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U2 => The Music and Lyrics => Topic started by: fodiktet on December 04, 2018, 01:44:21 AM

Title: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: fodiktet on December 04, 2018, 01:44:21 AM
I feel that the itunes debacle distracted people from the quality of the music. In my view it's a significantly better album than SOE and I view it as the band's third masterpiece.
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: coolz481 on December 04, 2018, 03:19:53 AM
Fully agreed on the iTunes thing completely overshadowing the album, but I think both SOI & SOE represent some of U2's strongest songwriting to date.  The production let them down on occasion though, particularly on the percussion in Raised by Wolves and The Blackout.
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: zoo adam on December 04, 2018, 05:02:57 AM
https://youtu.be/9RxKWYk9S-k

Here is a good review of SOI. But as expected he talks about the itunes release.

Agree it is a strong U2 album. Consistant all the way through the 11 songs.

For me it's U2 releasing a 2014 JT, twenty seven years after the original. From men in their 50's but who are still able to write good songs.
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: zoo adam on December 04, 2018, 01:01:34 PM
https://youtu.be/1gUGLaJWp34

Here is the same reviewer on SOE.

Have to agree & have said on here before,  SOE is listenable but safe. Fine but but not brilliant. A good effort within 3 years & during two tours that will still fill stadiums, but am hopeing for something better next time.

The reviewer also said he would retrospectivly rank SOI lower. He also said that about Muse's 'Drones'. Suspect he was just saying this to back up his statement about U2 declining over the last 15 years.
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: xy on December 04, 2018, 02:11:08 PM
Said it's their best work since AB from day one.

 I really don't see how SOE is better to to each his own.
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: zoo adam on December 04, 2018, 02:52:04 PM
I don't mind waiting 5 years for SOA. Providing it is as good as SOI. Be good to finish the trilogy with a goodie 

I've been a U2 fan long enough so am used to long waits.
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: shineinthesummernight on December 04, 2018, 07:10:25 PM
I just didn't find any major highs on SOI.  It's a decent sounding album; it just doesn't soar.  For me, SOE does soar in places.  And, I have to admit, I like the latter-day rock tunes like "Blackout" and "American Soul".  They sounded great live!
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: ian ryan on December 04, 2018, 10:39:22 PM
It probably had the most working against it as a U2 album since Rattle & Hum, or even October. That said, it wasn't an ambitious album at all. It was a reflective album, which means that it could never expand that far. NLOTH and SOE had far more ambition, regardless of how well either of them did creatively or on the charts.
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: summerholly on December 04, 2018, 11:10:34 PM
I think the whole itunes debacle was a complete over reaction anyone would think it was the end of world. Perhaps annoying if it automatically downloaded and you then couldn't get rid of it, but seriously there are bigger issues out there. 

I did download the album.  It was okay for awhile but it certainly didn't grab me. I just couldn't really relate to the music in any way shape or form and now I find myself skipping the tracks when they come up.  Really glad other people like it but it wasn't for me.
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: Bundang Dave on December 05, 2018, 07:19:58 AM
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It probably had the most working against it as a U2 album since Rattle & Hum, or even October. That said, it wasn't an ambitious album at all. It was a reflective album, which means that it could never expand that far. NLOTH and SOE had far more ambition, regardless of how well either of them did creatively or on the charts.

I still conceive of SOI and SOE as a double album, so I don't think of them as separate so much.

I also find them about equally ambitious and enjoyable. Both have tracks in which they push themselves in new directions--for me, be Sleep Like a Baby Tonight and Love Is All We Have Left are the two that most represent that spirit, though The Troubles and Book of Your Heart are up there too.

Both have what I'd consider poppy clunkers that I just skip after a couple of listens--California, Get Out of Your Own Way, You're the Best Thing About Me.

They both also have harder-sounding tracks that oddly do not resonate with me (I say oddly because those types of tracks are usually my favourites) in Raised By Wolves and The Blackout. On the other hand, Volcano and Lucifer's Hands are probably my most listened to tracks from the two albums.

Generally when I listen to these albums, I do so as one playlist including my favourites from both.

Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: Vox on December 07, 2018, 04:27:07 PM
I love that some people love Songs of Innocence, but rollout or not, I’m still not feelin’ it, and I hope someday I do.  I feel a denseness somewhere there I hope to uncrack.  And I know both albums should go together, in time and in name, obviously.  But I feel Songs of Experience is heads and clouds above it, it’s hard to even compare, for me, anyway.

And I love people supporting Songs of Innocence, by the way, because I loved something like No Line on the Horizon, and I know a lot of people didn’t and I felt bad I felt they were missing out on what I was feeling.  But I haven’t experienced the greatness in this album on a whole, at least not yet.
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: Vox on December 07, 2018, 04:30:41 PM
*I feel there’s a tons of polite disclaimers in my post, but I hope I think I’ll figure this album out in due time someday.  LOL!
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: catorce on December 08, 2018, 09:59:24 PM
definitely, it's one of my favourites

top 5 U2 album for me
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: BlueSquirrel on December 09, 2018, 04:38:43 PM
I'm still infatuated with the melodies on it. EBW, Song for Someone, The Miracle, Cedarwood Road, The Troubles, Iris, The Crystal Ballroom, Sleep like a baby tonight, etc. they're all catchy songs.

.
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: Rasmus on December 10, 2018, 09:50:55 AM
SOI is a very good album. Masterpiece is probably a bit too strong a word for it in my opinion, as it does have a few mediocre songs, but it has only grown on me since release. The last half of the album is consistently great and even the two extra songs are amazing as well. It is much better than SOE anyway!
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: u2music on December 10, 2018, 10:01:40 AM
The only masterpiece is SLABT.  The rest can go in the dustbin, imo.
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: Tortuga on December 10, 2018, 10:12:11 AM
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The only masterpiece is SLABT.  The rest can go in the dustbin, imo.

Troubles is good and Crystal Ballroom.

Also EBW is U2 by the numbers but at least it is a very good example of that.  Nothing wrong with having one of “those” on an album every now and then.


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Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: u2music on December 10, 2018, 10:29:02 AM
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The only masterpiece is SLABT.  The rest can go in the dustbin, imo.

Troubles is good and Crystal Ballroom.

Also EBW is U2 by the numbers but at least it is a very good example of that.  Nothing wrong with having one of “those” on an album every now and then.


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Haven't paid much attention to Troubles, need to check it out.  Crystal Ballroom is to me a dance track.  Not too fond of it.  I do like the EBW performances that I've watched on YouTube.  And I even think SFS is an alright track.

So, not all in the dustbin. I was a bit tad harsh there.
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: u2music on December 11, 2018, 07:17:44 AM
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The only masterpiece is SLABT.  The rest can go in the dustbin, imo.

Troubles is good and Crystal Ballroom.

Also EBW is U2 by the numbers but at least it is a very good example of that.  Nothing wrong with having one of “those” on an album every now and then.


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Troubles about mortality or lost love again?  Or is it in some weird way addressing the Irish Troubles from the 60's/70's?  I can't see that and couldn't quite pick up what it's about.  The tunes ok, Lykke Li adds some weight to it. But, I don't see anything outstanding about the track.  A little bit of Edge guitar peeking through, now and then.  It's ok I guess but really doesn't do much for me.  Just my fragile silly opinion though.
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: laoghaire on December 11, 2018, 09:02:16 AM
It's a song where someone stands up to his or her abuser.

The abuser could be an abusive parent. An abusive spouse. A sex abuser. An enslaver. An oppressor. A "friend," relative, or coworker who belittles people to pieces.  A gaslighter. Someone who drives sectarianism or partisanism or apartheid. Any abuser, operating from a personal, mass, or systemic platform.

The song has the words for someone to stand up to this on a personal and spiritual level.

Somebody stepped inside your soul
Somebody stepped inside your soul
Little by little they robbed and stole
Till somebody else was in control

Who is "you" in this refrain? I'd argue it's both the singer and the abuser.

The abuser first: the devil or force of evil has stepped inside the abuser's soul and taken control, to abuse.

The wild eyes of someone in a rage, especially someone you should be able to trust, feels like somebody else is driving them.

Little by little the abuser steps inside the singer's soul next. Little by little, wearing them down, tearing them to pieces, until the singer doesn't even feel like a person anymore, just a husk for the abuser to drive.

The singer calls out the abuser:

You think it's easier to put your finger on the trouble when the trouble is you

Abusers will always tell you it's your fault.

You think it's easier to know your own tricks, well it's the hardest thing you'll ever do

Abusers won't ever admit, even to themselves, what they are doing.

I have a will for survival, so you can hurt me and then hurt me some more
I can live with denial but you're not my troubles anymore

The singer might not be able to stop the abuse, but he or she can name the abuser as the source (rather than themselves). Oh, easier said than done for damn sure, but this song can be a lifeline.

I won't continue the line-by-line breakdown, but the bridge is incredible:

God knows it's not easy taking on the shape of someone else's pain

Indeed, abusers place their pain on others, that's what they are doing. And, Jesus, is it hard.

God now you can see me - I'm naked and I'm not afraid, my body's sacred and I'm not ashamed

So much in this line. Reference to Genesis. Reference to the ravages of abuse. But empowerment in standing up and refusing the message of abuse - that you are not adequate, that you are not really even a person, that you should be ashamed. Empowerment with God - He sees you, all of you, and He loves you. You are sacred and when you return to Him, He will make you whole again.
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: laoghaire on December 11, 2018, 09:14:06 AM
I haven't been on in a while. I saw this topic and typed up a reply about The Troubles because I thought I had something to add, and that maybe this could even bring comfort to people as the song has done for me. Just checked my PM box and I've been asked not to engage anymore. I considered deleting my post above but I will let it stand. My original hope that it brings comfort also stands. I've enjoyed my time here with you all.
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: Tortuga on December 11, 2018, 09:21:04 AM
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It's a song where someone stands up to his or her abuser.

The abuser could be an abusive parent. An abusive spouse. A sex abuser. An enslaver. An oppressor. A "friend," relative, or coworker who belittles people to pieces.  A gaslighter. Someone who drives sectarianism or partisanism or apartheid. Any abuser, operating from a personal, mass, or systemic platform.

The song has the words for someone to stand up to this on a personal and spiritual level.

Somebody stepped inside your soul
Somebody stepped inside your soul
Little by little they robbed and stole
Till somebody else was in control

Who is "you" in this refrain? I'd argue it's both the singer and the abuser.

The abuser first: the devil or force of evil has stepped inside the abuser's soul and taken control, to abuse.

The wild eyes of someone in a rage, especially someone you should be able to trust, feels like somebody else is driving them.

Little by little the abuser steps inside the singer's soul next. Little by little, wearing them down, tearing them to pieces, until the singer doesn't even feel like a person anymore, just a husk for the abuser to drive.

The singer calls out the abuser:

You think it's easier to put your finger on the trouble when the trouble is you

Abusers will always tell you it's your fault.

You think it's easier to know your own tricks, well it's the hardest thing you'll ever do

Abusers won't ever admit, even to themselves, what they are doing.

I have a will for survival, so you can hurt me and then hurt me some more
I can live with denial but you're not my troubles anymore

The singer might not be able to stop the abuse, but he or she can name the abuser as the source (rather than themselves). Oh, easier said than done for damn sure, but this song can be a lifeline.

I won't continue the line-by-line breakdown, but the bridge is incredible:

God knows it's not easy taking on the shape of someone else's pain

Indeed, abusers place their pain on others, that's what they are doing. And, Jesus, is it hard.

God now you can see me - I'm naked and I'm not afraid, my body's sacred and I'm not ashamed

So much in this line. Reference to Genesis. Reference to the ravages of abuse. But empowerment in standing up and refusing the message of abuse - that you are not adequate, that you are not really even a person, that you should be ashamed. Empowerment with God - He sees you, all of you, and He loves you. You are sacred and when you return to Him, He will make you whole again.

I think its strength comes from its somewhat unusual arrangement.  Use of a guest artist in a way that sounds nothing like the typical grammies mash-up.  Great melody.  Interesting, broadly interpretable lyrics.  The somebody stepped inside bit is really good.  This is what U2 should be doing.  This and SLABT.   Its about something greater than them.  It’s not U2 by the numbers and it doesn’t sound like what’s on the radio....just like WOWY didn’t sound like what was on the radio.

LIAWHL (except for the baby on a doorstep line), Landlady, and for the occasional U2 by the numbers guilty pleasure...EBW and Little Things, along with Troubles and SLABT....tracks like these on otherwise predictable and boring albums is why I say U2 is still capable of greatness and will find their way back before they call it a day.  All the great artists have these periods.  Dylan was basically written off before pairing up with Lanois and coming back with No Mercy at age 48 followed later by Good as I Been and Time Out of Mind.  It’s all good!


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Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: zoo adam on December 11, 2018, 10:18:18 AM
'The Troubles' is fine. A bit mechanical. Bono & Lykke Li taking it in turns to sing their bits alone. 

Prefer 'Woman in Chains' from Tears for Fears, featuring Oleta Adams. They sing seperatly and together.
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: u2music on December 11, 2018, 11:14:31 AM
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I haven't been on in a while. I saw this topic and typed up a reply about The Troubles because I thought I had something to add, and that maybe this could even bring comfort to people as the song has done for me. Just checked my PM box and I've been asked not to engage anymore. I considered deleting my post above but I will let it stand. My original hope that it brings comfort also stands. I've enjoyed my time here with you all.

No stay. You know how I feel about you.  You belong here and have the best input I've seen ever on this forum.  You are very smart and your insight is amazing.  This forum needs people like you.

Here's the thing, I've got no real input around here.  Not as smart as you or Tortuga or others.  I don't need to be here is what needs to happen.  But, you need to be here.

I'm out.  After deleting my account the profile will show Guest.  Which means I'm no longer on the forum.  The best all the way around.
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: Tortuga on December 11, 2018, 12:33:45 PM
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I haven't been on in a while. I saw this topic and typed up a reply about The Troubles because I thought I had something to add, and that maybe this could even bring comfort to people as the song has done for me. Just checked my PM box and I've been asked not to engage anymore. I considered deleting my post above but I will let it stand. My original hope that it brings comfort also stands. I've enjoyed my time here with you all.

No stay. You know how I feel about you.  You belong here and have the best input I've seen ever on this forum.  You are very smart and your insight is amazing.  This forum needs people like you.

Here's the thing, I've got no real input around here.  Not as smart as you or Tortuga or others.  I don't need to be here is what needs to happen.  But, you need to be here.

I'm out.  After deleting my account the profile will show Guest.  Which means I'm no longer on the forum.  The best all the way around.

What are you guys talking about?  I’m confused.


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Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: shineinthesummernight on December 11, 2018, 01:48:36 PM
Laoghaire, you should definitely stay.  Your posts are extremely well-thought out and insightful.  I'm not sure why anyone would consider them offensive or provoking in any way.  "The Troubles" is a song that speaks to many of us on many levels, and you've given it a very thoughtful interpretation.  One doesn't have to be abused to relate to it, even a toxic relationship can allow a person to relate to some of the lyrics.
    Please stay.
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: Tortuga on December 11, 2018, 01:58:57 PM
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I haven't been on in a while. I saw this topic and typed up a reply about The Troubles because I thought I had something to add, and that maybe this could even bring comfort to people as the song has done for me. Just checked my PM box and I've been asked not to engage anymore. I considered deleting my post above but I will let it stand. My original hope that it brings comfort also stands. I've enjoyed my time here with you all.
Can you explain to us why someone would PM you over this post? 


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Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: summerholly on December 11, 2018, 04:38:58 PM
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I haven't been on in a while. I saw this topic and typed up a reply about The Troubles because I thought I had something to add, and that maybe this could even bring comfort to people as the song has done for me. Just checked my PM box and I've been asked not to engage anymore. I considered deleting my post above but I will let it stand. My original hope that it brings comfort also stands. I've enjoyed my time here with you all.

No stay. You know how I feel about you.  You belong here and have the best input I've seen ever on this forum.  You are very smart and your insight is amazing.  This forum needs people like you.

Here's the thing, I've got no real input around here.  Not as smart as you or Tortuga or others.  I don't need to be here is what needs to happen.  But, you need to be here.

I'm out.  After deleting my account the profile will show Guest.  Which means I'm no longer on the forum.  The best all the way around.

What are you guys talking about?  I’m confused.


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I am confused as well!  All this talk of leaving and deleting
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: BlueSquirrel on December 12, 2018, 03:41:59 AM
Laoghaire, I don't really know what happened but I think you should stay. Everyone's entitled to their own interpretation of a song. This is a place for debating. I think your posts are respectful and informative.
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: laoghaire on December 12, 2018, 06:43:26 AM
Arghhhh I really blew it and I'm really sorry to everyone. 

It would make sense if I could explain but it doesn't matter because in my attempt to not be an a****** I managed to do an a****** thing by posting drama (I love the peaceful life dammit). I realize now what I should have done, too late.

Very sorry for that, and sorry that u2music unregistered and we lost a contributor to this forum. I hope they come back.

And to a particular person, you know who you are, reread my Troubles post again. It was for you, but only in a good way. Everything you were afraid of about me wasn't true.
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: summerholly on December 12, 2018, 07:35:04 AM
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Arghhhh I really blew it and I'm really sorry to everyone. 

It would make sense if I could explain but it doesn't matter because in my attempt to not be an a****** I managed to do an a****** thing by posting drama (I love the peaceful life dammit). I realize now what I should have done, too late.

Very sorry for that, and sorry that u2music unregistered and we lost a contributor to this forum. I hope they come back.

And to a particular person, you know who you are, reread my Troubles post again. It was for you, but only in a good way. Everything you were afraid of about me wasn't true.

Crikey! all over an interpretation of a song!  I quite enjoy reading other peoples interpretations of U2 lyrics because often I realise that I was on a completely different track lol.  I have know idea why u2music unregistered either and why they thought it was best all round.  All very cryptic.
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: Luzita on December 15, 2018, 04:00:11 PM
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Arghhhh I really blew it and I'm really sorry to everyone. 

It would make sense if I could explain but it doesn't matter because in my attempt to not be an a****** I managed to do an a****** thing by posting drama (I love the peaceful life dammit). I realize now what I should have done, too late.

Very sorry for that, and sorry that u2music unregistered and we lost a contributor to this forum. I hope they come back.

And to a particular person, you know who you are, reread my Troubles post again. It was for you, but only in a good way. Everything you were afraid of about me wasn't true.
I also don’t understand what’s going on but what I know is that your post about the song’s meaning was deeply insightful and a great contribution to the forum, as your posts usually are. I considered the song to be about domestic abuse specifically but, as you pointed out, it can cover other forms of abuse that are intended to belittle and oppress people and rob them of the freedom and dignity to which they are entitled.

Speaking of which, a particularly sneaky and pernicious form of oppression which seems to have infected our society is the tactic of trying to shut people down by claiming they have said something “offensive” or “harmful.” I listen when someone seems hurt, and try to fix whatever misunderstanding may have occurred, or error on my part if there is one, but I also know that in the end I am only responsible for my own words and intentions, and I have a right to express myself. I do not have the power to control or heal whatever is going on inside another person.


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Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: laoghaire on December 15, 2018, 04:32:33 PM
It was a misunderstanding and it was my fault. I wish I could undo my weird post - not the one about the song but the one after - but I can't. Nobody actually tried to shut me down. Sorry again for derailing the thread, but everything is okay.
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: Amrice78 on December 18, 2018, 07:59:54 AM
I think SOI is a solid album, I like it a lot, however when I started to rank my favorite U2 albums it fell near the bottom. I think that is indicicative, for me anyway, how they have many truly solid albums
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: Rainy Hammer on January 26, 2019, 05:55:54 PM
I didn't find much of interest on SOI except Cedarwood Road--which is great. And, maybe, Volcano. But, maybe I'm not qualified to speak about any of the albums since How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb because I was obsessed with that album, and, frankly, I don't think it likely that they will ever make an album that good--or one that measures up to any before. I hate to be so cynical. I adore U2. I sampled SOE on the Internet: Nothing caught my attention. And I was sincerely dissappointed with NLOTH. Although, Breathe was a monster.... I'm sorry. Once again, U2 is awesome. I still take a walk and play Achtung Baby nearly everyday.
I hope they revisit it for an anniversity ZOOTV tour. Contemporary times demand it. I think Social Media is nefarious as hell....
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: Gazoon on May 14, 2019, 12:03:15 PM
For me highlights include Every Break Wave, Song for Someone and the 'I get so many things I don't deserve' section of The Miracle. A few other songs came alive on stage, such as Iris and Raised By Wolves. I thought these were performed really well.

It's a shame The Troubles couldn't work better live, as that was a really interesting song.

Ultimately, I feel the album lacks raw emotions (other than in every breaking wave and song for someone) and perhaps lacks inventiveness in parts.
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: Billy Rhythm on May 15, 2019, 10:33:47 PM
no...  easily their weakest collection...  atleast 'All That You Can't Leave Behind' was front loaded with 4 worthy tracks, but this one only 2?...  aside from the poor songwriting it's sugarcoated with production that's every bit as dire...  thankfully the band wasn't playing any songs from this album towards the end of the last tour and hopefully that's the last we hear of them...

'The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)' & 'Every Breaking Wave' stand up to their post-90's classics, but didn't sound very good live, in my opinion...  'The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)' worked as a rousing opener but isn't as sonically pleasing without the studio gloss, this from a band where a vast majority of their recordings sound much better performed live...  'Every Breaking Wave' just doesn't do it for me "unplugged", would've liked for the whole band to play it instead...

another track of note is 'Volcano' which hints at vintage U2, but I wouldn't give it much more than "strong B-Side" status...  the whole 'Innocence' + 'Experience' would've worked much better as a single album and one tour, in my opinion, with most of the meat coming from the solid 'Experience' album...  too much personal stuff on 'Innocence' that only the four of them can relate to which was much better executed for the masses on 'Experience'...:-) 
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: Clarky on June 19, 2019, 03:54:12 AM
I think it's rated. It's not better or worse than it's mixed reputation amongst fans.
Title: Re: Do you think Songs Of Innocence is underrated?
Post by: Dali on July 29, 2019, 11:44:14 PM
The songwriting on this album sure is underrated. As far as the arrangements are concerned, I feel they should have left more Danger Mouse influence on there.