So the album was given out for free by Apple, after Apple probably paid U2 a huge chunk of money to do it. It’s a freebie that tries to re-emphasise Apple’s dedication to music, but it just comes off to me as a cheap marketing ploy to retain customer rapport. And U2 can’t even be bothered to try selling their album; they’re just taking the money and probably hoping for future collaborations again.
But this shouldn’t be about the story behind the album, it should be about the sound. And while it’s recognisably U2 (I mean, it is Bono), it came across as…boring. See, I like U2, but either my tastes have modified slightly, or the record was just that: bland. It doesn’t have toe-tapping rhythms, or stand-out lyrics, or anything that jumps out at me. It feels so generic that none of the songs wanted to stay in my head.
As the album played on though, it did seem to crawl towards a crescendo, ending on a pretty decent note. But it still feels like a letdown compared to some of my favourite U2 albums, like All That You Can’t Leave Behind and How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. But maybe because Songs of Innocence was supposed to hark back to the roots of U2, my preference for their later albums makes me biased towards those instead.
Oh well. It’s free, right?