to this album incessantly like prior U2 albums. Relatively speaking, I think it’s their worst album. It falls flat on many levels. Just my $.02.
lonkylaine # 6 december 2017 in 12:40 0
On album 15 actually. Experience is the 14th.
Wesley Maduro # 6 december 2017 in 12:45 0
Have to disagree on the review. This is actually a pretty good album in many ways. Landlady is certainly one of the best on the album. Such a intense "mellow and groovy" song with a nice backstory to bono's wife. And true, as said the songs are not left overs from SoI. However i disagree with the review, they make songs that fits their age and experience. They will never make music like in achtung baby or before. The world, music industry, times and the band changed. Conditions are different. U2 is now like fine old wine. More subtle instead of yelling, jumping and reckless which innocense and experience  (the albums and the meaning,)clearly represent. I never expect anything and they never disappoint. Also music is subjective.
Jose Luis Del Muro # 6 december 2017 in 12:49 0
Agree with Adam's Bass is the best of this album and Love is bigger sound familiar too familiar like in the all that you can leave behind but it is good, so U2 could had released a 6 songs album and save us from more than 30 minutes of non interesting songs.
phillip j # 6 december 2017 in 12:50 0
Songs of Experience IS album 14. Next album (presumably "Songs of Assent") will be album 15.

Songs of Experience might be U2's best post-2000 album. Sure, it doesn't have the hits like Beautiful Day, Vertigo, or Blinding Lights but this album is Much more consistent than Atomic Bomb.

As a companion piece to Innocence, Experience does what Innocence did but does it better. Lights of Home is a more interesting track than Iris, Get Out of Your Own Way one-ups California, American Soul easily bests Volcano, Blackout beats out Raised by Wolves--a solid track in its own right, and 13 is a better take on Song for Someone. Summer of Love, Red Flag Day, and The Showman are more than "a little more better" than Miracle, Cedarwood, or Where You Can Reach Me. Love is Bigger and Sleep Like a Baby are both solid songs and Love is All We Have is on par with The Troubles. I still say Every Breaking Wave is a better song, single, etc than You're the Best Thing About Me but 'Best Thing' is still a great pop/rock song--and EBW is, admittedly, one of the best songs U2 has written in over a decade. Other than that, Experience, on the whole, is a better album than Innocence and it's head and shoulders above No Line, which I find is U2's weakest record to date.

The only reason I'm having trouble deciding between Experience and ATYCLB is that the latter gave U2 the sound they still employ on Experience, for the most part. Though I would argue Experience is a more interesting album--and it doesn't have throw away songs on the level of When I Look at the World or Peace on Earth, ATYCLB is still a more important album for many reasons.

I'd still barely give Pop the edge (no pun) over Experience solely for the fact that U2 wasn't afraid to take as many chances back then. Which brings me to Zooropa. TxT tosses that album aside as, at best, a half-effort and, at worst, a waste. Joshua Tree may be U2's most iconic album, Achtung is their strongest/best, but Zooropa has always been my favorite. It hits ethereal notes even the towering Achtung doesn't quite reach imho (ie: The First Time, Lemon, Dirty Day).

In short, Experience, while not as important as ATYCLB, might just be U2's best/most consistent effort this side of the new millennium. I'm secretly hoping for Songs of Assent, which could very well be U2's swan song, to be something of an empyreal coda à la Johnny Cash's The Man Comes Around. I wonder how much material U2 still has lying around from their sessions with Rick Ruben back in 2006. Could be a match made in heaven... could just be a pipe dream. Either way, go listen to Songs of Experience--it's a grower for sure from a band that, after 40 years of selling hundreds of millions of records, $billions in ticket sales, and winning a mountain range of awards and accolades, still feel like they've got something to prove.
jorge rodríguez patiño # 6 december 2017 in 12:54 0
great review! totally agree!
Steve Wright # 6 december 2017 in 12:58 0
Didn't want to like this album. Love it. Definitely better than a 6. It is not an album of radio hit singles but is better as a whole. It gels where "Innocence" never did. Yes, Zooropa was a great U2 album.
MIke Caldwell # 6 december 2017 in 12:59 0
yeah the new album sucks
Callum Mcphail # 6 december 2017 in 13:01 0
fucknugget shut up, brainless . lets listen to your album you muppet
blerkh # 6 december 2017 in 13:01 0
Are you kidding? I'd take 'Zooropa' over anything they've done in the last 2 decades. Imo, ATYCLB was the beginning of the end, and their worst one until this new one.
James Hyatt # 6 december 2017 in 13:01 0
Great Album definitely a 9 out of 10 for me.
Glen Smith # 6 december 2017 in 13:06 0
Hi I agree almost entirely with your review song for song. Thanks! Also your view of achtung baby(though I think Boy is one of their best also). I would add the following: I was a bit disappointed this album doesn’t rock more. Also, I think you like “the little things” better than me, it’s too long and gets boring.
PopeyeCove # 6 december 2017 in 13:11 0
After one go around on this new album, I instantly fell in love with "You're the Best Thing About Me", "Get Out of Your Own Way", "Summer of Love", "Red Flag Day" and "The Showman (Little More Better)". The other tracks are nice, but I feel they will have to grow on me with more plays. I do love me some U2, and they are still pumping-out great songs all these years later.