U2 Exclusive Lowdown On New Album

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Still At The Top: The Edge, Adam, Bono And Larry

Billy Sloan, Sunday Mail

U2 finally unveiled their new album No Line On The Horizon behind closed doors and under the strictest security.

But first again with the big music exclusives... Email were there to hear it.

We were invited by Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr to get a sneak preview of their eagerly awaited 12th studio album - not released until March 2.

And it's a cracker, up there with U2 classics such as Achtung Baby, The Joshua Tree and All That You Can't Leave Behind.

The Irish supergroup took the wraps off No Line On The Horizon in the chic Saatchi art gallery at the famous Chelsea Barracks in London.

It features hot new single Get On Your Boots, which is being played to death by radio stations across the UK.

Before hearing the killer tracks, the select guests had to give up all belongings - including mobile phones and any recording devices. They were only returned when the playthrough was over.

But it was worth it to get the first listen to amazing songs such as Magnificent, Moment Of Surrender and Cedars Of Lebanon.

On first hearing, it sounds like U2's most complete album - to be listened to from first track to last. It's also full of brilliant lyrics and Bono's vocals have never sounded stronger.

Here is my pick of the key cuts on No Line On The Horizon.

NO LINE ON THE HORIZON

This opens with a loud sonic drone before Bono sings: "I knew a girl who's like the sea/I watch her changing every day for me."

Then Larry's drums kick in and the song lifts off. It could be their best live stadium opener since Zoo Station.

MAGNIFICENT

A future single choice which more than lives up to its bold title. The Edge's driving guitar gives the song a New Year's Day-style mood.

Bono is in great form when he sings: "I was born to sing for you/I didn't have a choice but to lift you up."

He's dead right because, just two numbers in, the album already has a classic feel.

MOMENT OF SURRENDER

Bono reckons this is one of the best songs U2 have written - and with their back catalogue, that's saying something.

It opens with a guitar sound reminiscent of Where The Streets Have No Name and features a great Edge solo.

In one of his most personal lyrics, Bono says: "I've been in every black hole/At the altar of the dark star/My body's now a begging bowl/That's begging to get back."

Astunning song Springsteen or Dylan would be proud of.

UNKNOWN CALLER

An epic with double-tracked vocals, wailing Edge guitar and pounding Adam bass.

It's a musical feast with so much going on it's initially tough to take it all in. In the chant-style chorus Bono sings: "Hear me/Cease to speak/That I may speak/Shush now."

If nothing else, that's got to be another first for U2 - a pop song with "Shush" in the lyric.

I'LL GO CRAZY IF I DON'T GO CRAZY TONIGHT

Thumping drums, pulsing bass and piano get this potential single off the launch pad.

Musically, it has all the trademarks of a U2 classic with another soaring Bono vocal and great "woo-oo" hook on the chorus.

STAND UP COMEDY

This proves the group are huge Led Zeppelin fans because Edge's guitar riff has a real Jimmy Page feel.

In terms of being musically adventurous, it's not for the faint-hearted and definitely up there with Exit from The Joshua Tree in 1987.

CEDARS OF LEBANON

Bono almost speaks his vocal over a more hymnal, hypnotic backing which leads to a beautiful, almost choral, hook.

Some atmospheric Edge guitar creeps in and builds the mood. This song is so good you don't want it to end.

A fitting finale to a classic U2 album.

© 2009 Sunday Mail.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on February 2, 2009 11:47 AM.

The sad ballad of Bruce and Bono was the previous entry in this blog.

Exclusive: U2 get on their boots for 3 Croker crackers is the next entry in this blog.

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