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D 30 January 2009     H 10:24     A Corine/Dead     C 0 messages

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To say it upfront, I’ve only listened to the songs of the new album twice, and that’s just not sufficiently often to be able to write a review of New Line On The Horizon that can do this highly complex album justice. The following therefore only provides a sketch of my first impressions – it’s not a review of the album, nor of any of the songs (and thus no marks out of ten...!).

I’ve been able to listen to the album during a pre-listening event at the legendary Hansa Studios in Berlin, organised by Universal Music. That in itself is a clear statement. After all, it was at Hansa Studios that U2 recorded Achtung Baby. But (this much I dare to say already) U2’s new album carries its predecessor’s crown proudly. It’s different, it’s brave – and The Edge is on fire.

My impressions of the individual tracks:

No Line On The Horizon
The first song already a clear statement – this album is different. Crashing guitar riffs come flying your way, the bass vibrating, Bono’s voice screaming, scratching, only slowly turning towards a melody. The memorably chorus comes as a suprise, and is carried by The Edge’s voice. More slowly in the middle bridge, with classic U2 song structures, the song picks up again. Then, towards the end, guitar parts reminiscent of Lady With The Spinning Head. An atmospheric, dense song that shifts U2’s music towards a different sound and determines the album’s theme – more rock, a denser atmosphere, more variety in Bono’s voice.

Magnificient starts off with loud drums, loops and riffs are chasing each other before Edge’s classic guitar sound kicks in. Bono’s lyrics open with the song’s title – a very meloic song, maybe one of the best on the album. But also a song that would have been most at home on earlier U2 albums, though still infused with new sound layers that would have been fitting for Achtung Baby. The song closes strongly, and will be known to some as ’beach clip’ No 4.

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