What are your three favorite songs off the album No Line on the Horizon, and how do you feel about the album in 2018?

No Line on the Horizon
12 (14.8%)
16 (19.8%)
Moment of Surrender
13 (16%)
Unknown Caller
7 (8.6%)
I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight
1 (1.2%)
Get On Your Boots
0 (0%)
Stand Up Comedy
0 (0%)
Fez -- Being Born
10 (12.3%)
White As Snow
5 (6.2%)
12 (14.8%)
Cedars of Lebanon
5 (6.2%)

Total Members Voted: 27

Author Topic: No Line on the Horizon: Retrospective  (Read 554 times)

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Offline Vox

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No Line on the Horizon: Retrospective
« on: October 15, 2018, 07:31:31 AM »
This is the twelfth part of the U2: Retrospective.  You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login 

After listening to the album now, in the present day, the main part of each post will be to vote for your three favorite songs from each album.  The next parts can be optional (well, the whole thing is “optional”), but I’ll structure my posts like this:
•   When did I first listen to that album?  What is my history with the album?   
•   How do I feel about the album when I listen to it today, versus how I’ve felt about the album in the past?

Top three songs:  “No Line on the Horizon,” “Breathe,” “Fez: Being Born”

Ahhh…  No Line on the Horizon…  A record in my upper tier of favorite U2 albums (though I know I’m in the minority).  Since its release, this album has conjured up its own distinct feeling and mood for me – a sensation I’ve never gotten from any other piece of music.  I listened to it incessantly after it dropped, parts of it nearly every day for a couple dozen months.  I don’t recall anticipating a new album more than I did this, with the exception of Achtung Baby.  I remember sitting at work one day, almost two weeks before the album was to be released, when I learned that it had leaked.  Inexplicably, the leak ended up on my ipod (wah?), so I promptly came up with some excuse to leave work, get my ass home, and promptly listen to it (I ended up purchasing, perhaps, a half dozen copies for myself and others, so I think I’m all squared away, legally). I immediately loved it.  This was the U2 album I had been waiting for.

I had heard “No Line on the Horizon 2” prior to the album release and before the actual album title track.  At first I thought that was the version of the song which should have made the record.  But quite early on, something about the album title track ignited my soul.  Now, it’s my favorite U2 song since “Zooropa.”  There’s something about how the band kicks in at the 1:13 mark that moves me…  when The Edge unleashes the guitar riff…  the rise and fall of the bass like stormy waves… the odd rhythm of the drums… the lyrics about time not being linear…  It speaks to me on a certain level that I still don’t fully understand.  The same with “Breathe” – man, I adore that tune so much.  In fact, I love every song on this album.  Even the “middle three.”  I feel the same way about this record today that I did 9-10 years ago (has it been that long already?!?).

Someday, I’ve always said, I’m going to write an unrequited ode to this album.  In brief, here’s the feeling I get from this album: we live in dangerous, changing, challenging times.  It’s easy to be overwhelmed with suspicion and to withdraw – to numb yourself from the current state of the world…  But the only answer to everything is love.  And at a certain point, you’ve got to pull up your belt, find some strength, and go out into the world to embrace the madness head-on.  Now I know that perhaps the lyrics don’t explicitly say this – it’s just the general mood I got from the record.  When I’d listen to these songs after its release, I’d get a feeling that the air was almost electric.  At the time I called it “the power.”  I wondered if this album was speaking directly to me in ways it wasn’t speaking to anyone else.  A lot of U2 fans dismiss it.  Hell, in the years since, it seems that the band themselves don’t care for it.  But no matter what I think of U2’s input these past two decades, I’m sure glad they stuck around long enough to give me this one… 

Offline laoghaire

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Re: No Line on the Horizon: Retrospective
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2018, 08:39:33 AM »
I couldn't vote for the last retrospective, HTDAAB, because I couldn't come up with a third song.

I can't vote in this one because I can't vote for eight songs. How do I choose?

I started listening to this album in July of this year, just a few months ago, because I was on hiatus after Bomb and I just started getting back in a year ago. I worked through SOI, SOE, and NLOTH in that order, spending a few months on each before moving on. It's been like Christmas for a whole year.

As with any album, it wasn't instant for me (though I did like Fez right off), but it sure did happen for me and I'm still in the throes of infatuation with the album.

Breathe is probably my number one pick, very uplifting. Some quibbles with the guitar and feeling like parts were derivative have been mostly forgotten as the song captured me.

Second favorite is tied with NLOTH, Mag, MOS, UC, Crazy, Fez, and WAS.

Vox, about that part in NLOTH at 1:13, I know it, but I really go nuts for the next one at 2:09, followed by the ohs. It took a little while for the song to grow on me but it did. The energy!

Third favorite song is Cedars. It's awesome.

GOYB and SUC are skips for me. But not Crazy - that was the last song (so far?) to grow on me. IT'S NOT A HILL, IT'S A MOUNTAIN! So friggen U2. It's what church should be like!
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 08:41:29 AM by laoghaire »


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Re: No Line on the Horizon: Retrospective
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2018, 10:33:41 AM »
Unknown Caller
White As Snow

Offline zoo adam

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Re: No Line on the Horizon: Retrospective
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2018, 01:56:31 PM »
At the time, the longest ever wait for a U2 album.

Fans (myself included) optimistically called for a double album, after Bono announced another delay by saying U2 were still 'digging up diamonds'.

My intial reaction upon release was of disappointment. A sparse 11 songs & one of them was the already hated 'Boots' !

However there is some magic on the album. On 'NLOTH', 'MOS', 'UC' & 'Breathe'.

The terrible trio will never redeem themselves while Magnificent is one dimensional & lacks urgency. 'White as Snow' & COL are pleasant enough album tracks.

So for me, a below par effort & no album is worth a 5 year wait. But I still like it & the more subdued sound was at least U2 trying something different.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 11:46:55 PM by zoo adam »

Offline Rasmus

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Re: No Line on the Horizon: Retrospective
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2018, 01:43:15 PM »
My least favorite U2 album. It has too many cringe moments that I simply cant put it above any of their other albums. This is the first album in their discography where I felt U2 was out of touch with themselfes and their audience. They also followed it up with a generic tour concept not based around the actual album (did that ever happen before?).

I do love Fez - Being Born and I enjoy Magnificent and White as Snow. The album could have been improved if they had included Soon and NLOTH version 2 instead of the one on the album. The concept is also great on paper but the final album is just too watered down with (weird) pop songs instead of pursuing the original idea.

Offline Clarky

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Re: No Line on the Horizon: Retrospective
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2018, 05:52:38 PM »
Magnificent - quintessential U2.
No Line on the Horizon - Raw, powerful, energetic, different, confident. Love it.
Fez Being Born - such a cool song. I wish they made more music like this.

Offline GoldenStateGirl

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Re: No Line on the Horizon: Retrospective
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2018, 01:31:06 PM »
Magnificent is in my top 10 favorite U2 tracks.  It has that "U2 sound" that elevates the listener.
Breathe....so much meaning for me.  "I found grace inside a sound" LOVE
COL.  It's not like other U2 songs.  It feels like jazz.

This is a tough album to pick just 3.