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You, Too Should Listen to U2!

Songs of Innocence Digital Booklet

Songs of Innocence Digital Booklet

Alexandria Anderson, A&E Editor

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It was just another normal day for me, scrolling through my iTunes library to find a catchy song to listen to. I was about to rock out to some Vampire Weekend when I noticed something peculiar: a new U2 album sitting undownloaded in my library.

With some research, I was able to find out that U2 had gifted their 13th studio album, Songs of Innocence, to all iTunes Store customers at Apple’s iPhone 6 launch on Sept. 9.

Now, I wouldn’t actually consider myself a fan of U2. Prior to the album release, I knew who they were and I knew a guy named Bono was the lead singer, but not much else. I had listened to some of the Irish rock band’s songs in the past and liked their sound, but never paid them much attention. But with this album, I was all ears.

Songs of Innocence allows listeners to get a glance through lead singer Bono’s infamous rose-colored glasses as he reminisces on his childhood memories in a majority of the songs.

The first song off the album, “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)” sticks very close to the typical sound of the band, and it brought up in me an almost nostalgic feeling, like I had listened to the song hundreds of times before. Making the song even more interesting was the backstory behind it.

The song is actually a tribute to Joey Ramone, lead singer of the popular rock band, The Ramones. “I sang like a girl….that felt uncomfortable until the Ramones happened to me as they must happen to everyone. Joey Ramone sang like a girl, you could hear an echo of your pain in his voice…that’s why you believed him,” said Bono when explaining the song on the albums digital booklet.

Continuing through the album, I felt as though it was just one big progression through Bono’s childhood and young adult life. Almost all of the songs off the album are connected with some sort of event that happened in the lead singer’s life.

The song “Iris (Hold Me Close)” is a tribute to his mother, who passed away at her own father’s funeral. Track eight, “Cedarwood Road,” refers back to the street in Dublin that Bono grew up on.

One of the most interesting tracks off the album is “Sleep Like a Baby.” The song deviates from the band’s classic rock sound. It starts off with a very electronic beat, quickly turning into a very ominous, almost dark sound.

What really sparked my interest, however, is the chorus of the song. It’s easy lyrical melody makes the song feel almost like an anti-lullaby when juxtaposed to the dark subject matter of the actual lyrics.

All in all Songs of Innocence really was worth the download. Although I had never been a self-proclaimed fan of U2 before, I think I can say without reasonable doubt that now I am. From the progression through Bono’s memories to the feelings of nostalgia kindled by their familiar sound, U2’s new album is definitely worth the listen to. It is free, after all.

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You, Too Should Listen to U2!