Von One bis „40“, including grounded larger-than-life hits and apologetic reconciliations with deadbeats: U2 accompany Bono’s memoirs (more or less) with the right ones Songs of Surrender.
Notwithstanding its marketing as a quasi-companion piece to Paul David Hewson’s autobiography Songs of Surrender basically a retrospective in acoustic guise, two and a quarter hours of quasi-unplugged program, if you will.
And, to anticipate it right at the beginning, neither as bad as the standard (alongside what feels like all other reviews worldwide) portrays, nor as sustainably outstanding as, for example, Rolling Stone at the other end of the spectrum makes us celebrate. We are dealing more with a cozy comfort zone courtesy, which shows immortal evergreens in perspectives that look comfortably beyond the end of their lives, the dynamics and the leisurely pace only vary tolerably, and in fact are just as solid as always a little irrelevant between the two predictable ones extremes of reception perception.
Of course, one shouldn’t make the mistake of believing in the new versions – unexciting and unexcited reductions, which sometimes appear with carefully adapted texts The Edge (who also takes care of the carefully polished production in the reverberation and is now and again able to generate attention more often than usual as a second voice) and Bono (whose organ croons instead of the Sturm-und-Drang power of yore with thinner solidity, standing far ahead in the mix ) concentrate – outstanding things to be expected: the anthemic epic now seeks the sky-storming momentum over a cozy evening tea, suggesting empathy instead of moods of optimism, but in the dose of stadium pathos it can hardly cause goosebumps, because the results are then viewed quite soberly smoothly leaving the courageous inspiration for an age-gentle grace to one side, just all in all a bit too uniform and monotonous, and without the stirring euphoria simply doesn’t want to set any intensity.
Especially when you inevitably compare what Johnny Cash in particular once made from the core of One – here from U2 successfully interpreted as an ambient decelerated melancholy – made (or also worth mentioning: (Ăhk-to͝ong Ba͞y-bi) Covered), are the results of Songs of Surrender not bloodless, but simply underwhelming in a coherent way. Let’s just agree: other artists can U2-Songs in the economical, approachable and modest light just better than U2 self.
What you can live with. Finally, the class of the songwriting is just too consistent and the relative intimacy of the staging is engaging. At most, one gets caught up in the depictions of that which cross the border into boredom Pride (In the Name of Love) or Sunday Bloody Sunday – because in the context of this, dreamers musing contemplatively at the piano function like Where The Streets Have No Name or from the outset atmospheric pieces a la City Of Blinding Lights or Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of quite comfortable (which is why the Larry section of the compilation has also become the roundest passage of the project).
The real surprise succeeds in this respect, however, if Songs of Surrender in a way with (the material represented by at least eight songs) by Songs of Experience and Songs of Innocence reconciled, and alone already Every Breaking Wave as a beautiful piano elegy, finally relaxed and nonchalant Get Out of Your Own Way or that which gives up the formulaic modular system and has become sympathetic The Little Things That You Gave Away raising the question of whether the band’s two 2010 albums could not have simply been successful affairs with a more exciting, less stale, foam-braking production.
This factor alone then increases the repeat value of Songs of Surrender (which is perhaps more uninterestingly smothered in its bulk than it would have been in smaller morsels) but above manageable expectations and with a bit of benevolence makes the collection a really enjoyable (authentically capturing its subtlety) affair, albeit primarily for the neat background .