U2’s new album Songs of Innocence has not been well received, mostly because of the disastrous PR stunt surrounding its release/invasion by Apple. People were upset at the fact that it was downloaded automatically to their iTunes, and for a while it seemed there was little else going on in the zeitgeist except a whole lotta hate for Bono’s hubris. There has been surprisingly little written about the music itself; most reviews rate the album as ‘sort of okay’. Taylor Hawkins–drummer from The Foo Fighters–is a little more blunt in his take on it: he thinks it sounds like a fart.
In an interview with Australian website themusic.com he expressed his disappointment in the band. “What happened to U2, man? I don’t think people are that hyped on them. I don’t know that any of that new album has anything great on it.” He compared the album’s release to George Orwell’s novel 1984. “I mean, I think they probably thought it was gonna be a great idea, ‘Here’s the deal: everybody who has an iPhone, gets your record. And they get it for free!’ And they thought, probably, ‘Well that’s pretty awesome!’ but they didn’t really take into consideration the Big Brother feeling that kinda goes along with like, ‘[In menacing voice] You have the new U2 record’… You couldn’t get rid of it and they actually had to come up with an app to get rid of it, that’s horrible. I liked all the YouTube footage of all the crap: ‘What the fuck is this shit doin’ on my phone, dog? Get this shit off my phone, dog!’ Haha, it was like, HAHAHAHAhahaha.” As for the quality of the songs themselves, Hawkins says the launch strategy ruined his ability to listen to it. “I listened to it once, but it’s so marred by that whole sort of, like I said, Orwellian, 1984 extreme that it just kinda sounds like a fart any way you listen to it.”