Musically, U2’sSongs of Innocence deserves to be decontextualized from both the positive and negative hype surrounding it so that the songs themselves can emerge. On first listen, the production is prominent. However, upon each return visit, more and more treasures are to be found. Magnificent musicianship and seamless songwriting carry the album through its various portions. Songs like "Every Breaking Wave," "Song for Someone," and "Iris (Hold Me Close)” get better with every listen, as the poignant lyrical and musical touches reverberate with sonic subtlety.
To create a flow on an album that covers so much ground is an accomplishment also worth noting. These songs don't require a previous fan relationship with the band, but it's exciting to see that a band that keeps reinventing itself and deconstructing its own mythology also still can provide its own signature sounds. Enjoying the musical surface of the album is fulfilling, but even more so is listening enough that you fully get to appreciate Bono's vocals and uniquely open lyrical style, the Edge's classic riffs, Adam Clayton's distinctively rhythmic bass patterns and Larry Mullen's perfect touch on the drums.
It may be hard to compare this album to any other one from U2, but it stands strong in its own right.