#7 - U2: "Songs of Innocence"
"Songs of Innocence" may be my 7th favorite album of 2014, but it was definitely the chart topper for 'Most Controversial' album of the year. Why so much controversy could have arisen from a free album is beyond me. For those of you not in the know... or one of the few that are NOT subscribers to iTunes, the album "Songs of Innocence" was given away by the band in the autumn of 2014. It preceded the official release on hard media formats (CD and vinyl) and just showed up in people's iTunes library. Some felt it was an invasion of privacy, others just didn't feel the need to have the album in their iTunes libraries. My opinion was GREAT...but I'm a fan. I just felt that IF you didn't want it, delete it. Even that was tricky early on, as it just kept downloading. I guess, in retrospect, I would probably react the same way if Garth Brooks tried giving me a free download of his contrite aural fecal matter.
All that hubbub aside, U2's latest release just happens to be my favorite album of theirs from the 21st Century. Does it hold up to their poignant work of the 80's? No. That said, there isn't a stinker on this album... something that could be said for some of the tracks that have crossed my path in the last 15 years.
U2 may be a lot of things... political activists, talented musicians, one of the most successful Rock and Roll bands in history... but one can also include "professional noisemakers" on that resume. The "noise" they cause isn't always the most positive thing for some, but it does get them out into the spotlight, if nothing else. As far back as the 90's, U2 has been crafty at getting themselves in the spotlight. From 1997's announcement of the legendary PopMart Tour at a...yes... K-Mart... up to the most recent controversy of free albums, they have mastered the art of "there is no such thing as bad publicity".
Heck, let's sit back and enjoy some free videos! It's just the way U2 would like it.
"Song For Someone" (directed by Woody Harrelson)
"Song For Someone" (directed by Matt Mahurin)
"Every Breaking Wave"