Potted Review: No Line On The Horizon
Since 2001 each U2 album has accompanied by a series of press releases hailing it as being the 'Best U2 Album Ever'. Sadly this has become a joke, but then we know that no artist or record company will ever come out and say, "Well, we were a bit devoid of ideas and somewhat distracted, and we did the best we could, but, frankly, it's not that good really. Certainly not as good as the fourth album we did, but better than the crud we offered up last year." In this case they can put out a solid album that lives up to the hyperbole you'll soon be hearing.
It's an album wherein U2 show that their best influences are themselves. They've not sounded as good in years, certainly not since 1997's Pop. Tracks like Magnificent, Get On Your Boots, Moment Of Surrender, Stand Up Comedy, Fez and Cedars Of Lebanon hold their own with anything that U2 have released previously. The music is near perfect with all members shining, big guitars, unusual drum patterns, shimmering keyboards - even Adam's bass drives tracks here, something that would have been unheard of previously (New Years Day aside), Bono's voice is sounding better than he has since the mid 1980s and the lyrics...oh the lyrics. Gone are the sappy, cloying 'June and spoon' lyrics that dominated the bulk of the previous two albums. Bono has found his muse...and it shows. Look for lines such as, "The songs in your head are now on my mind," "Only love can heal such a scar ,"Every beauty needs to go out with an idiot," and more. This is classic U2, this is the U2 we've been waiting for. This is the U2 I've been screaming for since 1997.
This is the sound of four men dismantling the Atomic Bomb and Leaving Behind a lot of crap. Re-Boot and Re-Start indeed!
* I've got nothing against Simple Minds, indeed I adore Jim Kerr and his music. However I've always seen Simple Minds as the little brother to U2. An exceptional Simple Minds album can be viewed as being a decent U2 album, nothing to be ashamed about but nothing to get too excited about either.