U218, which arrives in stores Nov. 21, is a waste of time for anybody who already has the best-of collections that they released a few years ago.

There’s nothing in these 15 singles that you don’t already know by heart, except…

  • the recent U2/Green Day collaboration-cover of “The Saints are Coming,” which does indeed rock, and…
  • “Windows in the Sky,” which is as jubilant and celebratory as “Beautiful Day,” and which U2-friendly churches are more than likely to integrate in their worship-band performances on Sunday mornings, thanks to some clear-as-day references to Christ’s resurrection. It’s a good song, but not one of the all-time greats. In fact, it sounds a lot like what you might expect if you created software that would produce the Most U2-ish U2 Song Ever. It features their familiar, multi-layered production, a bold guitar-bridge to let the Edge steal the spotlight, and a contagious sing-along chorus that allows Bono to launch into predictable falsetto flourishes. It also includes a couple of typically forced Bono-rhymes. Fun, high-energy stuff, but far from groundbreaking.

It is what it says it is… a pile of U2’s singles. My “best-of” list would look quite a bit different, but all of these songs are excellent. Here’s the track listing according to U2 Swiss:

1. Beautiful Day
2. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
3. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
4. With Or Without You
5. Vertigo
6. New Year’s Day
7. Mysterious Ways
8. Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of
9. Where The Streets Have No Name
10. Sweetest Thing
11. Sunday Bloody Sunday
12. One
13. Desire
14. Walk On
15. Elevation
16. Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own
17. The Saints Are Coming
18. Window In The Skies

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