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Songs of Innocence Image
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 293 Ratings

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  • Summary: The surprise release of the Irish rock band's 13th studio album on iTunes features production from Danger Mouse, Paul Epworth, Flood, and Ryan Tedder. A physical release is scheduled for 14 Oct 2014.
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Top Track

Every Breaking Wave
Every breaking wave on the shore Tells the next one there'll be one more And every gambler knows that to lose Is what you're really there for Summer... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 32
  2. Negative: 3 out of 32
  1. Sep 11, 2014
    100
    U2's first studio album in five years--is a triumph of dynamic, focused renaissance.
  2. Sep 10, 2014
    80
    At times it does sound like it is trying a bit too hard to please. But it's more pop than Pop ever was, and it certainly does the job it apparently sets out to do, delivering addictive pop rock with hooks, energy, substance and ideas that linger in the mind after you’ve heard them.
  3. Sep 12, 2014
    80
    The fact remains that Songs of Innocence ultimately feels like a crucial upswing in U2’s discography, especially since it comes at such a late stage in their careers.
  4. It's an album where the rich embroidery overshadows the essential garment. Details impress but the overall picture never quite comes together.
  5. Sep 15, 2014
    50
    Songs of Innocence comes off as flat and strangely complacent, even as it pays lip service to youthful inspiration, notably the punk and post-punk of the late '70s.
  6. Sep 25, 2014
    40
    Where the singer's awkward earnestness yielded rock & roll poetry through the band's storied odyssey--Emerald Isle exodus (Boy) full circle to paterfamilias (All That You Can't Leave Behind)--his world leader pretend profile here matches Horizon by yielding only self-conscious gobbledygook.
  7. Sep 15, 2014
    30
    It is impeccably produced and sheened, but it sounds polished to the extent of being soulless.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 93
  2. Negative: 9 out of 93
  1. Oct 10, 2014
    10
    Superb album, and even better, it works perfectly as an album, a proper experience from start to finish - something that U2 haven't been soSuperb album, and even better, it works perfectly as an album, a proper experience from start to finish - something that U2 haven't been so good at since the "Pop" era. There's not a single bad track and my favourites continually change but right now Iris, Volcano and particularly Cedarwood Road are right up there. The overall level of intricacy and musical detail mean that even a month later I'm hearing new nuances in every song.

    The Deluxe Edition CD2 is a nice bonus, Lucifers Hands is a great B-Side, Crystal Ballroom is brilliant but let down by a flat, noodly guitar solo that outstays it's welcome. Acoustic songs are interesting though not particularly essential. The alternative mix of Sleep Like A Baby is superb, lyrics literally the other side of the story and the music much dirtier and darker than the album version. Invisible is still a great tune, though not really on a par with anything on the album. Then the different version of The Troubles is a bit of a let down, really just showing how it developed.
    Really looking forward to seeing plenty of songs from Songs of Innocence being played live on the next tour and then we have Songs of Experience to look forward to! Great time to be a U2 fan, despite all the bandwagon-jumping negativity being thrown around.
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  2. Sep 11, 2014
    10
    The best U2 album since ACHTUNG BABY in the sense that there is no weak song or filler in this album. Upon first 3 or 4 hearings, theThe best U2 album since ACHTUNG BABY in the sense that there is no weak song or filler in this album. Upon first 3 or 4 hearings, the stand-out songs are Every Breaking Wave, Song For Someone, The Troubles, Iris (Hold Me Close), and Raised By Wolves. Expand
  3. Sep 10, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Excellent album. A poignantly beautiful collection of cohesive songs - which is a pleasant surprise. Haters will always be there. No point worrying over their drivel Expand
  4. Sep 11, 2014
    8
    Unfortunately, I'm sure my username predisposes my affections towards the band, so please don't dismiss the review out of hand. I've beenUnfortunately, I'm sure my username predisposes my affections towards the band, so please don't dismiss the review out of hand. I've been following the band for a long time, and I've seen them grasp at success so tightly, in this last decade, not realizing, they'd already lost it. But here, they did something truly unique to their catalogue, and threw out their past conventions, focusing instead *on* their past. It works brilliantly. A story that starts wide-eyed and innocent follows the production path down into the depths of all that is evil in the hearts of men: Controversy in the Catholic Church, death, religious warfare, anger, war, and somehow battling your own demons down deep enough that the light, in the end, can win out.

    It's pretty deep for a U2 that's so recently *tried* to be deep and it seems like it comes across incredibly naturally. I'm pleased, at any rate.

    Sure, there are a few problems, here and there: Volcanoes and Raised by Wolves are almost *too* frenetic and the exclusion of Invisible is nearly unforgivable, but entirely possible to overlook, in the long run.

    At any rate, I'm sure pleased.
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  5. Sep 21, 2014
    7
    I don't know why many critics and people are bashing this album. While it's no masterpiece, it's not that awful either.

    Personally, I'm no
    I don't know why many critics and people are bashing this album. While it's no masterpiece, it's not that awful either.

    Personally, I'm no fan of Bono. I always found his voice soulless and his anthem vocals bland; but it was nice hearing him in Sleeping Like a Baby Tonight. It was a somewhat new style from him.

    The music, while nothing extraordinary, is catchy and sometimes uplifting. The second half of the album, though, has some interesting tunes that are largely different from the usual stuff they do. The production is quite slick, too.

    Overall, it's a good and enjoyable outing that tries to walk a fine line between old and new, but mostly goes for the old and familiar.
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  6. Dec 30, 2015
    6
    Really, Really, Really Weak!!!!! doens't seem U2, The best band of rock that they were good melodies,few here have decent melodies,decentReally, Really, Really Weak!!!!! doens't seem U2, The best band of rock that they were good melodies,few here have decent melodies,decent lyrics doens't work with bad melodies... Expand
  7. Sep 10, 2014
    0
    Simply horrible. I was took by surprise when I saw that their album was a part of my music on my iPhone. I decided to give it a try and ISimply horrible. I was took by surprise when I saw that their album was a part of my music on my iPhone. I decided to give it a try and I found myself not recognizing U2. It almost seems like they accepted this deal with Apple because they know that the album sucked.
    Super Disappointing.
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See all 93 User Reviews