Songs of Innocence (Not That Innocent?)

U2

I am writing about an album I have yet to hear a single note from, so this isn’t a review. I’m just surprised over the controversy regarding U2’s decision to release their album Songs of Innocence as a free download and why that move has caused such an uproar. I’m knew to smartphones so I don’t have the experience to judge whether it would be upsetting to have an artist be so presumptuous to believe I want to hear their latest record at no charge. Radiohead has been praised for their experiments in album launches and Moby’s choice to sell his tracks from Play for commercial use was considered necessary to get a virtual unknown’s music out to the public. But a freebie from one of the world’s most popular bands flew over like the name of another world famous rock band. This isn’t a disaster of Heaven’s Gate proportions but this record could easily be known more for its method of release then its content. A lot of the reviews I’ve read mention the album’s launch before ever acknowledging the music found within which may display the condition long player albums are in right now, the substance doesn’t seem to carry as much weight as the marketing. Bono even came out with a 20 year-old secret about his omnipresent shades and his glaucoma after apologizing for giving away his music. I guess he couldn’t see the backlash that was coming. U2 will weather this mini-storm of course, they’re one of the few bands to still be intact over their extensive history so if they can manage that feat they certainly will rise above this setback. It just seemed a little ironic to me that the album that was supposed to remind us of more innocent days pointed out how much times have changed and how public opinion has grown much louder in the age of social media even though it is hiding under anonymity. U2 may not even announce their next record or song, “surprise” releases go over far better than surprise downloads. Can’t wait to hear the CD.

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