U2 - Songs Of Experience

Double 2LP 180 Gram Cyan Blue Vinyl + Download Card

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Songs of Experience is the fourteenth studio album by Irish rock band U2, released in December 2017 via Island Records.

U2 return with their highly anticipated new studio album Songs of Experience, intended to be a companion piece to 2014’s Songs of Innocence. The two album titles take a reference from English poet William Blake’s ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’.

The new album completes a busy year for the Dublin based band, following their return to live stadium performances with the critically acclaimed, sold out The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 playing to 2.7 million fans in just 51 shows across Europe and North and South America, as well as the successful 30th Anniversary re-issue of The Joshua Tree (1987).

Songs of Experience was produced by Jacknife Lee and Ryan Tedder, with Steve Lillywhite, Andy Barlow and Jolyon Thomas. Whereas Songs of Innocence 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 in 2014.

The band worked on the album throughout the Innocence + Experience Tour whilst on the road. The sessions continued into 2016, with the album mostly completed by the end of that year. The group had planned to release it in the fourth quarter of 2016, however 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 in tone. 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.

In September 2017, U2 released the album's first single, "You're the Best Thing About Me".

The album received mixed reviews from music critics. David Fricke of Rolling Stone magazine provides a glowing review of the album, rating the album with 4.5 stars (out of 5), and writing:

“…It is nearly business as usual. "Nothing to stop this being the best day ever," Bono declares in "Love Is All We Have Left," at the start of U2's sequel to 2014's Songs of Innocence. But the singer's delivery is striking in its restraint: like cautious prayer or a fragile wish, suspended over the rippled-sea strum of the Edge's guitar and Adam Clayton's bass-guitar gravity. Bono quickly straps on his bravado in "Lights of Home": "One more push and I'll be born again," he crows, framed by the Edge's skidding-blues licks and drummer Larry Mullen Jr.'s rock-grip twist on hip-hop stride.

You hear near-fatal reckoning too. "I shouldn't be here 'cause I should be dead," Bono admits in that song's first line, alluding to his recent "brush with mortality" (as the Edge put it in a recent interview). If Songs of Innocence was rock's most persistently hopeful band looking back in wonder at its punk-rock origins and unlimited dreaming in late-Seventies Dublin, Songs of Experience is U2 in late-middle age coming to grips with an inevitable reality: They no longer have all the time in the world.

That urgency binds and propels the mosaic jump of Experience: the eerie, hesitant beginning; the sunrise drive of "You're the Best Thing About Me"; the pleading psychedelia of "Summer of Love," set in a devastated Syria. As they did with Innocence, U2 made Experience with multiple producers, including veteran hand Steve Lillywhite. Earlier U2s flash by, like the streaming of a greatest-hits album: the Pop-like contradiction of boogie nights and apocalypse now in "The Blackout"; the echo of The Joshua Tree's shadows and spaces in "The Little Things That Give You Away."

The mounting effect is a charge of dynamic moods and a still-certain mission – the choral-army light of "Get Out of Your Own Way," speared with rusted-blade guitar bravura; the seesaw of punchy-funk riffing and breakneck vocal glory in "Red Flag Day" – set in candid summations of what's been gained, lost and left undone. "American Soul" is a metallic-guitar letter of gratitude to the roots and ideals that drove U2 forward (with a warning-sermon cameo by Kendrick Lamar). Other songs face home and the band's debt to family and fidelity. "I will win and call it losing," Bono pleads through the icy-guitar rain of "Landlady," "if the prize is not for you."

Songs of Experience ends like it opens – in a hush; "13 (There Is a Light)" also circles back to Innocence, reprising the chorus of that LP's "Song for Someone." But where the latter was Bono's wide-open love song to his wife, Ali, "13" renews his commitment to the purpose and sustenance he still finds in music, songwriting and performance. If experience has taught U2 anything, it is that a great new song can still feel like the first day of the rest of your life. Songs of Experience is that innocence renewed…”

The album covert artwork features an image by Anton Corbijn of the band-members’ teenage children Eli Hewson and Sian Evans.

Check out the tracks:  "You're the Best Thing About Me"; “Get Out Of Your Own Way”; The Blackout”; and “American Soul”.

This double album 2LP record set is on 180 gram cyan blue coloured vinyl housed in a gatefold sleeve with printed insert and digital download code, pressed in Europe.

(602557977042)

Tracklisting:

 

No.

Track

Time

A1

Love Is All We Have Left

2:41

A2

Lights Of Home

4:16

A3

You're The Best Thing About Me

3:45

A4

Get Out Of Your Own Way

3:58

A5

American Soul

4:21

B1

Summer Of Love

3:24

B2

Red Flag Day

3:19

B3

The Showman (Little More Better)

3:23

B4

The Little Things That Give You Away

4:55

C1

Landlady

4:01

C2

The Blackout

4:45

C3

Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way

4:00

C4

13 (There Is A Light)

4:19

D1

Ordinary Love (Extraordinary mix)

3:47

D2

Book Of Your Heart

3:55

D3

Lights Of Home (St Peter's String Version)

4:33

SKU 602557977042
Record Label Island Records
Label / Model # Universal
Catalogue Number 5797704
Country EU - Europe
Release Date (Year) 01 December 2017
Original Release Date (Year) 01 December 2017
Barcode # 602557977042
Shipping Weight 0.6950kg
Shipping Width 0.010m
Shipping Height 0.314m
Shipping Length 0.314m
Shipping Cubic 0.000986m3
Type New
Format Limited Edition Double Album 2LP Records, 180 Gram Translucent Cyan Blue Vinyl, Gatefold Sleeve, Inner Sleeves, Printed Insert, Digital Download Card
Vinyl Colour Blue
Genre Rock
Genre Pop Rock
Genre Classic Rock
Format VINYL LP

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