Happy Tuesday! U2 released a surprise album on Tuesday, proving that announcing an upcoming album just isn't done anymore. First Beyonce, then Kid Cudi, Skrillex, and even Michael Cera have jumped on the surprise album train. In the future, no one will have any idea when any given artist or band will drop an album, it'll just be downloaded directly into our brains. Sound crazy? According to iTunes, U2's new album, Songs of Innocence , is in your iTunes music library right now. Surprise albums are the way of the future, and if anyone knows how to stay internationally relevant, it's U2. The band has been together for over thirty years, and they don't seem to be showing any signs of slowing down.
Rolling Stone reports that the release of Songs of Innocence was announced Tuesday at a press conference for the new iPhone 6, and marks the largest album release of all time. U2 and Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly decided together that releasing the album on iTunes for free would be the most effective way for U2's "half a billion" subscribers to access it. In a conversation with Rolling Stone prior to the album's release, Bono said,
We wanted to make a very personal album[...]"Let's try to figure out why we wanted to be in a band, the relationships around the band, our friendships, our lovers, our family. The whole album is first journeys — first journeys geographically, spiritually, sexually. And that's hard. But we went there.
Songs of Innocence delves deep into a number of heavy topics, as U2 has been known to do. I listened to the surprise album and dove into the waters of U2's signature meta commentary so you don't have to. Here's what I heard:
1. "The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)"
Not sure where Joey Ramone factors in, but his miracle starts the album off strong. I feel vaguely inspired and ready to go out and start a revolution or something. Or at least leave the house.
2. "Every Breaking Wave"
Ocean symbolism as a metaphor for life. Very U2.
3. "California (There is no End to Love)"
A brooding commentary on viral celebrity. I think.
4. "Song for Someone"
"Someone" should feel really special because they got a really pretty song dedicated to them and it sounds like Bono likes them a lot.
5. "Iris (Hold Me Close)"
Haunting. Foreboding. Sounds like Bono needs a hug real bad.
Probably the catchiest song on the album. It will find a way to worm its way into your brain and never leave.
7. "Raised By Wolves"
The song title makes me picture Bono growing up as feral child prowling the Irish woodlands.
8. "Cedarwood Road"
Sounds like driving down a backwoods road deep in thought about a general disappointment with the current state of humanity. The moral of this story: money doesn't buy happiness.
9. "Sleep Like a Baby Tonight"
They lost me at "eyes as red as Christmas".
10. "This is Where You Can Reach Me Now"
What is that ambient background noise? Seagulls? Torpedos? Why are so many people singing at the same time??
11. "The Troubles"
Kind of a downer to end the album on, but I don't notice because I'm more preoccupied with decoding Bono's elaborate religious metaphors. WHAT DOES IT AL MEAN??
I present you with the soundtrack to your existential crisis.