In a time of tumult and daily, almost hourly angst, U2 have done the truly unexpected. The band known for powerful message songs released a throwback, classic love song called “You’re the Best Thing About Me.” The track, which dropped on Wednesday morning (Sept. 6) is the first single from the band’s long-promised Songs of Experience album, the follow-up to 2014’s Songs of Innocence.
Carried on a classic echoing guitar riff from The Edge, the tune opens with Bono singing, “When you look so good/ The pain in your face doesn’t show/ When you look so good/ And baby you don’t even know/ When the world is ours/ The world is not your kind of thing.” As drums, tambourine and a pulsing bass ramp up Bono pushes into the keening chorus, “You’re the best things 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.”
No release date has been announced yet for Experience, the band’s 14th studio album, though they are scheduled to perform two songs — including the debut of the new single — on The Tonight Show on Thursday night (Sept. 7). As seen above, the single’s artwork is a picture of The Edge’s daughter, Sian Evans, shot by U2’s longtime collaborator, photographer Anton Corbjin. In addition to the warm embrace of their signature sound, longtime U2 fans will likely appreciate the slice of self-deprecation from the always vocal Bono, who sings winkingly, “Shooting off my mouth/ That’s another great thing about me.”
Both Experience albums were inspired by the poetry collection Songs of Innocence and Experience by 18th century English mystic poet William Blake. And while Innocence followed a trail of the band’s earliest influences in the late 1970s and early 1980s, according to a press release for the new song Experience is a collection of “intimate letters to places and people close to Bono’s heart: family, friends, fans, himself.” A performance video of the song “The Blackout” was released last week.
Check out the track below: