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'Songs of Experience' arrives tomorrow and this week the reviewers have been passing judgment. Here's some highlights, we'll add more in the coming days.

"U2 unveil an album full of self-awareness, gravitas and humour... Often it seems as if the moments that deal with the aforementioned brush with mortality are the most natural and enjoyable, as if concerns about their frontman's potential demise caused everyone to stop worrying about U2's place within the contemporary scheme of things and focus on the music… Boasting a guitar part atmospheric and understated even by the Edge's 80s standards, the concluding 13 (There Is a Light) is delicately affecting; Landlady's extended apology to Bono's wife, Ali Hewson, gently achieves precisely the kind of emotional uplift Love is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way nearly gives itself a hernia trying to attain; Lights of Home welds distorted slide guitar and a gospel-ish chorus to an entirely fantastic song. The Showman, meanwhile, is playful and authentically funny: a reflection on the contradictions and ridiculousness of the job of rock star that shows infinitely more self-awareness than Bono's critics would give him credit for... U2 sound more like the band you suspect they want to be than they have in a decade."
Alexis Petridis, THE GUARDIAN,'U2: Songs of Experience, '…fantastic return to form' ****

"People who can't stand U2's earnest, heal-the-world side may want to turn elsewhere right now. The word "love," unironic and high-minded, recurs all over "Songs of Experience," the band's long-gestating sequel to its 2014 album, "Songs of Innocence." Where "Songs of Innocence" was full of youthful biographical specifics, both euphoric and grim, from the group's lead singer and main lyricist, Bono, "Songs of Experience" has an adult's broader, more general perspective. It favours lessons and archetypes, not stories…"
Jon Pareles, NEW YORK TIMES, 'U2 Releases 'Songs of Experience. Cynicism Not Included.'

"Songs of Experience will likely go down as a late-career classic. Unlike its predecessors, it carries some memorable, stadium-ready tunes, initially signposted by You're The Best Thing About me - their best comeback single since 2000's Beautiful Day…. U2 have dug deep, yet they remain both postmodern and unpredictable. Able to assume many sounds and voices; to invoke their early-80's innocence but also none-more-experienced, masters of every inch of their game…. from here, U2 can rebuild with confidence."
Andrew Perry, Q MAGAZINE, Bringing It All Back Home ****

"Textbook anthem Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way… is plainly a parent-to-child letter of reassurance; an important unburdening for someone recently spooked, and another key component in U2's strongest album this century."
James McNair, MOJO, 'The Letters of Paul' ****
 
 "As the title makes plain, Songs of Experience is not the work of young men. It showcases U2 at their most mature and assured, playing songs of passion and purpose, shot through and enlivened with a piercing bolt of desperation. "The Showman gives you front row to his heart / Making a spectacle of falling apart," Bono sings with defiant humour on The Showman, and it is this spectacle that makes Experience so compelling. A little battered by time and bloodied by events, U2 remain defiantly unbowed, as determined as ever to make mass market music that really matters."
Neil McCormick, DAILY TELEGRAPH, 'U2's Songs of Experience is full of desperation and meaty hooks in equal measure' ****

"Behind those tinted shades…there is still a superb blue-eyed soul singer. And next to him, The Edge, is several guitarists in one: if he's not murmuring in your ear, he's roaring like Jimmy Page or taking a step back to join Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton, the most resolute of rhythm sections. After 41 years, U2's secret is their unity, just about the greatest strength a band can have. They're like an old friend now - you take them warts and all, you ride out their midlife crisis, and after spending time with them, you feel uplifted."
Tim De Lisle, MAIL ON SUNDAY, Album of the Week, '…the melodic, punchy tunes soon get under your skin.' ****

"Like its 2014 predecessor, U2's "Songs of Experience" is the product of a difficult and drawn-out recording process. Much more so than "Songs of Innocence," however, U2 has made an exciting, stage-ready album that doesn't blush or blink in its use of the band's signature sounds — The Edge's chiming guitar, Adam Clayton's trebly, adhesive bass, Larry Mullen Jr.'s sharp and responsive drums and Bono's heart-on-his-vocal-cords singing…"
Pablo Gordini, ASSOCIATED PRESS, 'U2's 'Songs of Experience' is a thrilling listen'
  
"...The penultimate track is 'Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way' another multi-layered beaut of a ballad. Sounds like a choir doing harmonies to Bono's soaring vocals and yet another strong grower.  This is truly a cracker of an album on first, second and third listens. Living with it for an extended spell will determine whether it hits the heights of a Joshua Tree, an Achtung Baby or the cruelly underrated Pop."
Eric Lalor, JOE.ie, 'Songs of Experience by U2 ranks alongside the band's greatest work.'

COMMENTS

77
lassche
01 December, 2017
U2 Song s of Experience is on the road..
... .. . To my Home. It can arrive in a few minitues. Love and Light my way. Vertigo Hunter. Detlev Lassche. Oldenzaal town. Miss You Jan Lassche.
juliaquantrill9
01 December, 2017
I am in awe of this album
I just bought a #JBL speaker to listen and I am in awe the sounds the layers the lyrics I think this is U2's Sgt Peppers truly - all four of you have reached music excellence beyond any other band ever I hear the influences of the artists that have changed your lives yet your interpretation of them is so unique so original so u2 - like I rebirth of your early work that will cross generations in its appeal - god I chose the right band to make part of my life you inspire me every day love you all B E L A !!! Beautiful Album
GeorgeZambra
01 December, 2017
yeah shure.
mm.. yeah.. yeah.. shure. where is brian eno and daniel lanois ?
adamfress
01 December, 2017
01 DECEMBER 2017
Dear U2 and to the whole team It is a great emotional shock to listen to this 14th album. "LOVE IS BIGGER THAN ANYTHING IN ITS WAY" Thanks for the tears. Lionel 46 years old PARIS France
Si
01 December, 2017
Simon
Can't wait to hear it all :) On pre-order should arrive today. Love all the ones so far on iTunes. Euro Tour next year can't come soon enough!
Royal73
30 November, 2017
Speechless with Excitement
Oh My God. What a truly epic album. This can only be done by they best group in the world. So much passion in these songs and the lyrics are a biography of their lives. So much respect for these guys. What a awesome Christmas present, thank you.
spinningheadnl
30 November, 2017
Songs of Experience
I've been a fan for almost 35 years and I love the new album. Adam's bass is the best it's ever been. The more I listen the more and more I like. My biggest question is: Why, oh why did you guys think that The Book of Your Heart wasn't good enough to make the final cut of the album? I instantly loved it. Look forward to the new tour.
u2freak74
30 November, 2017
...in love ❤️
What an amazing, stunning, breathtaking album!!!! I´m so in love!!! It brings joy, tears, happiness ...brings me somewhere else! Incredible... This is ❤️
U2SCBRAZILJOINVILLE
30 November, 2017
An Amazing Masterpiece!
The album of the year...U2 I love u guys!!! You are the best band that ever happen to me!!!
kennyu2
30 November, 2017
So different to what i expected but so g
Stunning. On my third listen now and this SOE album is freakin’ epic.
KEV ANGELL
30 November, 2017
OMG
What an album 3rd listen and it’s just getting better and better ......well worth the wait and the way it all links up.....Red Flag Day absolutely stunning !
JB3
30 November, 2017
SOE - Best Album Ever? PERIOD
Hey U2 - only on my second listen and this is right up there if not your best album ever...PERIOD...
davidgonzalezfeijoo
30 November, 2017
One day left!
I'm so excited! I'll be picking up a copy on CD during my my lunch break tomorrow, and I'll be listening to it in the car as I drive to a musical / Taize retreat at a Jesuit retreat house. A weekend to remember for sure!
sunny13
30 November, 2017
You boys still got it!
Some real great songs on this..it’s been on repeat all day!
mystery
30 November, 2017
Can't wait...
to hear the album on repeat. to know the dates for the European shows. to take my teenaged kids to their first U2 show 31 years after I became a devoted fan. Thank you for giving us great music for life.
gps01
30 November, 2017
Thankyou
Just had my first listen, All the reviews are right. This will go down as one of U2’s best ever!! Thankyou for such a great album, and what has been a career of music that has helped shape my life. Love you four!
fernandin23
30 November, 2017
U2 is coming back
I hope to see U2 again in 2018, and I hope this year they'll play in Madrid. Keep doing this way: Great, great, great And don't forget play Bad and Stay. Fernando.
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