Sound — 10
U2 once again brings us a great new album. In "Iris (Hold Me Close)," Bono pays beautiful homage to his mother, who died when he was fourteen. In "Cedarwood Road," Bono brings up where he was raised. "Raised by Wolves" discusses the car bombings in Dublin. Though a great singer, there are some instances where Bono should leave it to the instruments. His voice breaks at odd points, but overall, he brings "Achtung Baby" and "The Joshua Tree" into a whole new album.
The Edge rarely used distortion, but it is frequent in "Songs of Innocence," and sometimes sounds off. In "Sleep Like a Baby Tonight," a rather quiet song, The Edge has a solo where he uses distortion, and it puts it over the top a bit. But his skill is still undeniable. In "The Troubles," he has a beautiful solo at the very end, creating a beautiful outro. The music quality is excellent. No fuzziness or clicking. If you have a good stereo, you can crank it up, and it will sound like U2 is in your living room!
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics fit perfectly, and Bono writes about his life and spirituality. The lyrics fit the songs, and don't usually go outside the stanzas. Bono's skill brings the songs to life, and can be very soothing or harsh, depending on the song. Though sometimes over the top, he brings it together to sound like a great symphony!
Overall Impression — 10
Comparative to other albums, it stands for itself. Though it doesn't have the oomf of "Achtung Baby," or the soaring chords of "The Joshua Tree," it is an excellent album in itself. My favorites from the album were "California (There Is No End to Love)," "Raised by Wolves," "Cedarwood Road," and "The Troubles." If it were accidentally deleted, I would definitely buy it again! Overall, 9.5 out of 10 stars!