I’ve listened to U2’s new album maybe three times now, and I think I’ve realized something: I’ve quit expecting anything from U2. And now that I’ve quit expecting anything from them, I like their albums a lot more. Songs of Innocence (I love you guys for that title) is fun to listen to, generally upbeat, doesn’t really rock on more than one song, but is more coherent musically than How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb and more interesting on a first listen than No Line On The Horizon. I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve liked a U2 album on first listen (maybe Achtung Baby? — since then it usually takes me about three to five years to like their albums), but I did like this one first time around. Try it yourself: quit expecting anything. Just listen.
I want them to toss the arena rock sound and record something punk again.
Dr. James Rovira is higher education professional with twenty years experience in the field in teaching, administration, and advising roles. He is also an interdisciplinary scholar and writer whose works include fiction, poetry, and scholarship exploring the intersections of literature and philosophy, literature and psychology, literary theory, and music and literature.. His books include Women in Rock, Women in Romanticism (Routledge, 2023); David Bowie and Romanticism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022); Writing for College and Beyond (a first-year composition textbook (Lulu 2019)); Reading as Democracy in Crisis: Interpretation, Theory, History (Lexington Books 2019); Rock and Romanticism: Blake, Wordsworth, and Rock from Dylan to U2 (Lexington Books, 2018); Rock and Romanticism: Post-Punk, Goth, and Metal as Dark Romanticisms (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018); and Blake and Kierkegaard: Creation and Anxiety (Continuum/Bloomsbury, 2010). See his website at jamesrovira.com for details.
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