Bono Comes Up Man-Sized

Jan 19th, 2009 // 8 Comments

ARTIST: U2
TITLE: “Get On Your Boots”
WEB DEBUT: Jan. 19, 2009

ONE-LISTEN VERDICT: In a development that probably shouldn’t be all that surprising—yet still is—Bono is sorta channeling Radiohead’s Thom Yorke on the lead single from his band’s forthcoming No Line On The Horizon—seriously, when his half-falsetto first kicked in, I thought Yorke was actually making a cameo on the track. From there, “Get On Your Boots” turns into a twisty, kinda weird little song, with a chugging, blown-to-bits bass line, a pre-chorus where the vocal harmonies can (I swear to God) only be described as “Alice In Chains-ish,” and a lot of chaos that recalls the prime days of 120 Minutes. (OK, so the lyrics are terrible—”Free me from the dark dream / Candy bars, ice cream / All the kids are screaming / but the ghosts arent real”—but that shouldn’t be too much of a shock.) I guess the idea is that coming back with the big, anthemic supersingle a la “Vertigo” would be something of a silly gesture in these degraded times for the pop-star archetype, but really, this track is definitely not what I was expecting. And I mean that in the best way.

WHERE TO FIND IT: Well, it’s on iTunes, but those of you who want to try before you buy can hit up the band’s official site—or if that isn’t working, there’s always YouTube:

  1. Michaelangelo Matos

    Wow, they’ve been listening to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

  2. Anonymous

    @Matthew Perpetua and Michaelangelo Matos: Have you two (no pun intended) heard “The Lounge Fly Mix” of “The Fly?” It’s a fun little take that was on the CD single:

  3. Anonymous

    The Lounge Fly mix has been in my heavy car/party/loud music rotation for going on 16 years or so. A fantastic remix of a great tune.

    I’ll take “The Fly” over any of their other singles from that album any day. Even with Actung Baby being my favorite U2 album, hands down.

    That said, I had the same reaction to this new tune as I did “Zoo Station”. Meaning, abject confusion. Remains to be seen if it grows on me.

    But as fro influences, I definitely heard “Wild Wild West” too. Not exactly a catchy tune needing a remake…

  4. KikoJones

    Obviously, it would be very inaccurate and irresponsible to judge an album based on one song. But if this first single is any indication, No Line on the Horizon might be a revisiting of U2′s ’90s albums. Which would be an interesting development since the ones they’ve released in this decade have borne the stamp of their “classic” sound, which many of the band’s hardcore fans–and drummer Larry Mullen Jr–were quite vocal about being more than ready for the band to return to, after Zooropa and especially Pop. We’ll find out soon enough.

    Oh, and “Get On Your Boots”? Not bad, btw.

  5. Michaelangelo Matos

    @baltimoretim: Yeah, that’s in the Flanagan book. And I absolutely adore “The Fly.”

  6. Thierry

    Sounds like three different songs fighting each other, but I already like it more than almost anything off their last couple of records – perhaps because I was and still am a shameless apologist of the Zooropa/Pop period.

  7. Our motorcycles have been garaged for months, under repairs. I for one can’t wait for better weather so I can get out on my supercross bike. We have some of work to do on it, and its gonna take some time, but like we do each year, we upgrade several of the systems, and make our bike better than it was before. Thanks for the article.

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