First Listen to the Latest From U2

Well it's that's time again... everyone's favorite Irish political band is back with a new album... hard to believe it's been 5 years. I've been a fan of U2 for a long time now... a really long time and although I'll agree that some of their works are not quite as consistent as some of the others, I always find something artistic and valuable on every album, far beyond just the regular singles. This means of course, that I decided to check out the first single "Get On Your Boots" from the band's upcoming album No Line On the Horizon.

So first listen impressions? I'm digging it... yep... definitely digging it.

There's a grooving, rocking riff that underpins this one, played by some nice fuzz guitar sounding almost synth like in it's thickness and timbre... or is that synth? Hard to tell streaming it from online though bad computer speakers. This track's got lots of energy though... certainly a high energy single. It's a driving track with a rhythm to it's lyrics and style while still maintaining the feel that is so trademark U2.

Probably the most immediately noticeable thing about this track though, if you're a long time U2 fan like me, it that it seems to bridge the gap between the band's more rockin' moments and the touches of garage rock that appeared on their last album, with their more industrial and electronic moments like albums from the mid 90s. Don't let that deter you though... this is still a rock track for sure, but it's not nearly as clean or as direct as say... "Beautiful Day" or "Sunday Bloody Sunday". There's an a overall sound to my ear that recalls some of those albums that more casual U2 fans, and maybe even some hardcore ones might shy away from. Albums like Achtung Baby, Zooropa and Pop. Those are some great and underrated albums though, especially the first two, and so if No Line On the Horizon follows the pattern of those and the one suggested buy this track... well, I'm OK with that.

I do wish this track had a real rockin' guitar lead... but I feel that way about most of U2's songs. I love the Edge's guitar playing and think that the subtle textures he adds are usually more than enough to fit the song and fill it out well... but the guitarist in me always wants him to turn it up to 11 and lay down a screaming guitar lead none the less.

I also find that although engaging, I haven't really be compelled to explore this track artistically yet. That might be because I'm listening to it online and not on my headphones like I'd like... or it might be the song. I'll have to hear it in context with the rest of the album to know for sure what I REALLY think... these are just some first impressions.

Timbre, color, style comparisons and guitar leads aside though... "Get On Your Boots" is a pretty catchy tune... especially the beat, which I think might get your toes tapping a little bit.... maybe your head bopping. I think it'll do well for a single (not that that really matters) and a lot of people will dig it. More so now than ever though, I'm excited to hear this new album and am waiting anxiously. Will it prove to be another great one? Will it show new artistic direction, or redirection, or experimentation?

Only time will tell, but I'm thinking a lot of U2 fans are taking notice and are counting down the days... I know I am. The album will be available in both physical and digital formats on Monday March 2nd... I believe.

There you go, a bit of my first impressions on the new single from U2... they're only my first impressions though. Time to go off and form some of your own.

Take a listen to "Get On Your Boots" on the band's Myspace page here:

If you're really digging it, the band also has a bunch of different versions of the album being made available, some with additional film DVDs, books, or even on vinyl.

You can preorder the new U2 album from Amazon here: No Line On The Horizon

Or you can check out the expanded Limited Edition (this is the one I have a feeling I'll end up with) here: No Line On The Horizon [Box Set] [Limited Edition] [CD/Poster/Book/DVD]

Or... if you really want to... on vinyl here: No Line On The Horizon [Vinyl] [2 LP]


- The Soul of Rock 'n' Roll is a division of Fifth Column Media - -