“Songs of Surrender”: That’s what the new album by U2 sounds like

“Songs of Surrender”: That’s what the new album by U2 sounds like

Pure? Or very simple? This is what “Songs of Surrender” by U2 sounds like

The band U2 perform in Brisbane, Australia in 2019.

Always loaded with bombast: The band U2 at a performance in 2019 in Brisbane, Australia.

© Chris Hyde/Getty Images

On their new album, U2 re-record their greatest hits. This is often surprising. But are the tracks better than the originals?

You can order colorful bags called “Travellunch” in specialty shops or on the Internet, which contain, for example, Jägertopf with beef in the form of freeze-dried crumbs, just add water and that’s it. Can be kept for years, in the past astronauts also made a living from it in space. It’s dehydrated food, utterly reduced to the essentials, which can be called either sparse or puristic. All of this goes through your head when you hear the first notes of this new U2-Album listens.

Because singer Bono and his band have here almost 40 songs of their opus freeze-dried, so to speak, every U2-typical bombast load like echoing voices, calorie-laden guitar blasts and whatever else U2 attached to their music with stadium tinsel, just left out. And now that’s really interesting. For both sides of the U2 cosmos, for their fans but also for, let’s say politely, non-fans.

With “Songs of Surrender” U2 sound like campfires and quarry ponds

Fans will be surprised if Bono’s voice no longer quite so biblically alarming, but more like a campfire and a quarry pond, i.e. it sounds pathos-reduced. And some U2 screamers like “Where The Streets Have No Name” sound as dehydrated as in underwear – some say pure, others say very simple.

Forty songs is a stretch, of course, and forty times that nearly unplugged, that can get boring, but bono is a well-known wake-up call and that’s why a song is now called “Walk on (Ukraine)” and is dedicated to Volodymyr Selenskij and you can hear something with climate at some point. Why is all this called “Surrender”, i.e. capitulation? U2 will soon be performing more often at a Las Vegas hotel. For this reason.

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