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No-one knew it was on the way but less than 24 hours after it's dramatic debut, the reviews of Songs Of Innocence are rolling in. Here's some of the earliest - follow the links to read the entire review.

'More than any U2 album before it, Songs of Innocence goes deep into Bono and the rest of bandmembers' teenage years in Dublin in the Seventies. The first song captures the big bang of Bono's musical awakening: the first time he heard the Ramones. "Everything I've ever lost now has been returned," Bono sings. "The most beautiful sound I ever heard…We were pilgrims on our way."'
Rolling Stone

'With occasional exceptions, Bono’s vocals are well to the fore throughout; Edge piles on the big chords and twangs brilliantly where appropriate; and in the engine room, Larry and Adam anchor things powerfully, giving U2 their unique centre of gravity.‘California (There is no End to Love)’ is a certain single: starting with an almost religious choral vocal, it is the most West Coast the band have ever sounded. There is a sense of rapture which marks it as a special moment in the U2 pantheon of great tracks.‘Volcano’ is a monster: the album’s ‘Elevation’, it's a ball buster of a riff-based anthem that opens with a full-on Stranglers’ style bassline from Adam. Packed with raw, meaty guitar slashes and psychedelic, swelling backing vocals, it is another near-certain centre-piece for their live set....' Hot Press

'The method of distribution will dominate the initial chatter about the album for a few days, but once people have had a chance to listen to Songs of Innocence a few times and digest it, they'll discover a substantive album that harks back to the band's earliest days, most musically and lyrically...'
USA Today

'It is an album of big, colourful, attacking rock with fluid melodies, bright anthemic choruses and bold lyrical ideas. Perhaps the most surprising thing is that, despite apparently being created in a spirit of self-doubt, it sounds fresh and cohesive, bouncing out of the speakers with a youthful spring in its step....'
Daily Telegraph

"California (There is No End to Love)," a song about the band's first trip to Los Angeles, is a modern take on The Beach Boys with a hallucinatory opening consisting of the band chanting "Barbara Barbara Barbara Santa Barbara" in the round before launching into one of those trademark power ballads that feel like a jet plane racing to the horizon....' US News

'This Is Where You Can Reach Me" is a kind of howling, skanking disco-punk homage to the Clash...'   Billboard.

'The 11 tracks look back to the band’s musical roots in the punk and post-punk era, paying explicit homage to the Ramones and the Clash, and carrying resonances of later genres and bands, not least the many groups such as Arcade Fire and Coldplay that flourished by tapping into their influence.'
Time.

The music on Songs of Innocence doesn’t hark back to the open spaces of early U2; it exults in multitrack possibilities. But it connects emotionally to a time when, as Bono sings in 'The Miracle (of Joey Ramone),' “I wanted to be the melody/Above the noise, above the hurt/I was young/Not dumb.” New York Times

Agree? Disagree? Add your own reviews below.

COMMENTS

121
Cyberbob
21 September, 2014
One of the best, can't wait any longer t
One of the best since "All That You Can't Leave Behind". I love #9, Sleep like a baby tonight, and listen to it to get into sleep every night. Of course Every Braking Wave is one of the best of the album. Remember when the band introduced it during the 360 Tour. This one is even better. California, Iris, Volcano and Cedarwood Road are excellent too. Thanks for this great album and looking forward to see you in tour.
hellin78
20 September, 2014
Great and roboust album
Thank you band for this incredible album. When I heard the album for first time, my sensations were very similar to the first time I listened U2 with Acthung Baby. What the hell is this?? But after diggesting the songs, I think that the general level of the album is very high. There are no "small" songs like in some past albums and Edge is playing the guitar absolutly fantastics. Larry and Adam gives the album a stronger base. And Bono... well Bono is Bono. Great stories in the lyrics and I am glad to here him again in falsette voice. The album has no less than 5-6 strong singles and now I am looking forward the next tour. What are you gonna do guys after the incredible U2360? We are waiting for you in Spain!!
bflorendo
18 September, 2014
A new concept for new album distribution
U2's best since their Achtung days! Now having a lot of haters complain about this, haven't they realized the big picture? I guess not! You see, U2 made Apple (a corporation) pay for their new album release, and have us get it for free. There's always going to be some sort of compromise, but in the end, we get it for FREE. I'm pretty sure all these haters would be praising their favorite band, if they did it too. A great concept, once again, from the band that continues to push the music industry. Can't wait to see what innovations they have instore for the upcoming tour. Lucky to have worked production on some of the U2360 shows.
ShellBeThere
18 September, 2014
I'm in love with this album...
In that reassured sort of way, like when you wake up after a long nap and you lose track of your life a little bit but then see your little child there next to you, just where you left off, and she's still beautiful and she's still there and you know everything's okay. The songs have a simplicity to them but are deeply satisfying at once, just like mother's love. Feels like that sort of a miracle. Easy and effortless-seeming, no wonder it took them so long! They sound like time hasn't touched them...how does Bono manage to sound even better every album?
bodiggity
17 September, 2014
I love 'Songs'
Please never listen to the haters! Please, only listen to your true fans. Your fans love this album. This is your best music in a decade. I think every song is incredibly powerful and personal. I am listening to this album over and over again and it gets better with every listen. Can't wait for the tour (see you in Toronto) and Songs of Experience. Thanks Guys!!!
julietfrances
17 September, 2014
Thank you!
THANK YOU! Absolutely loving it.. an awesome album, so much soul, beautiful... and a fantastic free gift to wake up to the other morning - thanks SO much!
JessLee
17 September, 2014
JESS LEE
(UPON ENTERING THE CAR THIS A.M.) IT WAS BETTER THAN COFFEE DURING SCHOOL DROP OFF. THAT'S THE MIRACLE RIGHT THERE.
SeanNY
16 September, 2014
Songs.....
In the past, a few of their records have taken a while to grow on me. I do like "song for Someone", "Iris", "Every breaking wave", "cedarwood Road" and "troubles". I also liked "invisable" and "Ordinary love" released over the winter. The albums best songs are lyrically touching, but Im not feeling a few of the other songs. Usually, U2 finds a way to make some of the lesser songs work better live. Looking forward to it.
rmdyer
16 September, 2014
The most Beautiful Sound I'd Ever Heard
I was raised on U2, and they have been an incredible inspiration for me. They...have been important to me, for my entire life. No matter how I was feeling - angry, sad, happy - U2 was like a constant friend. They cried with me, they screamed with me, laughed with me, through every good and bad time. They're like a good friend that I can always turn to, whose shoulder will always be there when I need it. Their story gives me strength, the hope to continue going for my dreams. They had to battle through so much - they still do! - and I find it incredible. The four of them...if there was anyone I could ever meet, it would be them. Not just because their music is awesome (because, well, it is), but because of what they do. Because of who they are, and how they try to help. People might take it as U2 being pretentious, on their "high horse," but they're really trying to do something...good. And they do that, with their music. It's like the perfect combination of awesomeness! Able to do something good for people through amazing music. It was like a dream, waking up to realize that we had a new album...! I felt joy, elation, happiness, laughter...! All of it, rolled into one. I've already listened to it a thousand, million times. Pure bliss, I'm telling you. I understand that not everyone loves U2. Not everyone has to. But to me, they're...well, there aren't words. This album has given me even the strength to continue shooting for my goals. Like "The Troubles." It's so beautiful, the music reminiscent of old U2, inspiring me to keep doing what I'm doing. I can't give up. They didn't. They never have, and I am so grateful for that. Every one of these songs pushes me forward, gives me more hope. Thank you for that, guys. I've grown up with you; it's like you're my four big brothers. That's probably silly, but that's how I feel. And "Songs of Innocence," well, it's like a message to me - to hundreds of millions of people - that you're still there. You haven't abandoned us, and you never will. That is such a nice feeling, to know that you guys care so much about us that you're willing to share your story with us. All that pain, that happiness, everything that you went through to get to where you are. Thank you, thank you! All of the tracks on "Songs of Innocence" mean something - not just to U2, but to your fans. To us. From "Sleep Like a Baby Tonight" to "Every Breaking Wave," each song just sucks you in and...keeps you, holds you. Tells you a story that you can relate to. Talent. An incredible talent. Thank you for always inspiring me, for always being there, for just being who you are. And for always, always having incredible music that gives me hope. Keep being awesome. Keep giving people that hope. You're just amazing enough to do it.
boyca
16 September, 2014
fabulous
Keep listening to it ( on pc, i-pod and on cd in the car ) over and over again .At first one song stood out which was breaking wave but it's getting better and better (song for someone, iris , volcano ,sleep like a baby and troubles) trying to remember the lyrics so we can scream with them the new coming tour. Hope to see you guys in 2015.
prings
15 September, 2014
New album
Im 47 years old n i m like a little kid when it comes to new u2 album,as soon as i get up in a morning its straight on,their music gets better n better,watched simpleminds on fri night n jim kerr n bono are streets ahead of the young pretenders,cant wait for tour.
bredppx
15 September, 2014
well well well
One word : Well Done Guys !!!
Kazuma
14 September, 2014
Sounds like poetry...
Amazing. I really love it! Songs ,are by U2 always sounds like poetry,but this time, it's deeper and deeper. These songs are kind of new songs but it still possess "U2 sounds". I respect them who have been kept their ability to make their own sound which can not be produced by other artists.
WarBoyinOctober
14 September, 2014
#u2uesday was the best day of any week!!
THANK YOU U2 and apple!!!!! I watched the launch via live stream...and almost lost control of my senses when I realized what was about to happen.... Since Tuesday I have listened to the record at least a billion times!!! And I LOVE IT!!! There is not one weak song on it. I would say that it is the best record< from beginning to end< since the Joshua Tree. It is a masterpeice, in my opinion. At first listen, Every Breaking Wave was the standout and possibly my favorite. But now I love all the songs equally and the record in it's entirety.
stik1
14 September, 2014
Classic tracks.........Results from Dubl
Yo Lads, Iris (hold me close) will be your new "Streets" live ...........................Cedarwood Road is and will be "One" live.......after the 4th Listen .....something new each time you listen ... indoor arenas please 15 nights at the POINT...02 ----03 ------------ Cheers Stik & Plug
Niall OFarrell
14 September, 2014
Great Album U2!!
As mentioned on many comments after a few listens you are hooked on so many songs. Great variation on the album and so great to have new U2 songs to listen to - bring on the live shows :) On the U2 launch with Apple it was bound to cause some backlash - lots of hipsters/too cool to s**t people in the world that we're going to kick off when the biggest tech company and biggest band in the world combined. Rock on guys!
CNF
14 September, 2014
Hands down (again)
The album might as well be called "Resistance Is Futile" Hands Down U2, you nailed it. Again. Love you guys.
toro_nik
14 September, 2014
ah-mazing!
this album is hard to stop listening to...Amazing lyrical journey....goosebumps from start to finish. Could "Sleep like a baby tonight" be any more haunting than it is? Think not! Thanks for this incredible album!
pirisy
13 September, 2014
They're not just bashing the message but
The really cool thing about the automatic download business? People constantly illegally downloading music, pirating it, recording music in concerts etc - i.e getting music without permission... and U2 turn the tables and download their stuff direct to people's iPhones - without permission - and people are outraged at the invasion. And U2 get paid to do it.... ha ha way too ironic.
Oliver21
13 September, 2014
See you in 2015!
Best end to end set since Achtung Baby and big well done to U2!!! - Iris is going to ABSOLUTLEY rock in the stadiums! Now come on and give us the 'big reveal' and lets see the tour announcement! Millennium Stadium, Cardiff UK - here we go again and CAN'T WAIT!
lendublin
13 September, 2014
Manifesting into a classic album, by the
I think that it is hilarious the way this album has been thrown through the windows of millions of people. It's like, "Here...CRASHH...have a listen to this..". (Listen before you judge it) There is not one bad song on this album! and each song is manifesting into a beautiful flower by the minute! The Spirit of their Teenage years in an always unpredictable Dublin, to discovering California, away from the Skin-heads, Mods and Teddy boys, and all the others too. The tributes to the great Ramones, and Clash. There is many singles on this album, which makes it a great album. Every Breaking Wave is simply stunning, as is Sleep Like a Baby, The Troubles is outstanding, California is great when driving, but everyday, so far, i like a different song better. Yiz have done it again. It's great to get this burst of Positive Energy, right now, when the world is falling apart around us all. Everyone, when you get the major goose-bumps during this album, send the energy out into the world, and let's try to light up our beautiful planet. We are all in different corners of the world, collectively send out all the good vibes you feel, to those in the world who are struggling, or are in War-zones. This album has lifted my spirits this week, and it seems it has for all of you too. Throw it out to the Universe, and let's raise the energy! Thanks U2, always just at the right time. I will be buying this album when it is released. Because it is worth it. Great vibes to everyone, everywhere! Thanks for the Light, as always. 5 Stars from me!
bflorendo
13 September, 2014
Finally! Thank you!
Overall, this is a great album since Achtung Baby IMHO. Has a lot of "big" intros, but becomes a little subtle for most of the songs, but I'm not complaining. It has the elements of their 1st 5 albums with the sound of Achtung Baby and Zooropa. From the atmospheric synths (Unforgettable Fire album) to the call-and-response vocals of Fire. Not much of the trademark Edge guitar delay sound, but they sound fresh. Killer bassline runs by Adam. I remember Bono mentioning something about have 4 albums in the works, one being laid back, another one that's guitar driven, a dance album and another one that they didn't really describe. I'm thinking, this is the "laid back" one, but who knows. Great call on having Dangermouse and Epworth produce it...some new angles. My favorites are Cedarwood Road, Sleep Like A Baby Tonight, Where You Can See Me, Every Breaking Wave, Song For Someone and Raised By Wolves. Great thing about U2 albums, it grows on you, the more you listen to it. Finding out other layers that you didn't notice before. I looking forward to their upcoming tour, and their follow up album, SONGS OF EXPERIENCE.
sim65
13 September, 2014
so good!!!
the ultimate test is to listen an albun in the car very loud!!! Songs of innocence passed the test over the average!!! it is an excellent, magnificent album, I heard the echoes of the songs in my head all day long... I love it when Music make me feel like this!
wsacchetin
13 September, 2014
Afflictions
I was expecting the new U2 album to give me a song to sing for a few years and to provide solutions and healing to old wounds like many of the other albums did. You want someone to sing about your pain. The fact is that it came replete with its own hurts and pains. At first I was repulsed by its echoing of my afflictions. But it turns out that its sound, over time, is an outlet for my anguish. My listening and singing along I am letting out the frustrations built over many years slowly.
RayBomb
13 September, 2014
Vol-can-o-o-...
Being a fan of the boys, I, and all Zootopians are naturally gonna be a bit biased but I genuinely think Songs Of Innocence is a brilliant album already. Ya know the way you listen to an album for the first time when it's released and ya think "I gotta give it a few more listens to get used to it"? On my first listen, I felt Songs Of Innocence is destined to be up top among the lads' best albums. I'm not even gonna write a review on specific songs. There's no weak song on the record. Brilliant stuff boys!!
r_fly
13 September, 2014
Thank you U2
Bravo, bravo U2!!!!
Madds
13 September, 2014
Who cares.....
What the media , the critics,the I tune haters say. Our band have produced yet again another album that highlights their relevance. No other band out there could produce this type of album. I also hear the release in October adds more news songs and acoustic versions too. Amazing and very exciting times to be a U2 fan I'm sure you will agree. I hope those U2 fans who commented they couldn't grasp the album after just a few listens do so after the fifth or sixth time as this is quite simply U2 doing what they do best. Next year with the tour is going to be special as the U2 family get back get together, it's been too long.
aqilrafia
12 September, 2014
Class.....
After the initial listen I wasnt too sure but now I love the album.....excellent songs :)
LOREB
12 September, 2014
Thank you for your passion!
Thank you for such a gift and surprise! After a couple of days listening, I am slowly starting to enjoy the taste of this album. I love the fact that it is more personal than others. And that it honours the past, but in a fresh way. "Song for Someone", "Every breaking wave", and "Raised by wolves" are tremendous songs. Today I was thinking that I am so thankful to have your music and you guys, in my life. Greetings from Argentina.
fjfagan1
12 September, 2014
Excellent Music
Great Album, look forward to purchasing the one with acoustic songs in October. After reading the New Yorker's review, I often wonder who these critics are and what they actually hear. I hear a band that once again makes great rock/pop/ballads. This will be a great tour and look forward to seeing the boys again.
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