Give U2 credit for experimenting more here than they have in the past decade, as Bono ventures into higher vocal registers and The Edge improves his fusion of rock and polyrhythm elements. Other experiments are less successful, such as the flourishes of megaphone, vocoder, and Autotune. Still, there’s something for everyone to like in this sprawling, hour-long 17-track album. It’s as if Bono is offering an apology for its 2014 companion album Songs of Innocence
, which suffered from being forcibly included as a free iTunes gift, and for its comparative lack of social or political commentary. Here, the warnings of a broken, angry world are explicit, and Bono gives some effective rallying cries at times. And if the insistence that only love can bring us to a place of common growth sounds a little hollow after the Paradise Papers revelations, that’s nothing new for U2.
File next to:
Midnight Oil, Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen