Posted by: smirkdirk | February 18, 2009

New U2 – Utterly Shameless Fanboy Post

Note: I will edit this post occasionally over the next couple of days to add any new links and post any interesting info and/or musings of my own…

Entire Album now streaming on myspace

As far as downloads, I’m officially giving up. You get a link, a 1/2 hour later its dead. However, you can begin searching here, but I make no guarantees whatsoever.


Interesting and Long UK Independent article about the album and the current mood of the band here.


How does a leak happen?

“Fans on a U2 message board were elated Tuesday that Universal Australia, the Australian arm of Universal Music Group, began selling No Line on the Horizon as digital downloads for two hours before the tracks were pulled. The album is scheduled to be released on March 3.”


Or, could it have been intentionally leaked??

From Alan Cross:

“Think about it. U2 would have been monitoring the pre-release hype and the semi-tepid reaction to “Get On Your Boots” in certain quarters.

Why not crank everything up a notch by engaging in a little guerilla tactics on the marketplace? Why not arrange for an “accidental” release of the album through what, for most, is an obscure outlet on the Oz side of the planet?

It wouldn’t take much. Getmusic is a legitimate online seller of music. They also just happen to be the official digital portal of the Australian branch of Universal.

And to which label is U2 signed? Universal. And who owns the masters, the publishing and the copyright of all U2 songs? U2 themselves. In other words, it’s there music and they do whatever they damn well please with them.

These tracks weren’t pirated, either. From what I understand, they were actually purchased from Getmusic. From there, though, they were ripped and torrented about the planet, generating instant global press within four hours of The Event.

What’s that? Why give away the music? Let’s face it: once the album was released in Ireland on the 27th, we’d have seen the same sort of file-trading.

U2’s whole modus operandi involves selling physical product, which is why No Line is coming in a variety of flavours and different price points. The real money will come with the world tour that’ll start in a few months.”


My Own Musings:

Definitely an “Album” meant to be listened to in order all the way through, not merely a collection of songs. After three days with it, it does seem to have a return to the darkness of the 90’s work, of Achtung Baby and Pop. Even the last track, Cedars of Lebanon, is more in tune with the funereal quality of “Love is Blindness” and “Wake Up, Dead Man”, than the last tracks of the last two albums. Yayyy, U2-Darkness! – excepting the sheer joy and positivity evident in “I Know I’ll Go Crazy..” the other

More than a few tracks share commonalities with older U2 songs. Too much in common not to be intentional.

Song – No Line On the Horizon has more than a passing resemblence to The Fly.

Song – Moment of Surrender, background organ reminiscent of the organ that opens up Where the Streets Have No Names, and the Oh-Oh-Oh-Ohhhhs towards the end are remarkably similar to the Oh-Ohs in With or Without You.

Song – FEZ-Being Born, I may be completely out of my batshit mind and making crap up at this point – but I sort hear in the industrial rhythm of Mofo going on underneath the rest of the song.


Can anybody say, Zoo Station circa 1992? U2, at Brit Awards. If this is any indication of what the tour will be like, I am pumped.

Although, is that eyeshadow? Yup. (Shades of Macphisto? Who was supposed to be a satirical – ahem – aging popstar.)


McNutt doesn’t like it. A decent piece of writing with some good points, but I disagree with his basic premise which is ATYCLB is a “boring” version of Joshua Tree, HTDAAB is a “boring” version of Achtung Baby, and this is a “boring” version of “Zooropa”. In my mind, although it sounds like a good theory, and I do see a Joshua Tree/ATYLB connection, the other two comparisons just don’t hash out that way.


Irish Lemon has a very thoughtful song by song review that’s definite worth a read:

“For those of you that only marginally like or casually listen to U2, you’re likely not going to enjoy “no line on the horizon” very much. for the U2 purists, especially those like myself who find the best era to be early 90s U2, this album is truly a gem…”


Another song by song review by Blue Leather Jacket:

“Moment of Surrender: Deeply moving opening segues into a classic, almost retro rock ballad. Bono emoting his guts out on this one…”


And, finally, here’s a song by song by an admitted Bono hater that’s actually pretty funny.

“Unknown Caller: Incredibly lethargic. Like, who put Xanax in their wine? I don’t know what to think about the group robot chant. Nothing? Ok…nothing.”

“White as Snow: A slow song with a subtle arrangement. I guess it’s copping the melody of “O Come O Come Emmanuel”. Why? Because they’re fuckin’ U2 and if they want to redo a Christmas song on an album that comes out two months AFTER Christmas they will. Not brilliant, but seems like it could be a grower.”

Smirk here, This is true, it does borrow quite liberally from that particular Christmas song, and he’s pretty spot-on with his description ‘group robot chant’.



  1. Thanks for the mention. I’ve always thought that, when it comes to song structure and melody, there were a lot of connections between Atomic Bomb and Achtung Baby (though the entire marketing aesthetic was, obviously, quite different). I admit that my Zooropa/Horizon connection is perhaps a bit more difficult to back up, but in both cases it feels like the band went into the studio more interested in sounds than songs, and wanted to see what came out. In this case, though, the sounds are interesting enough to compensate for the lack of songs, in my opinion.

  2. Err…are NOT interesting enough. An unfortunate missing word on my part!

  3. To be honest, I’ve never really thought about Actung/Atomic connections before your post. Its still way early for me in the time I’ll be spending with Line, however, I’d be more inclined to compare it to Pop than Zooropa in your line of reasoning. I’ll definitely put more thought into the idea as I listen…

    My own, view of their body o’ work has been in trilogies. Unforgettable/Joshua/Rattle – Achtung/Zoo/Pop – and now Behind/Atomic/Line – a few side journeys along the way but otherwise…

  4. thanks so much for reading and mentioning my post! i disagree to some extent with mcnutt, however, i can appreciate the position taken. it’s hard to define exactly what this album is…definitely reminiscent of past albums in a giant mashup, but it’s got a bit of mystery and charm to it that i can’t put my finger on just yet.

    we might be doing a disservice to the band by comparing it too much to previous albums, but considering the rumor that they’re releasing a second album this year, it definitely reminds me of the zootv era…we shall see for sure 🙂

  5. Thanks for the visit!

    Maybe ZooTV didn’t ascend to the heavens with all the other satellites after all. We can only hope.

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