December 2017 Rock ROTM - U2 - Songs of Experience
U2 have sold more than 170 million records worldwide since the band’s first release, Boy, in 1980. They’ve had No. 1 albums on the charts for nearly four decades, and their 14th release, Songs of Experience, is our choice for December Rock Record of the Month.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005, U2 have collected 22 Grammy Awards during their career, the most by any group in history. Rolling Stone has the band ranked number 22 on their “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” list.
Songs of Experience is the second act to a theme that was initiated with 2014’s Songs of Innocence. The album was described as a “kind of musical autobiography... that reflected influences 70’s rock and punk to early 80’s electronica and soul”. Songs of Experience picks up where Innocence left off. Experience is more adult themed taking on a more of a “lessons learned” story-type.
Sonically, this should be considered one of the strongest releases from U2 in a long time. The Edge’s funk-punk riffage on the stellar “Red Flag Day” recalls early smash-hit “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and follower “The Showman (Little More Better)” may induce a 3-minute dance party if you’re not careful.
Beyond the strength of the songs, we think you’ll really love the packaging of this record, not to mention the beautiful translucent cyan-blue vinyl it was pressed on! Its vinyl art for sure and everything you hope for in modern vinyl releases. The album retails for $39.99, but it's available as the Record of the Month for Rock with a subscription to the Blind Tiger Record Club.
What People are saying about Songs of Experience…
"Textbook anthem Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way… is plainly a parent-to-child letter of reassurance; an important unburdening for someone recently spooked, and another key component in U2's strongest album this century."
James McNair, MOJO, 'The Letters of Paul' ****
"U2 unveil an album full of self-awareness, gravitas and humour. Boasting a guitar part atmospheric and understated even by the Edge's 80s standards, the concluding 13 (There Is a Light) is delicately affecting; Landlady's extended apology to Bono's wife, Ali Hewson, gently achieves precisely the kind of emotional uplift Love is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way nearly gives itself a hernia trying to attain; Lights of Home welds distorted slide guitar and a gospel-ish chorus to an entirely fantastic song. The Showman, meanwhile, is playful and authentically funny: a reflection on the contradictions and ridiculousness of the job of rock star that shows infinitely more self-awareness than Bono's critics would give him credit for... U2 sound more like the band you suspect they want to be than they have in a decade."
Alexis Petridis, THE GUARDIAN