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U2 - Songs of Surrender

  by Nick Dent-Robinson

published: 26 / 5 / 2023

U2 - Songs of Surrender
Label: Universal Music
Format: CD Box


Appealing new box set from U2, who have taken forty of their best-loved tracks and reworked them into alternative versions

U2's new album, ‘Songs of Surrender’, is being marketed as one of the band's more intimate efforts. They have taken forty of their best-loved tracks and re-recorded them in what they have described as “unplugged” style - though U2 unplugged is far more than a few gently-strummed guitars! Synthesisers, flutes, cellos, a choir and a brass band plus a dulcimer all feature on the new record. The Irish band remain one of the world's biggest rock acts following years of jaw-dropping sell-out live shows. Later this year they will play a Las Vegas residency, though without founder member Larry Mullen who is undergoing surgery for medical issues arising from decades of heavy-duty drumming. The new record is a companion to frontman Bono's recent memoir and a chance for the band to take stock. “Yes, we thought it was time to reflect a bit,” says guitarist The Edge. “You see, we have started to get into the sensibility of less is more.” This approach is reflected on several tracks where he parks his reputation as an explosive guitarist and instead elects to play piano and other keyboards in minimalist versions of ‘One’, ‘Stay’ and ‘If God Will Send His Angels’. Some of the band's youthful hits are given makeovers: The Edge's finger-picking guitar work is a joy on ‘Out Of Control’, giving Bono's lyrics an unfussy backdrop. 1980's ‘11 O'Clock Tick Tock’ gets a similarly delicate and pleasing revamp. There are also some interesting embellishments. ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ is nicely boosted by cellist Stjepan Hauser and ‘Beautiful Day’ is refreshed by a six-piece choir, whilst ‘I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For’ features husky backing vocals from the track's original producers, Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. ‘ Sunday Bloody Sunday’ gains an extra verse and ‘Walk On’ has been amended to take account of the war in Ukraine. Last year Bono and The Edge played a gig in a Kyiv underground station and met President Zelensky. The president's previous career as a comic is evidently the inspiration behind the new lyrics: “This is not a curtain call/This is the greatest act of all/A stand-up for freedom”. ‘Songs Of Surrender’ is also available in less expensive sixteen and twenty track editions. It should appeal to U2's many fans - and it certainly does a great job of twisting old favourites into some very attractive new shapes!

Track Listing:-
1 One
2 Where The Streets Have No Name
3 Stories For Boys
4 11 O'Clock Tick Tock
5 Out Of Control
6 Beautiful Day
7 Bad
8 Every Breaking Wave
9 Walk On (Ukraine)
10 Pride (In The Name Of Love)
11 Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
12 Get Out Of Your Own Way
13 Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of
14 Red Hill Mining Town
15 Ordinary Love
16 Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
17 Invisible
18 Dirty Day
19 The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)
20 City Of Blinding Lights
21 Vertigo
22 I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
23 Electrical Storm
24 The Fly
25 If God Will Send His Angels
26 Desire
27 Until The End Of The World
28 Song For Someone
29 All I Want Is You
30 Peace On Earth
31 With Or Without You
32 Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
33 Sunday Bloody Sunday
34 Lights Of Home
35 Cedarwood Road
36 I Will Follow
37 Two Hearts Beat As One
38 Miracle Drug
39 The Little Things That Give You Away
40 "40"

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