Review Round Up: Songs of Experience by U2

U2 are back with their 14th studio album following on from 2014’s Songs of Innocence. Here is what critics have been saying about it…

songs of experience.jpg “The music itself isn’t any better merely because this time around the band actually cares; all the industrious fervor amounts to meager flailing.”

Consequence of Sound: “For the first time in decades, Songs of Experience finds U2 confused about what kind of band they want to be.”

Rolling Stone: **** 1/2 “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 Guardian: ** “Many fans will enjoy this album’s radio-friendliness, and its warm hugs. But these Songs of Experience lack William Blake’s moral fervour or rage.”

Variety: “Songs of Experience is the band’s best since “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb” (which won the best album Grammy in 2006) and it’s a remarkable accomplishment for a band in its fifth decade of existence.”

NME:  ** “U2 have built a stadium rock cruise liner they’ve zero interest in rocking, and ‘…Experience’ is 50 minutes of very plain sailing indeed.”

RTE: *** “Despite it all, U2’s staying power, self-belief and hope remains admirable after all these years. Rarely have four men with so much experience sounded so very innocent.”

The Times: ** “U2 are back with a rather play-it-safe songbook”

All Music: ** 1/2 “Here, U2 feel trapped between their history and the pull of the year, and they wind up seeming diminished. For the first time, they seem smaller than life.”

The FT: *** “Bono’s favourite mode of bombastic paradox is much in evidence (“Today we can’t afford to be afraid of what we fear”) but overall he tones down his act. References to issues such as the refugee crisis pepper his lyrics rather than provide the gamey main ingredient, while his voice is emotive and stirring, more attuned to his bandmates’ efforts than on Songs of Innocence.”

Songs of Experience is available to buy and download now


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