But then they introduced my favorite band (now that Bon Jovi is minus a Sambora) and announced that every iTunes user in the world was getting a gift in their account -- a free copy of the long-awaited new U2 album "Songs of Innocence."
That woke me up. I knew the album was almost ready. They'd been working on it for years. It was supposed to come out last year. Then it didn't. Then it was going to come out before the end of this year. But no date was announced. I kept waiting. Then I got distracted and all excited about the new Foos album coming out in November.
Never did I guess U2 would go from zero to a thousand and give it away to everyone (whether they wanted it or not) at the exact moment it was announced. I was so excited!
I finally got it downloaded and started listening. My immediate favorite song was "Song for Someone"... a sweet, lyrical Bono love song with Edge singing harmony that builds up like a classic U2 hit a'la "With or Without You" or "Walk On."
Then the next day, Bono posted this.
Then I really started listening... trying to figure the "very, very personal" songs out, because one of the things I love and miss most about buying albums is reading the liner notes and analyzing the little poems put to music known as song lyrics.
I started loving "Every Breaking Wave." Then "Iris" .... classic Edge strum, strum, strum... Larry bang, bang, banging beat, building up, with the music traveling in circles as Bono tells a story over it.. this time about his mom, Iris, who died when he was 14. It reminds me of pre-Unforgettable Fire U2. And I can already see that song in concert with bright flashing lights traveling the stage as Bono runs around and Edge stands there strum, strum, strumming in one spot. It's very different from the song Bono wrote when his dad died, ("Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" from one of my favorite albums, "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.") but he had a lot more history with his dad...
Then two days ago I read this on RollingStone.com. Thank you for not making me figure it all out anymore. For those that don't want to click, based on an interview with Bono, the songs chronicle their young, innocent, pre-super band days.
Today I was connecting with the haunting "The Troubles" and "Volcano" -- they fit my mood this week at work. Volcano is also very '80s to me, which is a good thing ;)
Overall, I think I will like and listen to this album a lot. It's definitely more on the Achtung Baby/All That You Can't Leave Behind side of the collection (where I love listening to the whole album, no skipping) than the Zooropa/Pop side (where I listen to "If God Will Send His Angels" and "Staring at the Sun" and ... that's about it).
It was definitely worth way more than I paid for it (ha) and I will probably be one of the suckers that actually buys the album when it's physically released on October 15 so I can get the book that comes with it (see liner notes comment above ;) and the acoustic versions of four songs... because I'm also a sucker for anything played unplugged.
What do you think of your free gift? (That Apple actually paid $100 million for... nice promotional budget!) And who wants to go to a U2 concert with me next year to hear it live? :)