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No Line On the Horizon (Deluxe Version)


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With each subsequent album, U2 has pushed itself into new forms. Though evolving, the band is able to underpin its releases with that same rally-cry, post-punk take on rock 'n' roll that has been with the group since the beginning. The group's 2009 return to the main stage comes in the form of No Line On the Horizon. From the striking minimalist cover art (from Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto) to the production powerhouse trio of Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois, and Steve Lillywhite, this album positions itself in the same vein as the expectation-ignoring Achtung Baby. First single "Get On Your Boots" is slightly misleading — the album is not all chunky riffs and electro-jamming. Fact is, a good solid third of the album contains some of their most meditative work since The Unforgettable Fire (see the slow burn of "Unknown Caller" and "White As Snow"). But if you're looking for the big songs — and no one does big like U2 — "Magnificent" and "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" are the standouts.

Customer Reviews


Listening to the lead single had me nervous. I didn't get it. What were they trying to do, and would the whole album be like this? The more I heard the single, the more it grew on me. Still, the fact that Get On Your Boots is probably the worst song on the album says plenty about it. The opening three songs are open and wide, and could almost be dumped tracks from The Joshua Tree. Magnificent has a very apt title and ought to be a single. Much has been made of Moment Of Surrender, but I will just say that it Bono's best vocal in years. It builds slowly, creeping up on you. Unknown Caller has Enoesque backing vocals (of course) and may well be the outstanding track on the album. Breathe finds Bono singing almost like a stream of consciousness, his delivery fast and almost falling over itself and will probably be the next single. Cedars of Lebanon brings things to a close and finds U2's political slant coming to the fore. Concerning itself with the Israeli/Palestinian situation, it brings the album to a sombre and thoughtful close. The album as a whole sits up somewhere near Achtung Baby and The Joshua Tree, it's that good. If this is what delaying an album release can do, perhaps all future releases should be held back. Excellent work, lads. Simply brilliant.

Encoding Noise in Plus version...

I only wanted to purchase one tune; The Cedars of Lebanon. There's fizzy encoding noise in the Plus version in quiet passages that is clearly not part of the tune from the clip I have heard in a BBC interview on digital radio... What gives? Play the first 20 seconds of the (Brian Eno Music for Airports) tune... as the audio complexity ramps up it clearly fizzles out. Listening to it again it's all over the track. You'd think there'd be more quality control than that? I'd appreciate an answer from Apple too, as I have paid for faulty goods. Not impressed, given all the build up to this.

Interesting but just missed

I think you need to start these reviews by declaring your fan position - I am a fan but not blinded to think that everything they do is great and I also know it's very hard not to compare to Joshua/Achtung/Unforgettable - their best in the main. With that, there are some interesting songs here - some good (Breathe) and some not (Fez), one good anthem (Magnificent), generally slower (White, Cedars, Surrender) and then middle of the road remains for the rest. Further, this record explores some different sounds from U2 which is interesting. Bottomline, could have been a classic, music quality is excellent, but it does not have the emotional pull of previous work.


Formed: 1976 in Dublin, Ireland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Through a combination of zealous righteousness and post-punk experimentalism, U2 became one of the most popular rock & roll bands of the '80s. They were rock & roll crusaders during an era of synthesized pop and heavy metal, equally known for their sweeping sound as for their grandiose statements about politics and religion. The Edge provided the group with a signature sound by creating sweeping sonic landscapes with his heavily processed, echoed guitars. Though the Edge's style wasn't conventional,...
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