Saturday, April 04, 2009

No Line on the Horizon

Many of you know of my undying love for U2 and so needless to say I devoured their new album as soon as it came out. I've been living with it now for about a month and trying to sort out what I thought of it. Some of it I love, some of it is merely ok. And it wasn't until last night that I finally formed my opinion of it. And even then it was from reading someone else's opinion. But Sasha Frere Jones of the New Yorker is rarely off about much. He had this to say in the last paragraph:

"“No Line” works precisely because it doesn’t try too hard to add to the band’s pile of epic moments. This album is a long dinner with old friends, all of whom love each other, most of whom are born talkers, and some of whom hold the floor for too long. Not every anecdote holds up, and some of the food belongs, untouched, on the edge of your plate. But it would be small-minded to leave before the whole warm, rambling night is over."

That pretty much sums it up. I will say that "Boots" song definitely isn't the reason I love the band and there are a few other speed bumps like "Breathe," but on the whole, it's a fantastic return to a more adventurous form for them. Easily their best playing since "Achtung Baby" though certainly.

However, I'd give the album high marks for one song and one song alone: "Moment of Surrender." First, it's over seven minutes long which gives it the distinction of being the only the second U2 studio recording to ever break the seven-minute mark (the first was "An cat dubh/into the heart" from "Boy" coming in at a healthy 8:14). "Bad," "Elvis Presley and America," and "All I want is you" were all only 6 and change. Second, Bono doesn't start singing until 1:16 into it. When's the last time that happened? Third, the Edge steals what sounds like Clapton's guitar for a bluesy solo unlike anything I've heard the guy play before.

And lastly, Bono finally found a place for the lyric "a vision over visibility" which by his own admission was something he'd been kicking around for years. It's a big thought when you think about it and something I'd argue we could use right now. To see an end despite having no means, to see the answer without knowing how to solve it, to see there despite still being here.

A vision over visibility. A thought for the times we live in.


Blogger minus five said...


7:29 PM  

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