One of the more provocative anecdotes from Joe Hagan’s new biography about Rolling Stone is the revelation that founder Jann Wenner personally dictated U2’s Songs of Innocence to be the magazine’s No. 1 album in 2014. Wenner allegedly prioritized his friendship with U2’s Bono over the quality of the album, telling an editor, “My dictate. By fiat, buddy. That’s that.”
Well, he’s done it again in 2017. Today, Rolling Stone released its list of the year’s 50 best albums, and U2’s Songs of Experience has claimed the No. 3 spot. The album isn’t officially out until Friday, so most people haven’t heard it yet. We have, though, and can tell you it’s nowhere close to being a top 3 album of 2017. In fact, the early consensus on the Consequence of Sound Slack channel is that Songs of Experience is one of the year’s worst releases, another dud in U2’s once flawless discography. (Our full review is forthcoming.)
Instead, you can find our picks for the 50 best albums of 2017 here. We probably won’t get invited over for breakfast at Bono’s house anytime soon.