Sunday, March 15, 2009

No Line On the Horizon - U2

It’s been five years since U2’s last studio effort, a big gap for a band who in their almost 30 year career have released eleven previous records. In this time they have written some great music, but it seems with No Line On the Horizon they may have dropped the ball.

I shouldn’t be all too negative about this album, there are some great songs on it. A nice cushy love song can be found in ‘Magnificent’ and the single ‘Get On Your Boots’ is pretty groovy, deserving the amount of radio attention it’s been getting lately. The same should be said about the opener ‘No Line on the Horizon’ as well, but it is unfortunately ruined by the fact that it is repeated as a closing track with minor musical alterations and different lyrics. Normally this can work if it acts as a kind of closing credits function only lasting a minute or so, but it is an entire song in itself which paints a pretty lazy picture.

What is interesting is that a lot of the songs are based in the perspective of some poor soul suffering through war and poverty or even a journalist covering these global issues. This would normally make for some pretty interesting lyrics but unfortunately they end up resembling those of an accountant for the Green Party, of particular note is ‘Cedars of Lebanon’ with the lyrics “Child drinking dirty water from the river bank/ Soldier brings oranges he got out from a tank” and so on…you get my point. Talking about lyrics there is a significant lack of such with too many choruses relying on the “Oh-oh ooohhh-ooooooh oh” style of speak resulting in the aforementioned laziness.

My biggest beef with U2’s No Line On the Horizon is the fact that it’s very linear; none of the songs really stand out and more or less just blend together. That doesn’t mean that it’s a bad album, but it seems to me that U2 are starting to lose their way.

2.5 stars

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