Released on the 9th September for free download on iTunes this surprise LP is U2’s 13th studio album and the first in five years.
This album is not as bad as I was expecting considering I am not a U2 fan. It is surprisingly good. It’s not setting anything on fire but I’m not cringing away from the sound. It sounds classic in a way as it’s not offensive or striking, it’s more comforting as if you feel like you’ve heard it before.
There isn’t really any room to not like this album, it has an indifference to it that doesn’t beg to be played or turned off. Considering this is the first album in five years it’s not screaming a comeback, more of a slow resurgence just to remind us that they still exist before maybe preparing for more.
I think its simplicity is mirrored in the album cover as it is just a picture of a record with the title and date of the album. No thought went into it that’s for sure, unless they’re trying to say a lot by saying nothing. The songs themselves sound very samey; they aren’t individualistic so tend to get lost in the album. It’s all quite blurry to listen to. Even the single “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)” is lost.
This album sounds very put together and very safe. There isn’t a feel of experimentalism in the songs so it isn’t memorable and doesn’t stand out as something great that you have to share and talk about with people.
In fairness, “Volcano” is a catchy song, it is one I would listen to again and sounds like it has a bit more feeling in it. This song is the only track that has a more memorable chorus to it that you would recognise and like.
If you wanted something to listen to in the background of daily chores to make the time move a bit quicker then this album is great for that purpose. You can sing along to it and enjoy the experience of listening to the album, but there just isn’t any punch to make you think “wow this is good”, unfortunately.
Overall this album isn’t terrible; it’s just a neutral LP that doesn’t make you feel anything. If you want a pleasant album then this is a good choice, but other than that I can see this being fairly forgettable.
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