Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Music: No Line on the Horizon or: U2 makes me sad

U2 won't stop embarrassing themselves.

First of all, a band with as rich a history of album production should be ashamed that a song like "Get on Your Boots" made it to the recording studio. But it seems U2 has no shame left - after all, they are the same U2 that released "Elevation" and "Vertigo"; not just their two worst songs, but two of the worst singles in the past decade. If that's the kind of mark the band was aiming for with "Get on Your Boots", they hit the bulls-eye because, my gosh, this song is a bleeding mess. Is this power-chord chuggin, "Sexy boots"- sayin, joke of a band the same one who created The Joshua Tree, War, The Unforgettable Fire, and Boy? Hell, is this the same band that created Actung Baby and Zooropa? My gosh, even Pop is better than this.

The thing is, No Line of the Horizon, the album featuring "Get on Your Boots" is good. Really good. It's miles better than their previous record, How To Dismantle and Atomic Bomb. You can't even compare the two. The first and last four songs of the album are wonderful - they even use some of U2's classic-era sounds (The Edge must have rescued that dusty delay pedal out from under his bed). Even Bono's pseudo-emotional lyrics don't seem too trite/contrived here. The best songs here aren't necessarily ballads, but they certainly aren't rockers. Think "Where the Streets Have No Name", except with All That You Can't Leave Behind-era production, plus some trademark echo. Like any other U2 album, there are a few duds, but the best songs here actually make up for the failures (yes, even "Get on Your Boots"), unlike the aptly-titled Atomic Bomb, which never recovered from painful opener: the afore-mentioned "Vertigo". Honestly, No Line on the Horizon is their best album since Actung Baby. No contest.

So why do they insist on using their worst songs as their singles? When did this start? Certainly not in their prime - their singles used to be album highlights, now they're jokes. Is "Get on Your Boots" really the way they want to represent themselves?

For shame.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Pop and Zooropa are better than this.