First Reviews

10 Sep 2014121
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
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raythebrochet
The melody is in my soul
The last melody I had in my soul since a year was Arcade Fire Reflektor album. After four times, Songs of Innocence replaced it. If you're not in it, you're not a real U2 fan. Bravo à la banda de Dublin. Ray. From Montreal.
Kedeby
Solid!
You guys always seems to surprise me. I find that Raised By Wolves shines a little bit more than the others. But the hole album is getting under my skin after hearing it for the last couple of days. I think that you're getting back to the roots from the early years in some of the songs and yet have giving the U2 sound a little twist of Lemon ;o)
M_Bono
Best since Pop
Is the best album since All that you Cant leave behind and Pop. Please give us some news about tour please!?!?!!?
joecvar
Fresh! No one else does this!
I am honored when my musical heroes share something this PERSONAL with me. There is so much beauty, pain and soul in this album, it moves me in a huge way. This album is why I love you guys so much, THANK YOU!
Paul Bertens
What a courage
What an unbelievable record!!!! It is beautifull. And what a courage to lau out your complete childhood for half a billion people. Very nice job on Every breaking wave. Beautiful song it has become. I miss Adam though. No line was his record, this is Edge's. Thank you so much. Paul from Holland
cbarn
Worth the Wait!
I am in awe at the amazing album. I really shouldn't be, as I love just about everything U2, but this album is fantastic. I'm usually a bit slower to warm up to new music, but this one grabbed me right away. It's so hard to chose a favorite track, but I think Every Breaking Wave just speaks to me. I love the flow and the passion I feel in the chorus. Wonderful song. The rest are fantastic in there own ways, as well. Great job, boys. You still have it.
EnjoyTheClaw
Now I understand why
everyone close to the band kept saying " I'm sure you''ll like it a lot ". It's true, the beauty of this album goes much further any expectations. I think it comes from the intimacy. It's really THEM in there, expecially Bono, actually. It's so close now. I am quite curious to know how much of US there'll be in the next one . (only review that I like, the one of NYT).
musicabona
The most beautiful sound
I´m so glad that U2 are back with full passion, energy, intensity and deep emotion. The new album truly captures the essence of the band and puts a very powerful focus on the main colours of rock´n´roll. Its rawness combined with a great balance between guitars, a vital rhythm section and vocals shows the mastery of U2 once again. This very personal record partly revisits the early days sonically and lyrically. "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)" tells a moving story about how Bono found his love for music and a way to release pain. "Iris (Hold Me Close)" belongs to the most haunting songs, with Bono revealing deep appreciation for his mother and an awareness where he comes from. I absolutely love the way his melodies create a beautiful crescendo and culminate in the line "Hold me close". His voice truly shines! Coming from a very dark place, "Raised By Wolves" is probably the heaviest track, doubtlessly referring to the horrific incidents of Ireland´s history. For me the album also represents a journey through life from adolescence to middle age, with "Song For Someone" evoking the image of a face that can already tell stories about scars coming along with experience. Great, great album! Congratulations, U2!
WhyWhyDelilah
Volcanic
Just can't get enough of this album - U2 never ever disappoint - Thanks again!!! Oh, and when is the tour???
OB
Gotta listen to it
OK, my first impression wasn't that great but after listening few times the songs are starting to grow on me. I do like a lot Song for Someone. I think it is the best one of the album. It's a solid album and I would put on the second tier of great U2 albums. Good job!
Macc
Well, you did turn just another Tuesday
Thank you for the nice surprise, your great impact to me and of course for the new album :-) It's highly appreciated
u2nadias
Love Every Breaking Wave
Can hardly wait to see the video and hope this is released as a single, as well as Song for Someone!!! Keep playing it over and over. Totally different album - but love it.
craigmartin
THEORY
Judging by the lyrics , the next part of the story is " Invisible " , which would be track 1 on " Songs of Experience " .
Les Waugh
Les
Another amazing album, fresh with pure emotional depth. The boys have done it again!! U2 will always be relevant and are still what all other rock bands aspire to be, just when others think they can stride the world as the worlds greatest U2 take it to the next level, once again not afraid to wear their hearts on their sleeves and produce another genius selection of songs. The usual U2 critics who think it is cool to knock the band at all costs are doing the rounds but who cares?? They fear greatness and can't accept that U2 have and always will be great, don't fear irrelevance just keep making the wonderful, powerful, inspirational music you always have and the world will listen. See you in 2015 and thank you U2.
mouse1963
Good times return
Waited a long time for this but was the wait worth,excellent job guys,you made a lot of us happy again,enjoying every song on this album over and over again,can't wait to see the best rockband on tour again,thnx for all.
Salvo2905
W U2!!!!!
Great job Guys!!!!!! God Bless You!!!
Sleehrat
Note to Critics: Get Over It.
I am more than a bit bemused (as should be the boys) by the amount of U2-bashing in the press. Look - "Songs of Innocence" is not "Achtung Baby" or "Joshua Tree" or "All That You Cant Leave Behind." It is its own work, for whatever good or bad that may mean to the listener. Greatness is not always found in perfection and I will accept this album, given to me free, graciously and revel in whatever flaws it may contain. I will take the honesty of this album over the contrived artifice of any recent effort by Coldplay, Beyonce or any number of wannabe contenders for best band in the world. Hats off to U2 and I am looking forward to the new music that I predict will follow in the months to come!
globaltraveler
Sounds like the first album of a new gre
Popped the cork yesterday on this album. After many listens it gets better "like fine wine," and I kind of get their strategy for this collection - a fresh approach on their musical style while taking a look back. I now expect the next album "Songs of Experience," I think it's called, to have a more modern sound and reflect on the band in a more current light. I can't really compare the sound on this album to any of their other ones, as it almost sounds like the first album from a new great band.
Ultra_19
Beautiful Ghost (Songs of Experience)
This song released on the Rare and Remastered mix brings to me a strong connection for Songs of Innocence. it is the innocence lost but the experience gained. Listen to the words of this song and then listen to Songs of innocense.....gives me chills and makes me already have high faith (and expectations). I hope they include it in Songs of Experience (the album to come)....not doubt they can infuse further William Blake and U2 together.
Graemevdw
Quincy
Joshua Tree, Achtung, Unforgettable Fire... Songs of Innocence- God just walked through the room. Well worth the wait!
1ocean
Song for US!
I just listened to the album... The pearl in the set for me is Song For Someone... I get the Spirit chills when I hear this one, and would pay full admission just to hear this one song live. Definately a U2 classic. Thanks Boys!!!
eini88
magnificent, great, brilliant, gorgeous,
can't find enough words for this album&band!!! THX a lot...hopefully back on tour soon.... :-)
6string
Listened to it a few times now...
I like it, but not sure I love it. I will add that U2 albums generally take a while for me to digest... And as a result tend to stick. But so far, I am kind of neutral on this one. Either way, I am thrilled they are back and look forward to some live shows!
Boots
Sleep kills
I can't wait to see the band performing Sleep on stage.
rubes2323
rubes
another brilliant album. You guys just get it right evry time and I am so thankful to have your music in my life and be able to share what I have experienced with my kids. you have all bought me so much joy in your production albums, live concerts and books it is without a doubt that this was going to be a huge release and you certainly did not disappoint. I have listened to the LP now 5-6 times and as with all U2 albums it gets better and better the more I listen.....loving The Miracle, Volcano, Every Breaking Wave,The Troubles and California. Can not wait to hear when the tour will be.......and just quickly whats the suggestion of another album to follow???? Songs of ????
ozziepaulgerrard
Poetry of William Blake
U2 fans know Bond is a poet and a lover of the classical poets. And an Irishman with a wicked sense of humour. The veiled promise of a second album... Sounds of Experience in the remember us post on u2.com says it all.. William Blake the poet released two unified works... sounds of Innocence and of Experience. I am looking forward to the second part of this prose... Well done lads.http://www.glyndwr.ac.uk/rdover/blake/songs_o3.htm
U2InTheNameOfLove
Thank you for surprising us once again!
I bet U2 fans are lucky as they never get bored! :D Thank you for this personal album born inside Liffey river not on the river. It is like picturing U2's life in those days that the band was actually becoming a band and this is a very hard thing to put into music after so many years, something that only U2 could have done. Now after this intimate album I will expect an intimate tour.Thanks.
paoladegliesposti
Songs of innocence
It' s a parabolic trajectory , ' Iris' (Hold me close) and 'Raised by wolves 'vocals are very great. ' Every breaking wave' has a bass part in the beginning extremely effective. ' Volcano' is a great completion and following of ' Glastonbury'-
dellaz
Liking it faster than I did nloth
Hard to have to work and wait to be off to listen again love it grows on you love raised by wolves and every breaking wave. Lots of layers of sound and emotions.like really good wine,it deserves to be savoured .and I will ! how wonderful to get a great U2 album like this. once again u2makes the world a better THANKYOU. place.
160X
Diggin in
So...I heard the 60 second snippets on a work computer on some crappy speakers via iTunes. Was unable to download album there. Thought it might not be good. When I got home, downloaded and listened in on home theater speakers. Much better. Love 9, 10, and 11. Very much experimental for them. I too hear elements of War, ATYCLB, and others. Adam really shines on this album. Each member has their moments to shine. The album feels a little darker in places. Overall I think they took a few risks and threw in some of their signature sounds as well. Not a big fan of California? Not sure why. Volcano kind of has a few different levels to it. I'm finding myself looking for the landscape of this album. I believe it's their homeland. Never been there before. Looking forward to getting deeper into the lyrics and their meaning. I need to live the songs before I get them most of the time. Had to post because of friend of mine and I sat and listened to whole album and played it loudly as well as discuss the raw hit the new sounds we're giving us. Thanks for the gift U2. Always inspired!
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