Recent Reviews

14.09.14

07.09.14

31.08.14

24.08.14

[ More Music Reviews ]


U2: No Line On The Horizon

U2: No Line On The Horizon

Post-Modern Progressive Rock
Rating: 3.0/5.0

Call me a stick in the mud or simply lost in the past, but I've been disappointed with U2's musical direction since 'All That You Can't Leave Behind.' U2's musical adventures seem to run as trilogies. Boy, October, and War are the first; The Unforgettable Fire, The Joshua Tree, and Rattle and Hum, the second; Achtung Baby, Zooropa, Pop, the third; and now 'Now Line On The Horizon' completes the last trilogy. Though interesting, I haven't found the last trilogy's direction quite so imperative or sustaining. The current disc will stay on surface (as did the previous two) thanks more to U2's legendary status and an Bono's universal popstar-politico status (which is possibly more important in awareness and contributions than U2 will or needs to be).

As you can guess, I'm first a fan of the 80's U2; those were the glory days for me. When I heard the first single from the latest, 'Get Your Boots On,' I knew I was in trouble. First thoughts: this is unmitigated weird sh*t. It didn't do a damn thing for me except crush my hopes. But the ever enduring fan in me would carry on.

And you know what? I found 'No Line On The Horizon' to be slightly better than I expected (less that aforementioned song: pure Euro-pop rubbish!). This disc blends U2's distinct ability to blend a lifetime of creativity with modern nuances and fresh ideas (Larry Mullen using an electronic drum kit? God forbid). Don't expect those impassioned rockers of the early days or the quirky pop of the 90's. Essentially, 'No Line On The Horizon' is a culmination of U2's post modern prog rock (excepting that dumbass single, of course).

Most every song before 'Boots' held my attention from the outset. However, despite its tremendous bass line and compelling lyrics, 'Moment Of Surrender' was unnecessarily long. The better choices in the first half are 'Magnificent' and the title cut. 'Unknown Caller' is sorrowful, bordering on dismal. 'I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight' attempts to be hit single material, but eventually falls flat. I hope it's livelier when played live. Next comes, well you know, that song: even though it sucks, it may be the closest thing to an up tempo rocker on the whole album! Shivers run down my spine with that statement.

In the second half there's quite an amalgamation of styles, enough to confuse and keep fans and critics (like myself) guessing for days. 'Stand Up Comedy' should have been the first single; with it's heavier riffs, it sounds like rock and roll. 'Fez,' being both dry and bright, reflects the Moroccan atmosphere where the first recordings were made. Doubtless, Christians will be confused by the both obvious and vague spirituality of 'White As Snow.' If any song is quintessential U2 (and probably the best on the album), 'Breathe' may be it: a wholly unidentifiable from the past arrangement mixed with quirky and challenging vocals from Bono. The last song, 'Cedars Of Lebanon,' gets my vote for 'let's make the album 10 songs long and drop this one.' Ignore it because it's a real yawner.

So U2's 'No Line On The Horizon' wasn't quite the mover and shaker I expected, nor is it a return to the form two decades past. This fan was wrong to expect it. Where U2 has come to, I haven't followed. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't. U2 is still speaking to this generation.


In Short

So U2's 'No Line On The Horizon' wasn't quite the mover and shaker I expected, nor is it a return to the form two decades past. This fan was wrong to expect it. Where U2 has come to, I haven't followed. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't. U2 is still speaking to this generation.

Find A Review

Alphabetical Index

a b c d e f g h i j
k l m n o p q r s t
u v w x y z #
Loading
News of the World

More music news here