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Songs of Experience Image
Metascore
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 189 Ratings

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  • Summary: The 14th full-length studio release for the Irish rock band was delayed after recent political changes in the world caused the band to change it from being a planned companion album to the more personal Songs of Innocence to a more political one.
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Top Track

Ordinary Love
The sea wants to kiss the golden shore The sunlight warms your skin All the beauty that's been lost before Wants to find us again I can't fight you... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. Dec 1, 2017
    90
    If experience has taught U2 anything, it is that a great new song can still feel like the first day of the rest of your life. Songs of Experience is that innocence renewed.
  2. Q Magazine
    Nov 22, 2017
    80
    Songs Of Experience will likely go down as a late-career classic. [Jan 2018, p.104]
  3. Nov 29, 2017
    80
    It’s not an album that courts new fans by radically changing U2’s style; instead, it reaffirms the sound that has been filling arenas and stadiums for decades.
  4. Dec 5, 2017
    60
    As a continuation of U2’s work at this point in their career, Songs of Experience is a decent addition to their legacy that longtime fans should be generally pleased by. However, it still suffers from the same issues that have made U2 so polarizing in recent years, and is unlikely to change anyone’s mind about the band one way or another.
  5. Dec 5, 2017
    54
    For about nine songs, Experience is good.
  6. Dec 1, 2017
    50
    Retro-conning the existing Songs of Experience material to suit the political climate wasn't the easiest task and the album often shows its seams, particularly when Bono decides to tackle the crisis head-on.
  7. Nov 29, 2017
    33
    Songs Of Experience, U2’s 14th studio album, revs up the ambition, to embarrassing results. It finds the group desperately searching for a radio hit while pontificating on American exceptionalism, shoehorning the Syrian refugee crisis into not one but two love songs--and on consecutive tracks, no less.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 69
  2. Negative: 16 out of 69
  1. Dec 16, 2017
    10
    U2 is one of, if not, the most polarizing bands in history. They have made a few mistakes/rubbed people the wrong way but none of that shouldU2 is one of, if not, the most polarizing bands in history. They have made a few mistakes/rubbed people the wrong way but none of that should affect their music. People act like disliking them it the "cool" thing to do but why? Because they skirted their taxes around Ireland? Big deal, tons of celebrities do. They have done more for this world than any other band, their music is so positive and uplifting. Not to mention the One and Red Campaign for AIDS and Africa.

    U2 is EXACTLY what the world needs right now and this album proves it. Definitely their best since HTDAAB (and before that Achtung Baby). All they really want to do is make a difference with their music and this album is a perfect example. So happy they still make music and want to change the world. Keep it up boys!
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  2. Dec 6, 2017
    10
    The biggest issue with this album is the production, which partially strips the band of its 'U2ness' in pursuit of a more pop sound. PerhapsThe biggest issue with this album is the production, which partially strips the band of its 'U2ness' in pursuit of a more pop sound. Perhaps some of the lyrics are also a bit much. However, the songs here are still overwhelmingly U2, and written in the anthemic way only U2 can manage. I agree with a critic who cited this as a "late career classic"; the songs draw fittingly upon the sound that U2 has developed and perfected over the past 40 years. U2, and more particularly Bono, have no shortage of critics. However for the moaning that one hears about them 'selling out' theres an impressive lack of evidence. I have never seen a band stick more closely to it's guns after such a long career than U2. Expand
  3. Dec 1, 2017
    10
    U2 evolves from album to album, never settling to do quite the same thing twice.

    Songs of Experience is a slightly dark, but joyous and
    U2 evolves from album to album, never settling to do quite the same thing twice.

    Songs of Experience is a slightly dark, but joyous and thrilling experience. Qualities that endeared the masterpiece which is Achtung Baby to me. Songs of Experience has the same effect, achieved it in a new way.

    Another masterpiece!
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  4. Jun 4, 2018
    9
    A bit of a return to form, showing some of the energy they likely found in themselves while touring the anniversary of The Joshua Tree lastA bit of a return to form, showing some of the energy they likely found in themselves while touring the anniversary of The Joshua Tree last year. No real new ground, but a lot to please fans. Expand
  5. Mar 25, 2020
    8
    Songs of Experience by U2: 7.23

    Love Is All We Have Left: 0.5 Lights of Home: 1 :) You’re The Best Thing About Me: 1 :) Get Out of
    Songs of Experience by U2: 7.23

    Love Is All We Have Left: 0.5
    Lights of Home: 1 :)
    You’re The Best Thing About Me: 1 :)
    Get Out of Your Own Way: 1
    American Soul: 0.75
    Summer of Love: 0.75
    Red Flag Day: 1 :)
    The Showman (Little More Better): 0.75
    The Little Things That Give You Away: 1
    Landlady: 0.5
    The Blackout: 1 :)
    Love is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way: 1
    13 (There is a Light): 0.75
    Ordinary Love: 1 :)
    Book of Your Heart: 0.75

    12.75/15 = .85 -> 7.23

    Another awesome album by U2! At first I had my doubts, as the album was delayed for a while after its intended release, but Songs of Experience was definitely worth the wait! It’s a splendid continuation of U2’s previous album, Songs of Innocence, and puts a new spin on some of the songs of the previous album (Lights of Home with Iris, American Soul with Volcano, etc.). There weren’t really any songs I didn’t like, although Love Is All We Have Left and Landlady were kind of bland musically, and American Soul was slightly repetitive. Besides those, this is a another successful album from U2 and I would recommend it to all rock fans. Highlights: Lights of Home, You’re the Best Thing About Me, Get Out of Your Own Way, Red Flag Day, The Little Things That Give You Away, The Blackout, Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way, and Ordinary Love.
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  6. Mar 10, 2019
    7
    Songs of Experience is a MASSIVE improvement over the unwanted Songs of Innocence. This album has several songs that sound more in line withSongs of Experience is a MASSIVE improvement over the unwanted Songs of Innocence. This album has several songs that sound more in line with classic U2 works. A lot of tracks still feel generic and some have lyrics that feel forced. Nevertheless, there are a couple of really good additions to the U2 discography of this record.

    This is the group's best album since "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb", but they will need to continue working at it if they ever hope to release an album that could contend for one of their best works.
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  7. Dec 4, 2017
    1
    Another cynical, joyless arena/corporate rock offering from a once inventive band. U2 have been steadily going down hill for years but this isAnother cynical, joyless arena/corporate rock offering from a once inventive band. U2 have been steadily going down hill for years but this is arguably a career nadir. Expand

See all 69 User Reviews