Did you manage to recover after seeing that picture? OK, here we go...
A review of U2's new single, which you can listen here: http://goyb.u2.com/
(P.S. the review includes a secret mini-review of Filthy Theatre's even more Secret Name).
There's a new U2 song on the radio right now, which is the lead single from their long-awaited new record No Line on the Horizon. Like some other tracks from the album, it bears a ridiculous title, namely Get On Your Boots. Whatever that is supposed to mean.
I've grown to be quite critical of U2's last two albums, for their lack of cohesion, innovation and most importantly – unlike the 90's gems Zooropa and Pop, they didn't stand the test of time at all. There are simply too much sugary poppy songs on there that are likeable to the ear the first couple of times, but they fail to convey much interest after some years pass by. I mean, I still like those albums, but I don't have the desire to hear them more often. No Line on the Horizon is being announced as U2's bold return to experimentation and innovation, reminiscent of their fabulous work in the 90's – I can definitely see what they were talking about when I hear Get on Your Boots – it's too bad that, while production went one way (credit to Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, who are without a doubt the producers U2 are most comfortable and compatible with), the songwriting stayed put, in the sense of that Get On Your Boots, despite trying hard, fails to escape from that „silly pop song“ vibe of songs like Vertigo (a tolerable studio song, a very fun live track) and Elevation (the less I say about this, the better). The similarities to Vertigo are undeniable – from Bono's scat singing in the verses, the repetitive guitar riff, to a weak climax where the main riff is repeated over and over again (with Bono saying some inevitable „yeahs“ on the way; at least there are like 10 „yeahs“ less than in Vertigo). There are some interesting sounds in there that do make me cautiously optimistic about the new album – the Eastern feel of the „how beautiful you are“ chorus is easily the highlight of the song, although it could have benefited from a better lyric. The nuanced production that includes some weird electronic sounds and layered percussion is interesting and I can't wait to see it applied to some better songs on the record (and thankfully, I can tell first-hand that there will be some better songs on it). The lyrics are at first sight completely non-sensical, a combination of war images and Bono's awfully cheesy one-liners (I can think only of Elevation's infamous „a mole digging in a hole“ being worse than „sexy boots“, which is the main chorus line in this song). Hell, there's even a rap-like bridge that has a powerful drum beat suspiciously similar to Led Zeppelin's famous When the Levee Breaks and I'm still not sure if it sounds OK or completely shitty. Time will tell.
This is probably, along with 1993's Numb, the most underwhelming single U2 ever released. I do remain a bit excited about the new U2 album, but the thing that interests me the most are the tour and the concerts – U2 are still unbeatable in this section, as the recent U2 3D (reviewed below) showed. Let's hope I'll be cheerful enough to cry out „sexy boots“ on the concert without feeling dirty. It worked alright with the „whoo-hoos“ in Vienna in 2005 when they were playing everybody's favourite song.
More music-related articles will appear soon. Millions of my readers can't wait to read them.
P.S. For a 30-year old band who has Bono as their lead singer, it could have been much, much, much worse - they could have made a rocking climax where the vocals are hysterically shouting and spelling guitar player's „secret name“. I guess some lows will never be matched. For that master-piece check out this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7UpMCUzyMw