Hey all. I want to make music a bigger part of this blog, which was one of the main goals of starting this site in the first place. As some of you may know I am a college radio DJ. As part of this job I listen to probably over 100 songs that are new to me in a week, and revisit old artists as well.
This week I have been listening to a lot of stuff from one of my absolute favorite bands: U2. I’m not going to spend this post defending my love for U2 (maybe another post). It’s, of course, trendy to hate on the band since the iTunes-gate incident of 2014. In any case, I have finally gotten around to listening to their latest release, in the wake of their current tour. I found the deluxe version on spotify, which has a lot of acoustic versions of the new songs. Although I like some of the stuff off of their new album, it feels a little lost. It seems like U2 is trying to figure out what kind of music they make now, in the wake of How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, which felt like a brave new U2, and No Line on the Horizon, which felt like the brave new U2 starting to get lost in the Cedars of Lebanon.
However, the acoustic versions of the newest album, Songs of Innocence, remind me of the character of the latest two albums with a dash of some older, Joshua Tree era sounds. I find this especially true on “The Miracle” and “California”. If you are looking for a door into the arguably less accessible or at least less organized and clear new album, I would suggest listening to the deluxe edition.
Having been drawn to U2 once again by their new album, I also had the pleasure of rediscoving The Best of 1980-1990 / b sides. Hearing all these classic old U2 reminded me of the band they were and are. I’ve really started to fall in love with this album anew, really experiencing some of these songs in a novel way. This is also a re-education for me in experiencing the somewhat more obscure songs which are included (Spanish Eyes, Hallelujah Here She Comes, and Trash, Trampoline, and the Party Girl). All in all, the very Irish and very American flavors of this album sampling a decade and revealing fun glimpses into less common versions of songs I knew by heart resonated very intensely with this man of partially Irish-American descent.