U2 has a new sweet album about themselves and Donald Trump


Ireland's Finest Band, U2 have recorded a new album, called Songs of Experience. It’s a companion album to the Songs of Innocence album which was released some three odd years ago.

Where Songs of Innocence reflected on the four members of U2’s childhoods (innocence and the loss of it), this new album features songs that are reflective of how the band has grown up themselves and lived their lives as adults.

Frontman Bono has said that many of the songs are about himself such as The Blackout and The Little Things That Give You away. Off the later, he didn't realise it was about himself until he had finished the song with the band.

Bono also took the opportunity to imbue his songs with barbed social commentary on the American Presidency of Donald Trump, of whom Bono appears to be no fan at all (read the lyrics to American Soul as case in point). This should be of no surprise to any U2 fan who has ever read any of the band’s lyrics as they often make political commentary on matters dear to their hearts.

Sonicaly, Songs of Experience is what has become standard U2. Songs such as first single, You’re The Best Thing About me are clean with an uplifting chorus. The Blackout harkens back to Achtung Baby’s Zoo Station and Little Things carries on in the same manner as Every Breaking Wave or Song for Someone did from Songs of Innocence. Again, this should be of no surprise for the listener as Experience is heavy tied to it’s companion album.

Order Songs of Experience from Amazon.

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My wife knows me so very well! Xx

Oasis: Looking Back in Fondness




Oasis: Looking Back in Fondness


So like I was working in a chicken fast food restaurant late one year in the mid 90s when I heard a song about ‘Rolling With It’ and thought it sounded pretty sweet. And that was that. Didn’t hear it again till weeks later. Then I heard Wonderwall. I NEEDED that song. I recall my mother drove me to K Mart (those were the days!) and I got what had turned out to be the biggest selling album in recent times. Oasis mania had arrived in Jimmy Jangles' house and I began to.. er.. roll with it.

I played that album non stop for two weeks. Then a friend of my lil bro turned up. This guy was like Mr Music Man and was like: "Oh Oasis?, here’s a copy of their first album."


And I'm like "Their first album? Oh, they did that Live Forever song I saw a video of once where they buried the drummer? Sweet."

Now we had two albums for the soundtrack of our summer which came down to playing Oasis in the garage while playing pool, drinking Steinlager homebrew clones. Bless. There may have been some of The Stone Roses songs played too, but that's another story.

And thus I became an Oasis diehard. U2 who? Summer finished and I went to university and started getting my hands on everything Oasis I could. I bought all the singles I could find. There was no ‘real’ internet in 1996/97/98 – it was just this magical thing I could get at the University labs so there was no real web surfing, it was all newspaper headlines. Yes, I had a folder full of Oasis articles where they stated “We’re bigger than God” and “We hope Blur die of Aids”. I signed letters home to my family as Noel Gallagher. That's how cool I was, even back then...

I decided to learn the guitar as I had to be able to play Wonderwall. Playing Oasis b-Sides became a speciality.

This fandom culminated in a crazy Oasis concert in Wellington where Liam stormed off, Noel did an acoustic set featuring Setting Sun with the band in full force for the last song of Champagne Supernova. Rough as, but Mega.
Anyways I thought I’d reminisce about each Oasis album.

Definitely Maybe


Oasis - Definitely Maybe: The DVD


Who wants to be a rock n roll star? If you believe the lyrics, Liam was one before the album made him one. It was the seemingly self referencing that was so clever. It was the same for GNR's Welcome to the Jungle – they were singing about the excess and trappings of Rock Stardom before they had it. It was like both bands were in on the joke about rock and roll joke before both bands became a rock and roll joke in many people’s eyes. I call those people Oasis Haters. Supersonic Live Forever, Slide Away. Songs that will stick around as markers in rock history for all those who follow (as they followed The Stones, The Who, David Bowie and of course, The Beatles.

What’s the Story? (Morning Glory!)


(What's the Story) Morning Glory?









Did you need a little time to wake up after being run down by Definitely Maybe? The title reference to cocaine would pick you up no end with songs Wonderwall, Roll With It, Don’t Look Back in Anger and a song so good the Beatles should have written it, Champagne Supernova. Those songs define Oasis and the Britpop mania wave they rode (and created). They will be living off the royalties from those songs till the day they die. Morning Glory is probably the soundtrack to a generation of British folks.

Be Here Now


Be Here Now (2 LP Vinyl)


Supposedly the Great Rock and Roll Swindle. The punters were eager for a fight and they easily stepped into the ring when they realised that Be Here Now was not another Morning Glory. A few weak songs (despite the A grade D’yer Know What I Mean and All Around the World) and over blown production left many fans turned off and Oasis labelled as has beens. On reflection, Be Here Now is chock full of great songs – the song structures in many are perfect – witness Don’t Go Away acoustically and any objective listener will note its beauty, shame its album version solo was basically a rip off of Slide Away crossed with Live Forever.

Heathen Chemistry


Heathen Chemistry

An album full of great songs but, like Be Here Now, the sum of its parts was not greater than the songs on it. On their own songs like, Songbird, Stop Crying Your Heart and Born on a Different Cloud were majestic. As an album the punters when eh, Oasis diehards loved it – the singles were quite popular.

Don’t Believe the Truth


Don't Believe The Truth


This was the unexpected comeback. Taken as a whole, this was an Oasis album you could listen to as one piece of music and totally enjoy. Lyla was a fun, poppy single, The Importance of Being Idle was a surprisingly quirky hit. The album owed a small debt to the Velvet Underground and a more considered song writing effort from Noel (the album did however have many songs from other band members). Let There Be Love was a beautiful album closer and could be seen as the antithesis of the sibling rivalry that dominated the headlines as Liam and Noel had regularly argued their troubles out in public over the years. Sadly the sentiment of the album closer was lost following the break up of Oasis after the release of the next album.

Dig Out Your Soul


Dig Out Your Soul[2 LP 180g Vinyl]

If you had to label an Oasis album as psychedelic, Dig Out Your Soul was an Eed up Oasis plugging in George Harrison’s sitar and turning it to 10 and a half. Falling Down and I'm Out of Time were Oasis best singles since anything from Morning Glory. Waiting for the Rapture was a wall of Oasis that had live favourite all over it. Lyrically it was sharp and it had an awesome example of drumming expertise from Zak Starkey on The Shock of the Lightning. If Don’t Believe the Truth was the album Oasis should have released after Morning Glory in preference to Be Here Now, this album should have been the immediate follow up (like Zooropa was soon released after to U2's Achtung Baby).

Lucky for those still listening to Oasis, this album did follow DBTT and so it got plenty of listens and some good reviews.

In hindsight, that the single Falling Down was first Oasis song in over a decade to not go top 10 in the UK was the signal that perhaps Oasis’ time was coming to an end. In the tour that followed, Noel finally got fed up, smashed Liam’s guitar and quit the band.


Conclusion: You know what's coming right?

For an Oasis diehard it's very easy to look back on Oasis' music with fondness. The music has been the soundtrack to my life so it's kind of hard to think of Oasis in any other way. As a chorus to one of their b-sides went, thank you for the good times.

What is U2's Songs of Experience about?


U2

What's in an album's name? Songs of Innocence and Experience


Now that the dust has settled somewhat with the release of U2's Songs of Innocence, we can take the opportunity to ponder the album's title. 

What's in a name?

Where did it come from and what was the inspiration? 

A little bit of literary digging reveals the title to be a reference to William Blake's work, Songs of Innocence and Experience

What was this work about?

It was a collection of poems that reflected on how the state of childhood 'innocence' was influenced by the world cutting in on childhood as 'experience'.

These being influences such as corruption, oppression by religious movements, state domination and the machinations of the dominant classes.

So why is this relevant to U2?


Bono has centered several songs of the album's lyrics around growing up in Ireland.

He said in an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine:

"We wanted to make a very personal album... Let's try to figure out why we wanted to be in a band, the relationships around the band, our friendships, our lovers, our family. The whole album is first journeys—first journeys geographically, spiritually, sexually"

Iris is about the early loss of his mother.

 Cedarwood Road is about childhood friends that group up with Bono in the street.

The Miracle reflects the influence of the band that The Ramones had on them as young men and even This is Where You Can Find Me Now is an ode to The Clash's Joe Strummer - a man whose songs greatly inspired them.

Raised by Wolves covers a car bombing in Ireland that Bono personally felt close to - real world experiences creeping in as he and his band mates become men.

The affect of William Black on Bono's song writing subjects has not been a recent observation. For a 1997 review of the 'Pop' album, poet Brendan Keneally noted when discussing that album's lyrics:

"We live in an age when sexuality and spirituality are usually treated as completely separate realities despite the fact that down through the ages some of the greatest poets and song-writers identified the presence of the one in the other. Think of Blake's 'Songs of Innocence and Experience', D. H. Lawrence's poems, stories and novels, and some of W. B. Yeats's greatest poems."

Light and dark? She wore lemon, but never in the day light...

Interesting, Bono was proclaimed the album was going to be called Songs of Ascent which I think was a reference to the Psalms of the Christian bible.

But that's not the half of it


The Joshua Tree album was originally intended to open with a track called "Beautiful Ghost".

Bono was to recite "Introduction to Songs of Experience" but the recording was dropped in favour of the album opening with Where the Streets have no name, a wise choice.

None-the-less it's clear Blake's writings have been on Bono's mind for some time.

In amongst the madness of the release of Songs of Innocence Bono revealed the existence of a second album U2 intend to release, Songs of Experience.

Released some 3 years after SOI, it acts as a direct companion album to Innocence - presumably in the same way the Grammy award wining Zooropa was a very close cousin to U2's career highlight, Achtung Baby.

Perhaps this second album will tell the kind of tales that Blake thought changed children - it would not be new territory for Bono. Indeed, the official word from U2 described the album's lyrical meaning as:

'While Songs of Innocence charted the band’s earliest influences and experiences in the late 1970s and early 80s, the new album is a collection of songs in the form of intimate letters to places and people close to the singer’s heart; family, friends, fans, himself

Check out the the Songs of Innocence album on Amazon and the new single from Songs of Experience, You're The Best Thing About Me and the ripper of a track, The Blackout.