Monday, March 02, 2009

Just Shut Up, Bono

"Music Monday" seems like an appropriate day for a music review.

On March 3, the new U2 album, No Line On The Horizon, will drop in the US. Rolling Stone has already given it a five-star review. I listened to it a couple of times last week, and my impressions can be distilled into a very brief review:

What the hell is this crap?

That about covers it. On the other hand, the cover art is first-rate (mainly because it's a mashup of a great Hiroshi Sugimoto photograph and the Human Rights Campaign logo).

UPDATE: I'll admit that, after writing this post over the weekend, I was still a bit freaked out by that Rolling Stone review. Five stars? What was I missing about this album? So I decided to give it one more listen...

I guess that maybe I was a little hard on some of the music. The Edge does some appealing guitar work--just much less on this album than on almost any previous album. Even so, I still don't hear a song on this disc that I want to sing--good tunes are missing.

The lyrics are terrible: pretentious and trivial, all about self-understanding and technology and who knows what. I don't care how good the music is, I can't listen to song that has the line:

Restart, reboot yourself.
Um, no thanks. Methinks Bono just got a new laptop.

And what are we to make of a song that describes having an epiphany while at the "punching in the numbers at the ATM Machine [sic]"? This is sloppy writing and it turns me off the song entirely. I don't see why I should pay attention to the deep "metaphysical" insights that Bono is hawking if he can't remember that the acronym ATM already includes the word "machine."

Maybe I'm getting crabby in my old age, but I'm just going to stick with my old U2 CDs.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you should've used Oz's summary... OLD.

todd said...

I'm not really warming to the album. I like Moment of Surrender a lot, but none of the other tracks have caught me.

kungfuramone said...

There was always a fine line between catchy and incredibly boring w/ U2. It is not surprising that they fell to the wrong side of that line in old age.

FOSCO said...

@Oz: That would have made it a shorter post, for sure.

@Todd: I do not like "Moment of Surrender" at all. If I had to choose the song I like best from that album, I'd take "No Line on the Horizon." But ugh.

@KFR: I think that's a good analysis.

ted said...

I listened to the album four or fives times, and I still think it sucks. Bono's lyrics are getting stupider and stupider, and the songs are just dull -- with some cool musical/production flourishes here and there. I was thinking that the "new" U2, Coldplay, put out a much, much better album last year--more interesting, catchy, and odd, but still completely mainstream and poppy. Listening to No Line On the Horizon made me like Coldplay more. And that was probably not U2's intent.

How the heck are you blogging this much? Are you trying to qualify and avoiding it? Whenever I do a blog, I feel guilty that I'm not working.

FOSCO said...

@ted: I'm glad it's not just me... But how did _Rolling Stone_ get it so wrong? I don't get it.

And yes, I am indeed trying to qualify. I am also (somewhat) avoiding it. Although, honestly, I don't spend too much time blogging--I write a lot in advance. And I write fast. But I definitely should have a better developed sense of guilt.