Album: U2, No Line on the Horizon (Interscope)
Bono does Dylan, Reed, Springsteen ... and himself
Sunday 01 March 2009
Despite bold promises of a departure in direction, the 12th U2 studio album does a mean average of the rest of the dozen. It was recorded in Fès, Morocco (the rumoured North African influences are inaudible), and its generic homogeneity was assured by a too-many-cooks team of Daniel Lanois, Steve Lillywhite and Brian Eno, with a downloadable Anton Corbijn film thrown in to complete the set. 'No Line on the Horizon' is made with the stadium masses in mind. Tracks such as "Magnificent" and "Fez – Being Born" could have come straight out of 'The Joshua Tree'. Elsewhere, Bono does shameless impressions of Dylan ("Get On Your Boots"), Reed ("Cedars of Lebanon") and Springsteen ("Breathe"). The lyrics include familiar tics, such as the open-throated refrain ("Only love, only love can leave such a mark...") and the ponderous metaphor ("this dry ground it bears no fruit at all..."). For all its glaring faults, 'No Line on the Horizon' sounds big, expensive and important. For U2's core constituency, that will be enough.
Pick of the Album: U2 summarised in seven minutes: 'Moment of Surrender'
tv Jenny Lee may have left, but Miranda Hart and the rest of the midwives deliver the goods
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 3 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
- 4 Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting
- 5 Man hospitalised with pneumonia after downing eggnog at office Christmas party
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader