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 U2

Irish Rock Band

No Line on the Horizon - 2009

 

 

 

U2

No Line on the Horizon - U2 -

No Line on the Horizon/ Magnificent/ Moment of Surrender/ Unknown Caller/ I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight/ Get on Your Boots/ Stand up Comedy/ FEZ - Being Born/ White as Snow/ Breathe/ Cedars of Lebanon.

The essence of a satisfying album is being left with a feeling that you have just listened to something worthwhile. The first thing that strikes you about No Line on the Horizon is its power. Thankfully U2 have decided to tread the path of solid rock. It's no Joshua Tree but neither is it some of the limper later efforts. The songs are, in the main, well constructed and the production is excellent as you would expect from Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno. To say it is classic U2 would be rather over-egging the pudding but it is a competent set of 11 songs with more highs than lows. The tone of the album is set by a solid rocking title track that gives way to "Magnificent - another song with a pounding beat and Bono vocals that hark back to earlier conquests. I read a review stating that U2 are the kind of band you either love or hate which makes it difficult to constructively criticise their output. To my mind this is too simplistic a view although it is difficult to put aside thoughts of previous material. Trying to look at No Lines on the Horizon from  a fresh viewpoint is difficult. There are plenty of nodding references to the past but enough freshness to make it successful without taking it into ground-breaking territory. There are good songs here like Moment of Surrender which weighs in at over seven minutes and is a complex piece. Naturally there is filler material. Get on Your Boots seems out of place on the album and is a strange choice for a single, although that will probably ensure it does really well. I particularly enjoyed the sharp instrumental passages of FEZ Being Born and the excellent drama and low key feel to the ballad White As Snow. On Moment of Surrender the band sound like the Stones and at times there's a definite Scissor Sister feel to proceeding. There's also a low key end to the album in the rather majestic Cedars of Lebanon. Overall it's not a great album, but it is a decent one.

Best Track - White as Snow