U2 - Songs of Experience (Japan Release) (2017)

Posted By: Domestos
U2 - Songs of Experience (Japan Release) (2017)

U2 - Songs of Experience (Japan Release) (2017)
MP3 CBR 320kbps | 01:15:05 | 172.39 Mb | Cover
Pop Rock | Country: Ireland | Label: Island

Songs of Experience is the fourteenth studio album by Irish rock band U2. Released on 1 December 2017, it was produced by Jacknife Lee and Ryan Tedder with Steve Lillywhite, Andy Barlow, Jolyon Thomas, Brent Kutzle, Paul Epworth, Danger Mouse, and Declan Gaffney. The album is intended to be a companion piece to U2's previous record, Songs of Innocence (2014). Whereas its predecessor explored the group members' adolescence in Ireland in the 1970s, Songs of Experience thematically is a collection of letters written by lead vocalist Bono to people and places closest to his heart. The personal nature of the lyrics reflects a "brush with mortality" that he had during the album's recording.

Songs of Experience was first conceived during the Songs of Innocence sessions. During his recuperation from a serious November 2014 bicycle accident, Bono spent time songwriting for the album. The band worked on it throughout the following year's Innocence + Experience Tour while on the road. The sessions continued into 2016, with the album mostly completed by the end of the year. The group had planned to release it in the fourth quarter, but after the shift of global politics in a conservative direction, highlighted by the UK's Brexit vote and the 2016 US presidential election, they chose to put the record on hold and reassess its tone. Consequently, Bono rewrote his lyrics to be more political. With the extra time, the band focused on finding arrangements for the songs that would work live and on record, while remixing and exploring different production techniques. After spending time rehearsing their material, U2 re-recorded many of the songs in March 2017 before completing the album during the Joshua Tree Tour 2017.

On 6 September 2017, U2 released the album's first single, "You're the Best Thing About Me". To promote the album, the band will embark on the Experience + Innocence Tour in 2018.

Songs of Experience has received mixed reviews. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has an average score of 63 based on 25 reviews. James McNair of Mojo called Songs of Experience an "infinitely more satisfying beast than its patchy predecessor" and "U2's strongest album this century". He praised the record for its hooks and for its final songs, on which he felt Bono was at his most vulnerable. Andrew Perry of Q said the album "will likely go down as a late-career classic". The review lauded the group for their ability to evoke a range of moods and sounds: "U2 have dug deep, yet they remain both postmodern and unpredictable. Able to assume many sounds and voices; to invoke their early-'80s innocence, but also none-more-experienced, masters of every inch of their game". Neil McCormick of The Daily Telegraph said that the album is filled with "big meaty hooks matched by singalong aphorisms". He was complimentary of the group for melding their personal conflict with the positivity of their music, saying the album demonstrates them at "their most mature and assured, playing songs of passion and purpose, shot through and enlivened with a piercing bolt of desperation". David Fricke of Rolling Stone said the group's reflection on their mortality provides an "urgency [that] binds and propels the mosaic jump of Experience". Fricke praised the group for offering glimpses of their past work, saying, "The mounting effect is a charge of dynamic moods and a still-certain mission".

In a more critical review, Mark Beaumont of NME found that the band are "old masters at pomping up whatever the kids are buying", comparing portions of the album to songs by Bastille and Kanye West. The review concluded, "U2 have built a stadium rock cruise liner they've zero interest in rocking, and '…Experience' is 50 minutes of very plain sailing indeed." David Sackllah of Consequence of Sound said the album too often "finds the band retreading well-worn material". He said that the lyrical rewrites to reflect the political climate resulted in the album being "full of references that can feel shoehorned in". Calum Marsh of Pitchfork said that Songs of Experience is "the shameless effort of four men in their late 50s to muster a contemporary, youthful sound." The review criticized Bono's lyrics for their platitudes and attempts to tackle political subjects, saying, "Despite the blatant bid to sound modish and rejuvenated, U2 cannot help in certain respects but sound the same." Andy Gill of The Independent said, "Rarely has a band of such stature sounded quite so enervated and bereft of inspiration as U2 do here". The review said the band had been "reduced to hackneyed cheap tricks and tired old truisms barely worth the chords they're strung on – which are themselves the limpest melodies of their career."

In their end-of-year rankings, Rolling Stone named Songs of Experience the third-best album and "Lights of Home" the fifth-best song of 2017. "The Blackout" appeared in The New York Times' list of 54 best songs of the year.

Track List:
01. Love Is All We Have Left (02:41)
02. Lights Of Home (04:16)
03. You're The Best Thing About Me (03:45)
04. Get Out Of Your Own Way (03:58)
05. American Soul (04:21)
06. Summer Of Love 03:24
07. Red Flag Day 03:19
08. The Showman (Little More Better) (03:23)
09. The Little Things That Give You Away (04:55)
10. Landlady (04:01)
11. The Blackout (04:46)
12. Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way (04:00)
13. 13 (There Is A Light) (04:19)
14. Ordinary Love (Extraordinary Mix) (03:47)
15. Book Of Your Heart (03:55)
16. Lights Of Home (St Peter's String Version) (04:33)
17. You're The Best Thing About Me (U2 Vs Kygo) (04:16)

Japan Bonus Track
18. The Blackout (Jacknife Lee Remix) (07:18)

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