Tuesday, March 03, 2009

U2 -No Line On The Horizon Review

My love affair with U2 has been rocky.We were so tight during the first wave of our romance, as it started when I was just a Boy..we held hands and went steady in October, fell in love during War, burning hot during An Unforgettable Fire and planted ourselves firmly in The Joshua Tree. We were seeing other people while Achtung Baby played in the background. And then the alienation crept in,our slow turn of the wave of love... We've broken up several times...The first was after the Pop album and stayed incommunicado thru the Zooropa album. A long hiatus full of disbelief, memories and being deterred by the bombast and the spectacle of the consequent tours did follow. And we barely spoke until All That You Can't Leave Behind. The song Stuck In a Moment really brought us closer and because of it we happily cohabitated through How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. We rode the plateau....until now.

Now in 2009 after 4 years of day in day out, we've come to a crossroads. No Line On The Horizon is that crossroads. I'm happy to say that its a CHALLENGING U2 album that takes several listens to truly appreciate as a whole, but more than half of the tracks leave an immediate impact. Thanks to returning geniuses Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, U2 is experimenting again. This album has something to remind me of every roll, wave and plateau of my love affair. My 25 year love affair. Behold the ethereal beauty of No Line On The Horizon-The Title Track, hypnotic, driving and complete with Bono as banshee and bard........Magnificent is a scintillating stadium rock anthem that slaps you politely and then shakes your hand with a great chorus "Only love can leave such a mark"..... The track that lured me into the splendor though, was Moment of Surrender..a twisting and turning love affair song that leaves you floating with reservation while you wonder and wander through Eno's ambient bed in the background, quite reminiscent of the best of The Unforgettable Fire. White As Snow and Cedars of Lebanon are devine pieces of artwork...like travelling through a painting or pouring through a book where a frozen trance can lead you through a nuance of time and travel.

The ladies will love I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight as the song that most reminds me of a track left off of Atomic Bomb..this will get the 150 dollar cheap seat aisles hopping.
Even the weaker tracks like Breathe and Stand Up Comedy have elements of the U2 foundation that will attract and engage the average fan who may be looking to dance or high five each other with backwards baseball caps on.
Overall,I am thrilled with the range..the stretch and width of this album. It SOUNDS like it took four years to make and thats a good thing. Albums should be ideas, plotted out, pieced together,fought over razed and brought to life again until the end result stands the test of time in relevance,risk and beauty. No Line On The Horizon is one of those albums.


  1. I agree, it definitely takes a few listens to get into, but with more listens comes greater appreciation. The more I listen to it the more I love it and it's certainly a fantastic album that takes you all over the place.

  2. I really dig the album too. I held off on reading your review until I posted my own, which I did this morning. Check it out. You hit on most of the high points and I like your 'my history with the band' take!

  3. This is why you need to be a professional writer!

    As for the album, I love it. I had to listen to it a few times too and don't have a favorite song yet. I am anxious thinking about how I might get my hands on an affordable ticket and am not thrilled at all about the big stadium tour...yuk. I like U2 indoors, more intimate that way.