U2 has been teasing the follow-up album to Songs Of Innocence seemingly since the day that album mysteriously appeared on everyone’s iPhones in 2014. The album was to be called Songs of Experience, and with a 2015 world tour called “Innocence + Experience,” it felt like the album’s release was imminent.
I love U2, but I wasn’t necessarily excited for this seemingly hasty release. It was being characterized early on as a companion album, which made it sound like a collection of songs that weren’t solid enough to earn a spot on Songs Of Innocence. We’ve seen the band do this before with Zooropa, which was a rushed effort, released less than two years after Achtung Baby. That album would have been a hard act to follow regardless, making Zooropa feel like more of a letdown than it should have.
As we reach the three year mark since the last U2 album, it is probably no longer accurate to consider the follow-up to be a rushed effort. Songs Of Experience is still being characterized as a sort of companion piece—or at least a sequel—to Songs of Innocence. Indeed, the band has three years of experience working on this music at this point.
Today, the band has finally officially shared the first song from Songs Of Experience, a live performance of “The Blackout.” Click here to watch it on the U2 Facebook page. (Sorry, they’re not allowing websites to embed the video yet.)
An actual release date for the entire album hasn’t been announced, but it is rumored to be December 1. Considering the surprise release of the last U2 album, a three month wait is comparatively an eternity. We won’t have to wait that long to hear more new music, of course. “You’re The Best Thing About Me” has also been announced as the first (non-live) single. Watch for that on September 6.