Since arriving on the music scene in 1976, U2 has managed to put 14 studio albums under their belt. A band with this amount of experience, and this amount of time in the music industry, should know how to mix things up and continue creating new and refreshing music for all different audiences to enjoy. On the contrary; after listening to their entire discography, I have come to realize that this band has survived so long not because of this, but instead because they continuously appeal to the same listeners, over and over again, and no one else. U2 recycles the same sound, style and lyrics on every album they produce, and Songs of Experience, their latest, is no exception.
The main issue with Songs of Experience is the lyrics. A majority of the songs are songs about love, which ends up being a negative. The bands lead vocalist and writer, Bono, has been married since 1982, and most of the love songs he has written are about his wife. The issue I have with this is since around the ninth album, Pop, each love song has been the same as the rest, so songs like Youre the Best Thing About Me and Get Out of Your Own Way dont provide anything new, and Summer of Love is nothing but forced metaphors. There are a few diamonds in the rough that have their own original and deep meaning, but because of the structure of the lyrics, Bonos vocal delivery and the frequent use of the word you, the songs still come across as being about some kind of relationship.
As per usual, U2s instrumentals are excellent. Larry Mullen Jr. performs excellently on drums, especially in the first single off of the album, Youre the Best Thing About Me, and the fills from Book of Your Heart are very lively and exciting. Lead guitarist, The Edge, when partnered with Bonos dulcet vocals, creates U2s patented dramatic sound. The way Bonos voice is duplicated and echoed after him makes the album sound like a much larger performance than it actually is.
If you enjoy U2s sound, this album is what youre looking for. But if you arent a fan of the band already, this definitely isnt going to draw you in. Separating the album from the rest of U2s music, its lyrics lack content, but its instrumentals are exciting. There are better bands and better albums to listen to for the dramatic take on rock and roll.
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