TITLE: No Line On The Horizon
WEB DEBUT: Feb. 18, 2009
RELEASE DATE (U.S.): March 3, 2009
ONE-LISTEN VERDICT: The 12th studio album from Ireland’s biggest rock export is another Brian Eno/Daniel Lanois collaboration, and perhaps to be in tune with the more somber end-of-the-decade mood, it’s a slightly grayer take on the band’s big-epic-everything sound, with the tempos generally staying in the “mid” range. The real mix of “No Line On The Horizon” is a little more plodding than the version that serves as the B-side to lead single “Get On Your Boots”, while the one-two jab that follows, “Magnificent” and “Moment Of Surrender,” seems to be Bono’s attempt to show that he crate-digs at Dublin record shops for mid-’90s dance 12-inches. Those two tracks amount to nearly 13 minutes of Horizon‘s 53-minute running time, and perhaps they would have served the rest of the record better if they’d been placed later on the album. Because of that slow start, and the U2-on-33 feeling that pervades the songs that follow, it’s hard not to listen to Horizon feeling that this album was recorded while everyone was kinda distracted (perhaps by the problems plaguing every corner of the globe?). I guess that makes it in tune with the times—who knows, perhaps this album was actually designed to be listened to on shuffle with the rest of a listener’s record collection while multitasking.
THE BEST TRACK: Aside from the alternate mix of the title track? OK, OK—”Stand Up Comedy” will probably sound great on the radio, thanks to a siren-call guitar solo, a gasping-Bono vocal line, and ridiculous Messiah-complex lyrics (including a line about “helping God across the road like a little old lady”!).