Album Review: U2 - No Line on the Horizon


U2 - No Line on the Horizon
U2 - No Line on the Horizon (Image courtesy of Mercury)

The Irish rock legends U2 return with their first album in four years, No Line on the Horizon. The band has been busy during that time, being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2005, winning the Grammy for Album of the Year in 2006, collaborating with Green Day, recording with Rick Rubin, and frontman Bono being named one of Time's Persons of the Year. For their new album, however, the band returned to their tried and true production trifecta of Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois, and Steve Lillywhite.

After a return to their "classic sound" on their past two albums, one might expect No Line on the Horizon to be another batch of uptempo guitar rock, but U2 have always been a band to subvert expectations. This is a low-key, often moody collection of songs that waxes and wanes in intensity over the course of the album. The sound ranges from the riff-driven "Get On Your Boots" to the seven-minute epic "Moment of Surrender," the longest song the band has released to date. Bono's lyrics touch upon the usual themes of war, peace, love, and God.

No Line on the Horizon may not be as immediately captivating as some of U2's other albums, but it is still a thoughtful and challenging addition their catalog. This is the sound of a band unafraid to embark on some new directions, even 25+ years into its career. The album will be available in stores on March 3.