Casey Hudacko ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Well, they’ve done it again. U2, the infamous band of nearly 40 years dropped a surprise new album this week. At an Apple Event for the unleashing of the iPhone6, the band had their own announcement to make. They shocked the crowd with the announcement of their new album that was released on iTunes for free. That’s right. For free.
In the first few hours after its release, the 12-track album was downloaded by hundreds of thousands of people. But this is no surprise, considering the band has been an active force in the music industry for nearly 40 years. Their last album, “No Line On the Horizon” was released in 2009, so fans of the band had a thirst for new music that needed to be quenched. The album is the 14th for this veteran group and is filled with catchy melodies and soulful vocals that can be expected from U2.
The album opens up with a song titled “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)” which is a clear tribute to the late, great founder and member of The Ramones. The song features an infectious riff and vocals that are easy to sing along with.
The members of U2 are also known for being activists for the Irish people. They have assessed many social and political issues that have happened in Ireland through their music. And example of which is their song “Sunday Bloody Sunday” which was released in 1983. They stayed true to their Irish heritage for this album as well. An interesting song called “California (There is No End to Love),” opens with church bells, which connects back to their Irish Catholic roots. This song also features components of piano, violin, and synth that come together in this fast-paced ballad. The last song on the album, titled “The Troubles” which is a reference to The Irish Troubles that took place in Northern Ireland for nearly 30 years.
The album also features a few slower songs that really allow frontman Bono’s lyrics to shine through. Songs such as “Every Breaking Wave” and “Song for Someone” add acoustic guitar to the mix to make for a softer sound. “Song for Someone” in particular centers on the lyrics that express raw emotions of love, despair, hope, dreams, and the struggle between right and wrong and dark and light.
Another song that really stands out is “This is Where You Can Reach Me Now.” The song starts out with a slow drum beat, and then incorporates the sound of gulls (yes, the birds) while mixing in more percussion and acoustic guitar. It then takes a turn into a soulful, electric guitar and synth bridge that takes us into a chant-like chorus.
There was no build up for this album, no announcement months in advance, no time for pre-order. It was just given to us without allowing us time to form expectations. But even if I had set my expectations fairly high, I would still have been blown away. Each song stands alone as a piece of art, but when put together on an album, they cohesively convey true and genuine emotion that any audience can connect to.