Sunday, March 15, 2009

Speeding on the subway through the stations of the cross

I guess I do not talk about U2 much, but I am a huge fan.  I think that they have created several masterpiece albums, and I think their last two albums are excellent as well.  I think that they have remained innovative despite their mantle of world's biggest rock band.  So I was pretty excited about the new album, as I am about all of their releases.

Overall, I think that No Line on the Horizon is quite good, and the band does some new and different things here that work well in general.  I listened to the album pretty much nonstop last week, so here are some thoughts on a few tracks:
  • The new single, "Get on Your Boots" has grown on me.  Initially I really liked the guitar and bass but did not care much for the rest of it.  But now I kind of like it--the verses are much more solid than the chorus, and I think it would be a great song live.
  • The opening title track is another solid song.  It is a bit dark and slowly builds, and I really like Bono's howl.  The song sets the tone well for the rest of the album.
  • "Magnificent," which I think is the next single, throbs a cool melody.  Again, though it is a love song ("I was born to be with you") it has a pretty dark feel to it.  I like it.
  • "Unknown Caller" has the famous Edge high-pitched guitar picking, making it immediately recognizable as a U2 song.  This is a slower song, but with yelling.  Pretty good.
  • "Stand Up Comedy" is a hard-rocking deal, with Bono getting dangerously close to rapping.  References to rock stars and Napolean and egos are pretty good, but I am not so sure I like this song.
  • "Fez - Being Born" is another slow-builder and contains a good deal of sonic experimentation.  It is sort of background music and a little strange, but good.
  • My favorite by far is "Moment of Surrender," a beautiful down-tempo song with prominent bass line and a bit of hand clapping.  The chorus of this track has the kind of soaring aspect that I love about many U2 choruses, and I feel like singing loudly when it comes around.  This is a great song.*  

So overall: Quite good.  Not excellent.  

*Sidenote: I had to get over a huge language pet peeve of mine to even bring myself to listen to this song a second time.  Bono says "I was punching in the numbers at the ATM machine."  Goddammit, Bono!  Were you really at the automated teller machine machine?  Did you also punch in your PIN number, or personal identification number number?  I hate that, and I cringe little every time the lyric approaches, but the song is great otherwise.


At 8:23 PM, Blogger Joe Wanninger posited...

I agree completely about your pet peeve. They should teach that at an early age. Perhaps if they put it on the SAT test, people would pay more attention to it.

At 11:23 PM, Blogger P "N" K posited...

Cool, Dub...I did not know you listened to much U2. When I posted my thoughts on the album awhile back I missed the boat on Moment of Surrender. That's probably risen up to my #1 fav. song on the entire album.

What is your favorite U2 album? I like Achtung Baby the most myself.

And a big thumbs up to SAT test. Or the ACT test for that matter.

At 1:05 AM, Blogger Erik posited...

Joshua Tree has always been the stand-out to me.

At 2:38 AM, Blogger P "N" K posited...

That's my #2.

At 6:53 AM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

Joshua Tree and Achtung, Baby are the two great masterpieces.

At 12:14 AM, Anonymous alan posited...

I was just watching someone doing standup where the comedian recalled a conversation.
"So, I was waiting to get some cash from the ATM machine when this-"
"You know, it's redundant to say ATM machine, since the M stands for machine. It's like saying Automated Teller Machine Machine."
"So, I was waiting to get some cash from the AT (pause) Machine when this-"

I guess that sort of language error doesn't bother me because it doesn't inhibit communication. That, and I like to be contradictory.

"Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" made the Schumaker movies worth it.


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