Tag Archives: U2

New U2 Album, Songs Of Experience

For quite some time, the public has waited to see what U2 can come up with musically. After the release of Songs of Innocence, which hasn’t exactly become he band’s next Joshua Tree, the band has teased the upcoming Songs of Experience. While U2 has long passed the time of expiration for me, this isn’t the forum to express any subjective assessments of a band that many still love. Therefore:

On December 1, Island Records will release the next U2 album, Songs of Experience. The band has released two singles from the new album tha are easy track down and listen to.

Interestingly, it appears that Songs of Experience was financed through Pledge Music. It is there that there are several packages available that should prove exciting pick-ups for the fan. There will be a Box Set Deluxe, featuring a 12″ x 12″ rigid casing. Inside there are 2LP, pressed on 180g-weight vinyl in cyan blue color. The 2LPs will contain 16 tracks. Inside the gatefold jacket, a six-panel oversized book is included. A 17-track Deluxe Edition CD is inside along with a poster, a Songs of Experience newspaper, and a download card for the digital tracks.

The album will issue individually on CD, 2LP, a Deluxe Edition, and DD.

U2 has a 15-date tour ready to promote this new album.

Songs of ExperienceU2

01. Love Is All We Have Left
02. Lights of Home
03. You’re The Best Thing About Me
04. Get out of Your Own Way
05. American Soul
06. Summer of love
07. Red Flag Day
08. The Showman (Little More Better)
09. The Little Things That Give You Away
10. Landlady
11. Blackout
12. Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way
13. 13 (There is a Light)
Bonus Tracks
14. Ordinary Love (Extraordinary Mix)
15. Book Of Your Heart
16. Lights of Home (St Peter’s String Version)
17. You’re The Best Thing About Me (U2 vs Kygo) [This song is NOT included on the 2LP set]




30th Anniversary Of The Joshua Tree Gets A Little Love

A little late, I know. But in case you haven’t seen this, U2 is reissuing their classic 1987 gem, The Joshua Tree. While I infinitely prefer The Unforgettable Fire, and many others will not move past the U2 trinity of Boy, October, and War, The Joshua Tree IS considered by many to be U2’s defining masterpiece. And there is no doubt the songs within are enduring and memorable. No matter your stance on U2 and their recorded body, The Joshua Tree is surely an album that belongs in your collection.

On June 2, Universal/Island will reissue The Joshua Tree in several ways to include a massive set of addition to the original. There will be a single CD featuring just the original album, a 2CD 30th Anniversary Edition that will present the original album as well a CD filled with live tracks called The Joshua Tree Live at Madison Square Garden 1987. That live set will feature 17 live performance tracks. The stakes are upped for the serious fan with the issuance of a 4CD Super Deluxe package providing a CD with six remixes of familiar tracks, and a fifteen-track CD filled with B-sides and outtakes including a 2017 Eno remix of “One Tree Hill Reprise”.

For the vinyl aficionado, there will be a complete 7LP set with all of the good stuff, and a 2LP set for the original. Of course, there will be digital as well. I’m even sure there will be Hi-Resolution DD, although this is NOT confirmed.

The 4CD Box will provide an 84-page book of photos, and eight color prints. These will be cased in a solid and durable outer box with a gold-foil press of a joshua tree on the top.

If some reports are to be believed, the year of these remastered tracks are 2007, the year they released their 20th Anniversary Edition. I consider that pure laziness on their part, but that’s just me. (I’d love to hear what Steve Wilson could do with these – and other – U2 tracks with his remix prowess.) If you’re going to this massive length, then go all the way, say I!

With the upcoming new U2 album in the works, it sounds like a good year to be a U2 fan.

If you want more, a quick trip to the official U2 site will put you in the lap of a mix of bundles that include tees, and record bags.

The Joshua Tree – U2

CD1 (Original Album):
01. Where The Streets Have No Name
02. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
03. With Or Without You
04. Bullet The Blue Sky
05. Running To Stand Still
06. Red Hill Mining Town
07. In God’s Country
08. Trip Through Your Wires
09. One Tree Hill
10. Exit
11. Mothers Of The Disappeared

CD2 (Live At Madison Square Garden 1987):
01. Where The Streets Have No Name
02. I Will Follow
03. Trip Through Your Wires
04. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
05. MLK
06. Bullet The Blue Sky
07. Running To Stand Still
08. In God’s Country
09. Sunday Bloody Sunday
10. Exit
11. October
12. New Year’s Day
13. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
14. With Or Without You
15. Party Girl
16. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
17. “40”

CD3 (Remixes):
01. One Tree Hill (St Francis Hotel Remix)
02. Bullet The Blue Sky (Jacknife Lee Remix)
03. Running To Stand Still (Daniel Lanois Remix)
04. Red Hill Mining Town (Steve Lillywhite 2017 Mix)
05. With Or Without You (Daniel Lanois Remix)
06. Where The Streets Have No Name (Flood Remix)

CD4 (B-sides and Outtakes):
01. Luminous Times (Hold On To Love)
02. Walk To The Water
03. Spanish Eyes
04. Deep In The Heart
05. Silver And Gold
06. Sweetest Thing
07. Race Against Time
08. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (Lillywhite Alternative Mix ’87)
09. One Tree Hill Reprise (Brian Eno 2017 Mix)
10. Silver and Gold
11. Beautiful Ghost/Introduction To Songs Of Experience
12. Wave Of Sorrow (Birdland)
13. Desert Of Our Love
14. Rise Up
15. Drunk Chicken/America


U2 – INNOCENCE +eXPERIENCE – Live In Paris Planned For June

PrintAs expected, once the U2 machinery got up to speed, the video and audio from their Paris appearance (original appearance was disrupted by the November tragedy) would become commercially available.

That happens on June 10. The December shows are planned for Blu-ray (BD), DVD, 2DVD, and a 2DVD/BD Super Deluxe Box with lots of extras. The set is being called INNOCENCE +eXPERIENCE – Live in Paris.

The overview of the video is a 2 and a half hour film with 30 performance tracks including the appearance by Eagles Of Death Metal.

The DVD will be limited to just those performances. The 2DVD set will offer an additional 15 performance tracks, and will feature the Patti Smith performance as well as Gavin Friday’s guide to “Cedarwood Road”. There will also be a ‘behind the scenes’ documentary filmed by the director, Hamish Hamilton. Additionally, the bonus DVD will contain several on-stage tour films, and some music videos.

The BD will contain all of the content found over the two DVD offerings.

The Super Deluxe Box will bundle both the 2DVD set and the BD together. But the Super Deluxe Box goes beyond (of course!) with the addition of an exclusive USB lightbulb, 64-page page hard-bound book, individually numbered dog tags, stencil set, postcard set, sticker set, and pin badges (I resisted the line from Blazing Saddles).

U2 Super Deluxe Box

The set will also be made available as a video download.

Pre-order here.


Wide Awake, I’m Wide Awake…I’m Not Sleeping!

At the risk of pissing some people off, I needed to write this piece. Needed to!

Over the years, I had developed an increasing shadow of U2 disregard. It might even have bordered on dislike. And I need to be careful how I write this so it doesn’t become misconstrued as a “hater” piece.  It’s far from that.

When the new album by U2 came into controversy over its distribution, I willingly listened to it because, over the years, I always hoped that we could get the U2 that we grew to love back in the late ’70s, and ’80s, back to a semblance of that quality.

Now, before I go further, let me explain this clearly: I am not an opponent of creativity or maturity, Nor am I an opponent of art as it is presented. I like when bands get better. Listen to the holy trilogy of Boy, October, and War, and you find a marked difference between those and the following The Unforgettable Fire. And then, The Joshua Tree changed it up more. As did Achtung Baby. And on.

I have listened to Songs Of Innocence over 50 times. OVER 50 times. That’s more than I gave their last two a listen combined. On the last ten listens, I compared it in every way to their earlier works basing each song on a chill factor. The lyrics, the music, the way the song is presented, the overall quality. Unfortunately, I failed to find one song from Songs Of Innocence with ability to create a chill within me.  That made me sad because I want them to succeed. Perhaps my personal opinion of several things within the U2 camp colored my opinion of them over time, but it’s the same principle I usually apply to my other favorites over time as well (right, Adam? Bill B?).

Song for song, there’s not one track on Songs Of Innocence with the same power as “Bad”, “Pride (In the Name Of Love)”, “The Unforgettable Fire”, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, “With Or Without You”, or even those brilliant outtakes from The Unforgettable Fire (“The Three Sunrises”, “Love Comes Tumbling”). My thing is this, eventually you lose your philosophy, your sense of what is important, when you reach that stage where you are suddenly above everyone, even if not by choice.

But I did rediscover something in this small journey. I was still in love with U2. In listening to their earlier songs, my heart swelled with the beauty of their music, the depth of their words, and the greatness of their music. It’s what made them who they are.

I just needed to remind myself, and perhaps others, that U2 is still high on my list of great bands. It’s just that now, they feel irrelevant, in “a dry and waterless place”.

“And if the mountains should crumble
Or disappear into the sea
Not a tear, no not I.”




Review: Awakening – Jackie Evancho

Jackie Evancho AwakeningWhen Jackie Evancho showed the world her stuff on America’s Got Talent at the young age of ten, she easily wowed the judges, and the rest of us. Although she eventually lost the prize to WHO?, she has since made quite an impressive mark in the crossover world of Classical and Pop. With a series of albums already released, including a million-selling holiday set (Heavenly Christmas), Jackie Evancho is quickly – and early – setting herself on firm foundation for a rich and long career. Her latest album, Awakening, goes an immeasurably long way in helping establish that footing.

Awakening has twelve songs on it including the cover of the early U2 classic, “With Or Without You”, and her timeless version of “The Rains of Castamere”, the song from Game Of Thrones. But those two do not define the album. They serve to enhance what is already great. They join a remarkable selection of songs that explore the range of depth she is gathering unto herself.

On Awakening, she selects some classical standards like the traditional and important “Ave Maria” by Vladimir Vavilov; and the beauty of Rachmaninoff’s “Vocalise”. With those two, she gives an ethereal beauty that is uniquely her own. In so doing, she makes the songs themselves unique performances. Her recording of “Ave Maria” is exquisite and absorbing. Jackie Evancho also gives “Think Of Me”, a piece from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom Of The Opera, her hypnotic voice treatment leaving many of us in awe of what can come further in her life.

One of the more surprising offerings on Awakenings is her rendition of “Memories”, by the Dutch symphonic metal band, Within Temptation. Within Temptation is fronted by Sharon den Adel, who has a great voice of her own. (As a record, “Memories” is from the 2004 The Silent Force album by Within Temptation.) On Awakening, Jackie Evancho stays true to the elements of the song, yet providing it the gorgeous vocal that seemingly makes it more elegiac than the original.

In addition to the many popular and previously recorded songs on Awakening, Jackie Evancho gives her stunning soul-reaching, able to reach in deep and squeeze, vocals to several original songs. “Take Me There”, written by Johan Oberholzer, (a songwriter employed by Universal Music), shows the polished range that is possible as a path for Miss Evancho, although I love her current explorations heard on Awakening. There is also her application of perfection to “Open Fields Of Grace”, a song of faith co-written by Lisa Venkatrathnam, and Paul Sumares. she converts her voice to deliver the mysteriously beautiful intent of the lyrics.

A final word about her version of “With Or Without You” found on this album is necessary. The song is well known to many across the world, and therefore, will draw up the requisite comparisons, her rendition to the original. But what needs to be said here is that not only does Jackie Evancho nail the spirit of the lyrics, indeed the song itself, she turns it into a powerful and evocative version that will not fall back after having heard it. Her version can easily stand on its own, without the comparisons. Yes, her “With Or Without You” is a powerful song, and should be heard by lovers of the original.

Jackie Evancho is a modern miracle of voice. Her new album, Awakening, provides twelve stunning examples and 49 brilliant minutes (and 39 seconds) of her greatness.

Release Date: September 22 (UK), September 23 (US), 2014
Label: Sony Music Masterworks / Portrait
Availability: CD, DD, LP

–Matt Rowe

Physical Release Of Songs Of Innocence By U2 Expected in October

U2 Songs Of Innocense DDAfter the deluge of press, good and bad (and sometimes unmerited overkill; see David Fricke’s loving eval of Songs Of Innocence), we may all be on U2 fatigue right now. But whether you were among the supporters, or among the angry hordes, there is little doubt the Apple-financed ($100M) five-week windowed giveaway of Songs Of Innocence, the brand new album by U2 did not affect your behavior in one way or another. But, this is not a forum for that discussion. (You may, however, say what you will in the comments section!)

On October 14, Island Records will officially release physical product of Songs Of Innocence. The album is planned for CD, a CD Deluxe Edition (with four new tracks not received in the free digital download blitz), and a 2LP version. There is no word on whether the band will replace the drab cover used for the digital download.

U2 is expected to follow-up Songs Of Innocence with Songs of Experience (the possibly prophetic title that might mean they will forgo the free download to avoid another possible round of bad press).

U2 Songs Of Innocence