U2 plays it safe with solidly crafted Songs of Innocence


Apple might start signing artists to contracts, in order to compete with the likes of Spotify. Photo: iTunes/Apple
Screen grab from iTunes/Apple

As Bono came in chanting and The Edge power-chorded his guitar for the radio-friendly chorus of “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)” today, we hoped for a revitalized big-arena rock band performance from the biggest Irish rock band of all time.

What we got was the boys miming a well-rehearsed, highly-produced single that sounds like anything but The Ramones. Bono sings, “I was young/Not dumb/Just wishing to be blinded/By you/Brand new/We were pilgrims on our way” and, frankly, we wish they were young again. We wanted to be blinded by rockstars, but we really only got an ad for Apple.

At first listen, Songs of Innocence is a musically safe choice, a collection of songs that will sound just fine in the background as you wait in line for your first latte of the day at Starbucks. This isn’t the same band that had us thrilling to “In the Name of Love,” or “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” let alone snake-dancing to the mysterious syncopations of “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” or the gospel-tinged “One.”

The new album is being pitched by the band as intensely personal, but it comes off as more craftsmanship than artistry. It’s not all bad, and chances are U2 super-fans would have bought it even if it weren’t free, but the music lovers in us were a little disappointed.

Amazon AutoRip Gives You A Free MP3 Copy Of Every CD You’ve Bought Since 1998



Amazon has today launched a new music service called AutoRip, which offers customers a free MP3 version of every album they’ve bought on CD from Amazon since 1998. The service currently boasts more than 50,000 digital albums from all the major record labels, and Amazon insists that new titles are added on a regular basis.