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Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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Songs of Surrender – U2 

U2’s first album since 2017’s Songs of Experience reimagines forty songs from the band’s catalog (only 1981’s October and 2009’s No Line on the Horizon have no songs represented here). The album, which runs nearly three hours, is connected to Bono’s excellent 2022 memoir Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story (read my review of that book here), whose forty chapters are titled after U2 songs. The new album has a different selection of songs, curated by The Edge, with twelve of the songs differing from the Bono book chapters.
The album was The Edge’s COVID lockdown project. He is the album’s primary producer, with a few others, notably Bob Ezrin, assisting. The Edge compiled the songs and the project is arranged into individual band member volumes. The Edge, who also handles lead vocals on four songs, has stated that Songs of Surrender was made with the awareness that most people listen to their music through earbuds now.
The songs really are reimagined, they are not just unplugged versions. In the liner notes, The Edge writes “Once we surrendered our reverence for the original version, each song started to open up to a new authentic voice of this time. Some of the songs feature rewritten lyrics. For example, “Walk On” is written in light of the Ukraine war. “Pride (In the Name of Love)”, replaces “One man betrayed by a kiss”, with “One boy never will be kissed”. The song arrangements are mostly intimate and acoustic, frequently replacing Edge’s electric guitars with quiet keyboards. The Edge, playing numerous instruments, Bono’s voice and the lyrics are in the forefront here. Many of the tracks feature no rhythm section at all, leaving bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. to apparently sit them out.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More of this review and a review of My Ideal: A Tribute to Chet Baker Sings by Amos Lee
  • Music News
  • Song of the Week Lyrics

This is an ambitious project for the band, which has continued with their original four members since 1976. These new versions of both well-known songs and more obscure ones may initially be hard for long-time fans to hear. Some songs fare better than others in their reimagined state. I encourage you to give them a chance. It may be unlikely that the new versions will replace the original, but some may very well stand on their own. And a new album, titled Songs of Ascent, is reportedly in the works.

Favorite songs
Every Breaking Wave
Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
Get Out Of Your Own Way
Red Hill Mining Town
Ordinary Love
Song for Someone
Cedarwood Road
I Will Follow

My Ideal: A Tribute to Chet Baker Sings – Amos Lee
*** ½

I’ve been a fan of Amos Lee’s music since he opened a local concert for Bob Dylan back in 2007, and I got to meet him briefly in the lobby during intermission. This new 16-song collection, Lee’s ninth studio album, and the follow-up to his earlier 2022 album, the excellent Dreamland, pays tribute to his musical hero and his deep jazz roots.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lee lost two of his mentors—Bill Withers and John Prine. During this period, Lee turned to the album Chet Baker Sings for comfort. My Ideal is his tribute to that music and the meaning it held for him: a song-for-song cover of Chet Baker’s 1954 original, which in 2001 received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award. Lee considers Baker to be his lifelong musical hero, crediting him with changing his life and trajectory as an artist.
The tribute album, which is beautifully performed and produced, features Lee with pianist and trumpeter David Streim, bassist Madison Rast, and drummer Anwar Marshall, and is intended to remind Lee’s fans of the early days of his career playing as an artist on jazz label Blue Note Records. Lee gets to show off his incredibly vocals on this album. At times the combo reminds me of jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas (and that’s a compliment, as I love that album).
I was not previously familiar with Baker’s music. It is rare that another artist would cover a complete album by another artist. The album will most likely not be a big seller, but it is done with excellence and hopefully will expand Lee’s audience.

Here is the track list for My Ideal:
That Old Feeling
It’s Always You
Like Someone In Love
My Ideal
I’ve Never Been In Love Before
My Buddy
But Not For Me
Time After Time
I Get Along Without You Very Well
My Funny Valentine (For Oskar and Eli)
There Will Never Be Another You
The Thrill Is Gone
I Fall In Love Too Easily
Look For The Silver Lining
Everything Happens To Me
I’m Old Fashioned

  • Enjoy “Stronger” by Ellie Holcomb, from her excellent album Canyon. You can read my review of Canyon here.
  • Bono and The Edge: Tiny Desk Concert: Bono and The Edge preview U2’s new album Songs of Surrender with four songs on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert.

Psalm 90 (Satisfy Us With Your Love) – Shane and Shane

This week’s song of the week is “Psalm 90 (Satisfy Us With Your Love)” by Shane and Shane from their new album Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs Live. The song was written by Shane Barnard. Watch the performance of the song here.

Verse 1
You have been our dwelling place
Oh everlasting God
Before You formed
The mountain tops
You were before it all

Pre-Chorus 1
And soon our lives
Turn back to dust

When the sun comes up
Satisfy us
Before the day has passed us by
Before our hearts forget
All Your goodness
Satisfy us with Your love

Verse 2
The wrath of God
Poured out for sin
On Jesus crucified
Consider Him our hiding place
Our shelter is alive

Pre-Chorus 2
Because He lived
And died for us

When the sun comes up
Satisfy us
Before the day has passed us by
Before our hearts forget
All Your goodness
Satisfy us with Your love

Teach us Lord
To number our days on Earth
And give us more
Wisdom in the secret heart
As You displayed amazing grace
In Jesus Christ for us

When the sun comes up
Satisfy us
Before the day has passed us by
Before our hearts forget
All Your goodness
Satisfy us with Your love

When the sun comes up
Satisfy us
Before the day has passed us by
Before our hearts give up
Spirit fill our hearts
Satisfy us with Your love

Satisfy us with Your love

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

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