By:  Jimmy Sears

Apple surprised millions with their recent announcement concerning the iPhone 6, but iTunes users were given a bonus. U2, in an agreement with Apple, decided to give over 500 million iTunes users its 13th studio album, “Songs of Innocence,” at no cost whether they liked it or not. Reception was less than pleasant as protesters claimed that the release was an invasion of privacy, and it resulted in Apple’s release of a tool that wipes out the album from the users’ iTunes accounts. However, if one looks past the blatant corporate overtones, “Songs of Innocence” is a decent album filled with powerful melodies and sentimental expressions manifesting smooth sounds that float through the listener.

“Songs of Innocence” is composed like an open journal. “Iris (Hold Me Close)” was named and composed for Bono’s mother, Iris, who died when Bono was 14. “Iris (Hold Me Close)” begins with a tranquil guan instrument, which saunters into an atmospheric resignation of an outer dimension and leads into a love stanza as Bono somberly expresses the “ache in [his] heart,” in the most emotionally charged song on the album. In addition, “Songs of Innocence” pays tribute to other bands such as The Clash and The Ramones. “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)” expresses about a song Bono heard that changed his life during youth and features a prevailing guitar riff modeled to channel The Ramones’ distinctive riff. “This is Where You Can Reach Me Now” honors The Clash as Bono and company howl, “we signed our lives away” to suave, orbital twangs to make for an extraterrestrial sound.