What a wonderful little treat from those Irish boys. This single is taken from the album U218 Singles. "Windows in the Skies" being the second single from that album, while "The Saints are Coming" was the first. Now this CD only features two tracks, which is a slight disappointment. I can recall when CD singles had at least 3 to 4 songs, in the old days.
Windows in the Skies: This is a jovial and up beat song. It is a beautiful arrangement of melodies and vocals, a very catchy tune with wonderful lyrics. I had heard this song had a Beatles feel to it. I didn't know what that meant until I actually heard "Windows in the Skies"; once I did I can see why the comparison was made. This song is very different from anything on "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb." I really hope this is the direction U2 will be taking with their new material. However, I thought they would be going in a certain direction when they recorded "The Ground Beneath Her Feet" (featured on the Million Dollar Hotel soundtrack) and they didn't. I also thought they would take a new approach with "Electrical Storm" (featured on the Best of U2: 1990-2000) yet again they didn't.
Tower of Song: This song is from the film "I am Your Man". The lead vocals are by Leonard Cohen. I have to be honest, the only song I ever knew by Cohen was "Coming Back to You", and I had only heard covers of it (for instance Martin L. Gore's version). So this is my first time really hearing his voice. I have to say the first time I heard "Tower of Song", I wasn't sure if I liked it or not. Cohen's voice is coarse and a bit abrasive. It appears that he is talking more than singing. However after a few listens, I really began to like it. The music is amazing; of course U2 is playing, the music is mellow and hypotonic. In the latter part of the song, Bono jumps in to sing a couple of lines. This is cool, but I almost think his lyrics and vocals could have been omitted and it wouldn't have affected the quality of the song. Mainly because Cohen does such a good job. I know that this is a reasonable charges for heresy, saying that Bono was needed. Don't worry, still much love for Bono.
Overall nice little package. Just a side note, it is always strange when a band records songs in between albums, it might be an indication of what is to come or it isn't. So I am not sure if these two songs are foreshadowing the future of U2 or just more musical experimenting. Either way I am sure my ears will be pleased.