Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Album Review: ‘Songs of Innocence’

NEWLIFEPCA.ORG U2's latest album has a uniform alternative rock sound and is free until Oct. 13.
U2’s latest album has a uniform alternative rock sound and is free until Oct. 13.


It was a mysterious occurrence: Suddenly, while viewing your iTunes library, you noticed that Irish rock band U2’s latest album, “Songs of Innocence,” was automatically added to your queue of songs despite not having purchased it.

However, this was not U2 hijacking the iCloud or your phone stealing music from anyone. The band teamed up with iTunes to gift their album to Apple users until Oct. 13. Apple paid Universal Music Group and U2 over $100 million to make this happen — and to the listener’s enjoyment, this gift of 11 songs turned out to a freebie worth keeping.

However, in comparison to U2’s classic songs, this album was a bit dissatisfying. The intense alternative rock was a bit unexpected, but is uniform throughout the album.

Kicking off the album is the fiery alternative track “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone).” With a killer guitar riff and inspiring lyrics of “chasing down a dream before it disappeared,” this track invites the listener right off the bat to join the party. Tracks such as “Volcano” add an element of aggressiveness to the loud, rock sound of the album with vocals that greatly resemble yelling and a fast tempo that captures the listener. The deep bass notes and intense chorus telling the audience “you are rock’n roll” delivers a classic rock sound.

Up next is “Every Breaking Wave,” a hopeful track with a similar sound to “Iris (Hold Me Close).” Both were some of the better tracks on the album, having positive and hopeful themes of always staying true to yourself: “Iris (Hold Me Close)” contains the lyric “Free yourself/ To be yourself, if only you could see yourself.” While all of the songs on the album have a general theme of self-confidence, these two tracks calm down the rock intensity with more ambient instrumentals and softer vocals.

The acoustic notes of “Song for Someone” sing of someone’s savior as an essential light in the world. “I don’t know how these cuts heal/ But in you I found a right,” they sing.  The style and pace of this song was considerably unlike those of the other tracks on the album. Its uplifting mood and diversified vocals mark a distinct contrast to U2’s more alternative rock sound and pleasantly surprise listeners.

The track “Raised By Wolves” begins with animalistic noises and an intense sound with lyrics that tell a compelling story. Although this was an interesting song to listen to, I was confused and a bit turned off to the song by the background noises meant to resemble wolves. The ominous notes of  the song “Sleep Like a Baby Tonight” continues this eerie vibe, and profound lyrics like “you dress in the colors of forgiveness” and “tomorrow dawn’s like someone else’s suicide,” experiment with a darker tone.

The song I found the easiest to listen to on the album was definitely “The Troubles.” Its mellower sounds and slow synthesizer beat immediately create a relaxing mood. Additionally, the complementary female vocals provide a change from the rest of the album, which is probably why this track is one of my favorites. The recurring theme of staying true to oneself  connects back to the album title “Songs of Innocence,” and is especially pertinent to our generation.

Contrary to mellow U2 classics such as “Beautiful Day” and “With or Without You,” the  band’s newest album includes more upbeat tracks and hones in on its alternative-rock sound.

The change is successful for the most part, although I eventually found that the 11 tracks start to blend together. There were few distinctions among some of the tracks, and in comparison to the older tracks of U2, I was a bit disappointed.

Each song is very long, with most over 4 minutes. While there is no need to actually recommend purchasing this album since it’s is likely already available in your iTunes library, it’s definitely a worthwhile listen for anybody willing to invest the time.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Hoya Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *