Upon first listen--which for me was through the band graciously streaming it on-line before the release date--the album didn't immediately grab me. I think that was partly due to listening to it on my little bitty laptop speakers rather than really good headphones, but also it was because it is in some ways represents a new direction for the band. The songs are far-less radio-friendly than their recent albums, but that may be a good thing, because they are quite deep and rich. Multiple listens are necessary before an opinion should be formed--which is why I view with suspicion early reviews of any album--especially this one.
This past Sunday on the way to church I hit play on my iPod set on the second track "Magnificent" and listened to the lyrics maybe for the first time in a concentrated manner. I found myself thinking about God and realized this may be one of the most powerful songs of praise I have ever heard.
I was born
I was born to sing for you
I didn’t have a choice but to lift you up
And sing whatever song you wanted me to
I give you back my voice
From the womb my first cry, it was a joyful noise…
Only love, only love can leave such a mark
But only love, only love can heal such a scar
Justified till we die, you and I will magnify
For long time fans of U2, I'd offer that as a praise to God, it reminds me of "Gloria" off of the band's much-maligned second album, October.
Since I'm the one leading worship on Sunday mornings, I'm usually too focused upon my own role as minister to do much worshipping on my own. It was very nice to start off a Sunday hearing Bono, Edge, Larry and Adam singing about the magnificent love of God.
Grace and Peace,