Surrender Audiobook is Out

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams / Harry Kantas (2022-10-31)

Warning: Spoilers for Surrender, both the book and audiobook follow. You can find links to download the audiobook of Surrender here. If it is not yet midnight where you are, you will be able to download it when the service of your choice makes it available. We highly recommend taking a listen…

The audiobook for Surrender is out now, and is appearing at midnight around the world. Along with 20 hours of Bono reading his stories, complete with sound effects and randomness, each of the 40 chapters is introduced by a short clip of music. These are a preview of the upcoming album Songs of Surrender and are a warm and intimate recreation of some of these songs.

Many of the songs have been recreated on acoustic guitar and piano. As promised many are slowed down and sound quite different from the originals. But there are still some surprises among the more new takes. “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” brings in some keyboards and drums, while retaining its characteristic pitch shifting guitar, acoustic this time. “Two Hearts Beat As One” becomes a jazzy little number (‘Acoustic funk-jazz’), with a nice beat, sounding amazing, one of the highlights here for sure. “Where the Streets Have No Name” starts out dark with the sound of strings with the keyboards building behind a rich vocal. “The Fly” is a winning stand out here. The drums, and groovy deep bass, and slowed down lounge act vocals just works for the song.

“Vertigo” starts out with a Mid-eastern sounding intro, with strings, before the guitar kicks in, and vocal effects. It is similar to how Bono has been performing the song with Kate Ellis and Jacknife Lee in appearances leading up to the book launch. “Get Out of Your Own Way” sounds the most like two guys busking on the street with a guitar. “Moment of Surrender” is a beautiful moment where we hear a chorus of vocals, and can’t help to wonder if it has been lifted from a live concert recording and remixed to bring the crowd to life.

Even the more acoustic tracks have a wealth of instrumentation. “Lights of Home” which is Bono and the Edge acoustic appears to have a synth backing track. “One” which has been done here on piano has a choir of voices which come in.

Other songs sound like the originals. The band didn’t say they would preview everything on this audiobook. Some surprises are sure to be left for the main album, which should be announced any day now. But from the book we know that the band have redone forty songs for the Songs of Surrender album, so we expect we will have to wait for the full collection to hear more.

There are lyric changes to be noticed. “A boy tries hard to be a man, His mother lets go of his hand, A gift of grief will bring a voice to life.” Another comes during “Bad” as Bono sings “Surrender. This is a song of surrender…” These are worked throughout the new pieces here. The “one boy never will be kissed” lyric we’ve heard live makes it to the recording of “Pride (In the Name of Love)” as well.

At the end, “40” is recreated, and plays out in the background as Bono reads the credits for the audio book. Keyboards, strings and chimes add to the beautiful song recreated here in a new way. The song is not one of the 40 chapters in the book, but it plays out over the credits here after the book is complete.

Throughout The Edge plays a key role, taking on lead vocals in “Stories for Boys”, and doing a falsetto vocal on “Desire”. His voice is front and centre for “Until the End of the World”, and “Stuck in a Moment” sees Edge singing and Bono following, a reverse of how that song goes in my head, and is now more a duet. In “Miracle Drug”, however, Bono returns the favour as he signs Edge’s bridge part, “beneath the noise, below the din…”

The snippets are only 20 – 30 seconds in length, and just serve to introduce the chapters. They appear to have been edited specifically for the audio book, with definite starts and endings, and aren’t just chopped off versions of the songs. They add an added element to the audiobook, which definitely makes it a must listen.

Many thanks to Dan Basquil for his assistance with this article (and a few of his words!)

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