Friday, September 19, 2014

Sharky reveiws U2's "Songs of Innocence"

I know, I know, a lot of folks out there have been put out by the fact that the band ‘hacked’ their music when iTunes added the new U2 album "Songs of Innocence" to their phones for free …. For Free!
 Heck, even if you aren’t a big U2 fan, for free it’s worth a listen… For Free!

 If you don’t want it, it can be easily taken off ... did I mention it's Free!?

 It’s not really on your phone or even in your iTunes library until you download it from the cloud anyway. It’s just in your ‘purchased’ iTunes folder.

 Ok, so I’ve been giving the new U2 album a good read. I’ve actually listened to it straight through more than once. I don’t think I’ve still EVER made it all the way through 1991’s ‘Achtung Baby’ on one pass, so that's a good sign.

 Achtung Baby was the album that signified the start of the band’s “new sound”. They didn’t want to “sound like an American rock band” anymore and began experimenting with the mix of Euro-trash dance beats and Phil Spectorish walls of sound. Can you believe it was 23 years ago?!

 With this new LP, Songs of Innocence, U2 continues down this path, but with a much more refined mix of the above sound and an ever expanding understanding of ‘pop’ music. Maybe they’ve been hanging out with Sir Paul McCartney, by far, the best ‘pop’ song writer around.

 The 11 song album kicks off with ‘The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)’, probably the first single to be released. It, along with cuts 2, Every ‘Breaking Wave’ & possibly 3, ‘California (There is no end to Love)’, will most likely make it onto the New Cozumel Radio playlist.

 This collection doesn’t seem to be as “in your face” as earlier offerings, the “Euro dance beat” has been toned down and paired with really good rhythms and melodies that are threaded throughout the album.

Bono still cranks out falsetto like a man half his age, singing multiple parts on various songs.

 Edge continues to push the guitar into some sort of space age instrument venue, but also offers some nice acoustic licks, cool Gilmoreish tones, a little metal... and even a tiny bit of actual lead solo! I know, right!  And of course his background vocals are clear and melodic as always… we’re still waiting for the Edge solo LP!!

 Larry Mullen over the years has found he doesn’t have to work so hard, to bring the band together and lays down a really nice backbeat throughout.

Adam Clayton. Well Adam is perfect. As usual, the real heart of this band, the only member who had ANY formal musical training at the beginning of U2, still is just, spot on. So good that you don’t always notice him, but if he wasn’t there, you definitely would notice.

There are elements of Pink Floyd & the Black Keys (but I already said Floyd, right), and even some Pet Sounds experimentation going on, including a little Beach Boys tribute at the beginning of ‘California’.

 I still haven’t ventured too deep into the lyrics, but there does appear to be actual songs and lyrical content, rather than just a bunch of phrases and metaphors strong together.

 So, early assessment is that we give U2’s Songs of Innocence a big “fins up” and recommend all you Tankers to give it a try … like I said … it’s free!

Monday, September 15, 2014

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Friday, September 12, 2014

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