Oh Sit Down

Archive for March 9th, 2009|Daily archive page

U2’s No Line On The Horizon

In Album review, Jonathan Ross on March 9, 2009 at 15:07

In a nutshell, this album defintely grows on you. Perhaps, as one reviewer put it before, it is because you are becoming more and more familiar with the songs. Whatever the reason, the album sounds better to me now than it did 10 days ago when i first heard it.

As I am not a big U2 fan, I downloaded it in preparation to seeing the band play live on the Friday Night With Jonathan Ross show, which I attended the week they were on it.

As the band took the stage in the studio, Bono was strangely absent. The crowd gave “the three” a resounding roar of approval and a huge round of applause. Everyone was obviously very excited to see the biggest band in the world. I have to admit, I was excited too. It was a unique experience to see the band play in such a confined space. They were only about 10 yards away form us – much better than watching them at Croke Park from the halfway line.

Anyway, a moment or two after “the other three” took to the stage, Bono decided to make his grand entrance. Get over yourself, little man. Obviously, he got a great reception but by rights he should have emerged with his badnmates. “The other” seemed unperturbed – I reckon they are immune to Bono’s behavious at this stage.

U2 played live which is to be commended. At the end of the first song they played, Breathe, while the chords were still being strummed by The Edge, Bono announced: “We’ll be doing that one again. We’re only getting warmed up.”

So they played the song again, and Bono walked up into the crowd, which is a very unusual occurrence on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross.

In fairness, Breathe isn’t a bad song at all. Though I have the feeling, as with the majority of this album, that the tracks are better suited to a stadium or arena than a small studio at the BBC. 

Anyway, straight after Breathe’s second take, they belted out Get On Your Boots, a decent song and will probably be released as a single.

It was a good performance by the band and Jonny Woss was visibly excited by having them on his show.

As I mentioned above the album sinks into you as you become more familiar with the tracks.

The title track, No Lines On The Horizon has a great melody. The more you hear this one, the more you like it.

Magnificent reminded me of Numb, and then switched to sound more like something off the Joshua Tree album.

The next two tracks from the album are very forgettable, Moment Of Surrender and Unknown Caller. It’s fairly safe to say they won’t be singles.

However, the album picks up again with I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight. This one can be imagined quite easily being played to a packed out stadium and would have the crowd going nuts. A strong contender to be released as a single.

Stand Up Comedy has a terrific riff. It teases you – I was hoping the riff would expand and continue for longer than it does and somehow break into a superb bit of plucking from someone like The Eagles or The Who. It very much reminded me of something from the recent masters of catchy riffs, Ocean Colour Scene.

The album slips into a void for the next two songs, Fez – Being Born, and White As Snow. Forgettable album fillers.

Breathe has a strange position on this album, being the second last one. But it is a good solid rock track that genuine U2 fans will appreciate.

As is typical of albums of this nature, the closing track, Cedars Of Lebanon, is a slow and emotional song.

This album is a far cry from their early stuff, it is more in line with their more recent releases. One view I have read lately suggested that U2 are not reeling in new fans with their current material. I disagree with that. I think people are discovering U2 all the time, especially the younger generation. They will appreciate this album for what it is – a solid release from one of the most successful bands of all time.

This album is not really suitable for an ipod or even your stereo at home. I think it was written with a stadium in mind….no doubt that their next tour will be huge and the tracks played from this album will give the fans what they are looking for…

 

And a final thought….Does Bono remind anyone else of Tom Jones? I see this little dude in big boots and mad shades….but when he dances around it reminds me of an old uncle at a wedding who hasn’t moved his hips since Woodstock. And Bono’s voice is morphing more into the Welsh crooner’s wavelength every time I hear him…..

Bono – please sit down.