Last week, U2 released a new song called “The Blackout”, with the promise of a second track coming in just one week’s time. Today, they’ve made good on their word with the release of “You’re the Best Thing About Me”, which serves as the first proper single from the band’s long-awaited new album, Songs of Experience. Take a listen below. Update: The band has set a December 1st release date for Songs of Experience; find more details here.
Whereas “The Blackout” heard U2 wax despair about the ills of the world at large, Bono gets much more intimate on “You’re the Best Thing About Me”. He croons, ‘You’re the best thing about me/ The best thing that ever happened a boy/ You’re the best thing about me/ I’m the kind of trouble that you enjoy/ You’re the best thing about me/ The best things are easy to destroy…’
The cover art features Sian Evans, the daughter of U2 guitarist The Edge, as photographed by Anton Corbijn.
U2 will perform “You’re the Best Thing About Me” live for the first time Thursday night on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
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Songs of Experience is U2’s 14th album and serves as the sequel to 2014’s Songs of Innocence. Though it was completed last year, Bono & co. felt the needed to re-evaluate the material in the wake of Donald Trump’s election (hence the political undertones of “The Blackout”).
“Once the election had happened we didn’t want to put out a record without having some time to evaluate what was going on and what was behind the outcome,” bassist Adam Clayton told Variety back in June. “And certainly that wave of change seemed to be moving through Europe as well, so we did say ‘Let’s reexamine where we are,’ and we did reexamine and I think it’s been better for the record and it’s been better for the songwriting and it’s much more on-message of what U2 does and what U2 does well. [Songs of Experience] has been ready to go for awhile, because it didn’t require a lot of surgery, so to speak — it was a little bit of cosmetic surgery.”
Per the band’s website, whereas “Songs of Innocence charted the band’s earliest influences and experiences in the late 1970s and early 80s, the new album is a collection of songs in the form of intimate letters to places and people close to [Bono’s] heart; family, friends, fans, himself.”
In addition to “The Blackout” and “You’re the Best Thing About Me”, U2 previously debuted “The Little Things That Give You Away” during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live in May.