Belfast Telegraph

Poll: U2's Songs of Experience divides opinion - but what is the Irish band's best ever album?

U2 released their 14th studio album on Friday and it has divided opinion.

It's been three years since the "best band in the world" controversially gifted their last album to almost every phone owner in the world and this latest offering, by comparison, has had a relatively subdued release.

Songs of Experience - a companion album to Songs Of Innocence - was almost stuck in a moment, having to be reconsidered and revisited in light of the dawn of the Trump era and Bono's "brush with mortality".

 

And it has had a dash of almost all the music world's best producers and engineers in its long and protracted birth. Auto-tune, rapper Kendrick Lamar, Lady GaGa and band Haim all make an appearance giving a sense of a band trying to be more relevant to a younger audience.

The album cover harks back to the early years of the Boy and War featuring Bono's son, Eli, and Edge's daughter, Sian on the cover and the history of the band is riven throughout the record. Songs of Innocence also plays a big part in this production with samples of its tracks featuring.

Fans have been quick to hail it as being one of the band's best in their 41 year history, while the critics haven't been quite as gushing.

NME said it was just as anodyne as their previous iPhone clogger with the old masters at pomping up whatever the kids are buying.

While the Guardian described it as a "fantastic return to form" and "audibly better album than either of its predecessors".

Rolling Stone called it "innocence renewed".

One thing is for certain, those keen to celebrate the super group's downfall will have to continue their long wait. But what's your favourite album?

 

 

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