Sunday, March 8, 2009

U2: No Line On The Horizon

U2 is back after a long hiatus from a studio album with No Line On The Horizon, their first disc since 2004s amazing How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. When Get On Your Boots was released as a single, I was skeptical. The song never captured me and if that was their choice for lead single, I was severely worried about what the rest of the album would sound like.

Well, shame on me for ever doubting one of the greatest rock bands that ever existed. No Line On The Horizon in one word – fabulous. The disc opens with the title cut, which is a strange blend of music and vocals not typically affiliated with U2. Although a different sound for the band, it’s still an enjoyable one.

Magnificent, Moment of Surrender, and Unknown Caller are all fantastic songs, worthy of being on either of their last two records (both of which were near flawless).

As usual, The Edge’s guitar work across the album rings near-perfection. It shows that he spent hours studio rehearsal to get the right tone, pitch, and riff for each individual song. The lyrics are powerful and send the usual U2 message of hope, faith, will, and determination.

Are there hit singles on this album? Without a doubt. There are arena rockers, stadium sing-alongs, and all the great goodness that we’ve come to know and love for U2. Those worried that this disc was going to be POP part two (yes, I was one of those), need worry no longer. What No Line On The Horizon is – just a magnificent collection of new material that rivals their last two discs for greatness. For their third consecutive release, U2 has pushed their limits, strove for perfection, and delivered the best work that they possible could for the time they recorded it.

No Line On The Horizon is not without its flaws. The aforementioned Get On Your Boots comes to mind. Stand Up Comedy starts off strong, but seems to fall flat with repetition and oddness toward the end of the song. White as Snow is a clunker that wanted to be a crooner (ala One) but fell short.

While not their greatest disc ever (that would be The Joshua Tree) the record definitely competes with any they’ve released this decade, and if you liked those, you’ll like No Line On The Horizon.

Ryo’s Rating: 8 (out of 10).


g said...

i'm still trying to get into it. this might be one of those that will have to grow on me in time. it didn't quite grab me like ...atomic bomb did (with vertigo).

...atomic bomb is a pretty hard to follow up album though it guess.

As of yet, I don't have a favorite song. i'll keep listening. i know it will happen.

Ryo Vie said...

I agree, Atomic Bomb is very hard to follow. So far, the opening track "No Line On The Horizon" is my favorite, but I'm sure that will change over time.