U2

No Line on the Horizon (Universal)

Phases & Stages

U2

No Line on the Horizon (Universal)

Dublin's home brew never made a bad album, but it's nursed plenty of hangovers: sophomore slump October, Joshua Tree runoff Rattle and Hum, Achtung Baby backwash Zooropa. In the wake of U2's rebirth after 2000's All That You Can't Leave Behind and How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb four years later, No Line on the Horizon reaches for The Unforgettable Fire's post-War reinvention but misfires this side of Pop without the songs. That initial single "Get on Your Boots" smells of Bomb detonate "Vertigo" constitutes the first clue. Using all three U2 studio designates, meanwhile – Lanois, Eno, and Lillywhite – produces Hell's Kitchen, not the usual soufflé of anthems. The opening title cut could be off any of the band's last three LPs, while "Magnificent" refracts the band's bad-hair heyday as if it were Simple Minds. Soft undulation "Moment of Surrender" leaks inane lyrics, which cripple Horizon. The death of Bono's da fueled U2's previous two discs, but here "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" aborts on title alone, and lyrics by committee piss away an affecting vocal and melody on "White as Snow." Closer "Cedars of Lebanon" wouldn't make The Joshua Tree bonus disc. Rectification: a bad album, another U2 first.

*.5

READ MORE
More U2
PHASES & STAGES
U2
Songs of Innocence (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Sept. 26, 2014

33 Revolutions Per Page
33 Revolutions Per Minute: A History of Protest Songs, From Billie Holiday to Green Day
Time to get political, yo

Jim Caligiuri, June 15, 2012

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Walter Daniels
"Almost Got Hit by a Truck" b/w "My Mind Got Bad", "Voodoo Working" and "Stimulant" b/w "I Get Off on It", "Graveyard Shift" b/w "They Can Only Fill One Grave" (Record Review)

Tim Stegall, Dec. 2, 2016

Texas Platters
Peckinpah
Animal Dreams (Record Review)

Bryan Rolli, Dec. 2, 2016

More by Raoul Hernandez
Alejandro Escovedo Grinds Axes at <i>ACL</i>
Alejandro Escovedo Grinds Axes at ACL
Austin escapee kicks out the jams in his fifth taping for PBS

Dec. 1, 2016

Texas Platters
All ATX Vol. 4
Low Down Violet Crown (Record Review)

Dec. 2, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

U2

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)