Author Topic: As fresh as a debut; is this U2's best studio album yet?  (Read 884 times)

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Offline pt1916

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As fresh as a debut; is this U2's best studio album yet?
« on: March 03, 2009, 02:49:12 AM »
I love this aricle. It really gave me a glow. I have to say I hate all the negative stuff. It always happens when they release an album but this time it hurts for some reason. But I loved this because he is right!

As fresh as a debut; is this U2's best studio album yet?

Sunday Telegraph (London), March 02, 2009

By Paul Morley

On their latest album, U2 sound so much like a contemporary version of themselves, and a contemporary pop group full stop, it is fairly breathtaking. No Line on the Horizon is their twelfth, and possibly best, studio album. At least, it's intoxicating enough for fans, if not those irked by U2's inconvenient continuing presence, to consider it their best. It sounds as fresh and vivid as a debut, yet is infused with their very specific, self-conscious experience.

Since their attractively ragged and raging 1980 debut album Boy -- and their last five or six albums could justifiably have been called Man -- they've nimbly resisted becoming a nostalgia act. They've smartly survived numerous shifts in musical fashion, commercial structures and cultural circumstances. They've stayed dreamers and kept faith with the astringent guitar sound of the Clash, Public Image and the Banshees, even as they've become tangled in their own resonating history, success, reputation, power and Bono's unyielding international presence as meddling buddy of the high and mighty.

Unlike the post-punk groups that originally inspired them, they're still around to make themselves up, and negotiate their image, their music and their business, as a group that can play at MTV glamour, reinvent themselves (whatever turbulent technological and cultural changes are happening around them), mix in the bracing, legendary company of Dylan and Springsteen, and make a record that sounds like the group they always were without it seeming like they're just repeating tricks and embarrassingly hanging around long after they've outstayed their welcome.

Cynics annoyed by the unwieldy, do-gooding civic concerns of a pontificating Bono, aggravated by his impertinent, presumptive desire to correct various forces of corruption and ignorance, suspicious of the forensic methods U2 use to remodel themselves, will resent the five-star reviews the record deserves for being a great sounding piece of spectacularly organised, defiantly intimate, sensitively designed and emotionally presented, post-modern showbusiness.

U2 have always been aggressively committed to slicing through cynicism, even as their implacable attention-seeking has given ammunition to those cynics that profoundly doubt something so plush
and propertied can be sincere. What you think of No Line on the Horizon, and the group's sustained act of self-preservation, will reflect whether you consider them a lucid celebration of sincerity or a contrived, swanky forgery. It's down to whether you believe or not -- in the group, and in belief itself.


Sunday Telegraph, 2009.