Sound — 9
Sounds like it's filled with tons and tons of emotion. Bono gets into some very higher vocal melodies with songs like "Drowning Man" and "Surrender." There's not much "distortion" so to speak, but it's not "clean." Some good overdriven guitar work coming from a 1976 Strat and a 1964 Vox AC30. Love the sound. It's classic U2.
1. "Sunday Bloody Sunday" - Classic though often though of as their best song or just some hit.
2. "Seconds" - Interesting song. Love the beat, very well composed, though it sounded better live.
3. "New Year's Day" - Good song, studio version is kind of long. Again just "some hit." Good guitar work however.
4. "Like a Song" - This is where the album starts to pick up. This song has amazing guitar work and it's super catchy. Love it. Just an amazing song.
5. "Drowning Man" - One of the band's weirdest songs but it's an amazing song and it's composed amazingly. It sounds very dark but it's about love. Love the guitar work and the violin solo at the end!! It also proves that you can get away without drums in your song. Shame they've never performed this song live, though there's a video of them performing this song during a soundcheck in Barcelona in 2009.
6. "The Refugee" - AWESOME SONG!!! It's like rebellion and funk meet. Like "Drowning Man," the bassline remains constant the entire song. It's so cool. Very interesting percussion in the song and the slide guitar parts just make me smile. It's a super cool song that also has never been performed live.
7. "Two Hearts Beat as One" - Decent song. Good bassline. Sounded better at "Red Rocks."
8. "Red Light" - Another unplayed live beast. I love how much power is in it and the trumpet work in it. The bass playing is also great. Good some good guitar hooks in the choruses.
9. "Surrender" - This one sounded great both in the studio and live. It's a weird song and features and actual slide guitar in it and has a great chant towards the middle/end. Like the drums in it as well.
10. "40" - Decent song. Kind of boring honestly. The "Red Rocks" version is great though. The studio version is just boring.
Lyrics — 9
Bono's voice was very very strong on this album. His voiced changed so much. I couldn't picture them playing some of the songs off this album live these days, but back in 1983-1985, I sure could have. Onto the theme(s) though. Songs like "Two Hearts Beat as One" and "Drowning Man" are about love. Though "Drowning Man" is also a bible-based song. "Red Light" is apparently about prostitution. Songs like "Sunday Bloody Sunday," "The Refugee" and "Surrender" are about war. "Like a Song" is about rebellion and "40" is another bible-based song. War seemed to be the main center though, as all the themes could tie into one amazing collection of songs, which is something U2 NEVER fails at doing. Ever.
Overall Impression — 9
Great album. The tour is just good but would be better if they'd performed some of the songs live. "Like a Song" was only played live once but I would've loved to have heard "Drowning Man" and "The Refugee" live. There's some very high points and then some medium points. The only lows for me are "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "40." I just don't like them all that much. But as a whole, the album kicks major ass and is my second favorite after "Pop." I'm honestly tied between whether my favorite song is "The Refugee" and "Drowning Man." They're both works of art and polar opposites of each other. Just like my opinion on "Do You Feel Loved" and "The Playboy Mansion," opposites but both respectable works of auditory art.