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Time Pans U2′s New Album

John on February 27, 2009 at 11:55 am

Not a complete pan, but close:

No Line on the Horizon is mostly restless, tentative and confused. It’s not terrible, but it feels like the work of musicians torn between the comfort of the present and the lure of one last run into the adventurous past.


On a few tracks, the Edge, drummer Larry Mullen Jr. and bassist Adam Clayton sound at home rumbling through the verses and blowing out the choruses in the old familiar way. But as No Line trudges on, it slumps under the weight of its own need to surprise. Eno invented the bleeps and whirs that are mixed into the background of so many rock albums, and used as seasoning, his effects still have the power to create mystery. (On the title track, it sounds as if Bono is duetting with a quasar–very cool.) The problem is that too often Eno’s tricks are the steak. Melody–the most surprising effect of all–dodges in and out but rarely makes itself at home, and all we’re left with is an increasingly dull series of tricks killing time where the tunes should be.

Well, that settles it. I’m only buying one copy.

Related: Bono having a bad week. Maybe it’s because he has teenagers?

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