The reviews for U2's Songs of Innocence are starting to trickle in, and they aren't good. Of the handful I've read, all but one ripped it unmercifully. The one glowing review was from Rolling Stone, which was an all out slobber fest, and made me wonder if it was a paid review because it was that good. The first negative review (other than from the general public) I read was NME's 4 out of 10 rating, and while I thought it was harsh, Stereogum's review was the knockout punch.
The quality of the album isn't the only issue at hand here. The foisting of the album upon anyone with an Apple account seemed to piss off more than the band's effort did. Many complained of lack of space on their device, and there were, of course, the big brother style complaints levied against Apple. But they were able to deflect most of that with the announcement of a new line of phones and watches, U2 has nothing else to hide behind. Perhaps Michael Stipe's 9/11 rant today was the diversion?
Early on here at Aimless Skylarking, I said there'd be no critical statements or rants, and I'll hold to that. I downloaded the album, and have listened to it 3 times now. Mostly while at work when I am not likely to distracted.
I have never seen the band in concert, my wife saw them back in 1991, but I would love to. And while I will check off a life list item, and it will probably be an amazing show, it will lack the warmth and personal feel of a small venue.
I bought Boy on cassette in the early 80's, and War on vinyl not long after that. Since then, I've bought everything they've produced, not all of the ultra rare foreign releases, but all of the albums and EPs. Recently, I've been buying the deluxe versions of those first few offerings, just for the remastering and extras.
While I say all of that, which is a "yes, I am a fan" statement, I'm not clamoring to hear anything past Achtung Baby live besides 'Stuck in a Moment'. Sure, I like a few post Achtung Baby songs -- 'In a Little While', 'Kite', 'Vertigo', 'Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own', and 'Moment of Surrender', but I wouldn't want those songs to keep me from hearing something I truly enjoy from the early days. Instead, I would want to hear some deep cuts like 'So Cruel', 'Shadows and Tall Trees', 'Rejoice', 'Like A Song', 'Surrender', and even the universally despised 'Elvis Presley and America'.
Even though this was free, I'll have to own a physical copy, it's the completist in me.