Well, it was unexpectedly wonderful to receive U2's back to basics new album as a gift from the mighty iTunes. There have been a lot of churlish remarks from reviewers and others about it being an example of outrageous behaviour from a rock behemoth and a corporate empire.
But I say, quit your whining and get with the music. Whatever the ethics of this marketing ploy (and they do seem a touch suspect), the album itself is refreshingly direct. Songs of Innocence (possibly a nod to William Blake suggesting that its partner album will be called songs of experience when it arrives full price in the near future) is a series of reflections of adolescence and U2's early days in Dublin.
It's interesting to see that the lyrics are all by Bono and the Edge, suggesting that these are collective memories. And they are set to a stripped back sound that seems entirely appropriate. There are some great tunes - notably The Troubles, The Miracle (of Joey Ramone) and Raised by Wolves - and not a duff track in sight.
The liner notes with the digital booklet are surprisingly illuminating and moving. So, find it in your iTunes inbox, download it and enjoy it... You know you want to...