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U2 News » Rolling Stone berichtet über "No Line On The Horizon"

Die kommende Ausgabe (erscheint am 07. Januar) des amerikanischen Rolling Stone wird einen Artikel über das neue U2 Album "No Line On The Horizon" enthalten. Wie hier auf der Webseite vorab schon zu lesen, werden Bono und The Edge insgesamt zehn Tracks kurz charakterisieren. Mit den Informationen aus dem QMagazine und dessen Preview auf U2.com sind nun zwölf Tracks (Danke an den aufmerksamen Leser Hewson!) namentlich erwähnt. In dem Artikel werden Vergleiche zu einigen vorherigen Alben gezogen, aber dennoch sagt The Edge: "It's like rock & roll 2009."

Inside U2's Bold New 'Horizon' : Rolling Stone

Discussion: Rolling Stone Magazine Coverage (New article 1/7/09)

Inside U2's Bold New 'Horizon'

• U2 Break Down No Line on the Horizon

Even from the bottom of the stairway leading up to the control room,
the huge sound leaking out is unmistakable: On this early- December
evening in London's Olympic Studios, a new U2 song is being born.

Upstairs, on a green couch at the rear of the room, there's Bono,
singing his latest attempt at a lead vocal at the top of his lungs. He
rocks back and forth on the couch, as if in epileptic prayer, while he
chants the lyrics into a handheld microphone. The words, which he keeps
revising, have an almost hip-hop-like cadence: "Stand up, 'cause you
can't sit down... Stop helping God across the road like a little old
lady... Come on, you people, stand up for your love." The track is
powered by a heavy riff that lands between the Beatles' "Come Together"
and Led Zep's "Heartbreaker"; the groove is slinkier than anything U2
have done in years.

Bono's hair is cropped into a punky buzz cut. He's wearing jeans, worn
brown cowboy boots, a black denim shirt — and even in this dim and
private setting, his orange-tinted shades. Surrounding him are his
bandmates, who have long since finished their parts: the Edge sits next
to Bono, eyes closed, absorbing the music; Larry Mullen Jr. plays the
occasional air-drum fill nearby; and Adam Clayton stands in a far
corner. "We haven't quite gotten this right, and I'm the problem," Bono
says of the tune, which is called "Stand Up Comedy" — at least for the
moment. Tomorrow it will have new lyrics.

The new album, No Line on the Horizon (due out March 3rd), mixes some
of the loudest and fastest tunes U2 have ever recorded with songs that
reclaim the experimental spirit of their Achtung Baby-to-Pop Nineties
run. There are pop songs, too, as well as at least one familiarly
chiming U2 anthem, "Magnificent." But after two years, U2 still aren't
quite finished. "We're at the point where half the album is done, and
half the album is in a state where anything can happen — and probably
will," says the Edge as he offers a tour of the studio's vast live
room, which looks much the same as when the Stones recorded "Sympathy
for the Devil" there. In the basement, longtime co-producer Brian Eno
is revamping various songs with his laptop, while Steve Lillywhite
helms the main board upstairs. The band's other producer, Daniel
Lanois, left the day before.

The first single is likely to be "Get On Your Boots," a song that picks
up where "Vertigo" left off, with a furry monster of a fuzz-guitar
riff; power chords that, per Bono, echo the Damned's "New Rose"; verses
that share a rhythm with "Subterranean Homesick Blues"; and a chorus
that mixes whimsy and ardor: "Get on your boots/Sexy boots/You don't
know how beautiful you are." "A hundred fifty beats per minute, three
minutes, the fastest song we've ever played," Bono says, playing the
tune at deafening volume in an airy studio lounge after dinner. "We're
not really ready for adult-contemporary just yet."

The Edge spent time in the past year hanging out and jamming with Jack
White and Jimmy Page for the documentary It Might Get Loud, and
something seems to have rubbed off: "He's developing a third testicle,
that's what is happening to the Edge," Bono theorizes. "I just hope
it's not catching." Some of the songs began as solo GarageBand demos by
the Edge, but others developed as full-band improvisations (often
sparked by moody loops introduced by Eno) during sessions in Dublin,
the South of France and Fez, Morocco — with Eno and Lanois playing
keyboards and guitar, respectively.

"We start simple, we get complicated, and then we re-simplify it," says
Eno, as he tweaks on his computer what he estimates to be the 80th
incarnation of a song called "Breathe." "It's been a longer process,
but I think it's compositionally stronger than anything they've done
for a long time." That said, Eno is irked that the band has dropped
some of the more contemplative and sonically adventurous songs it
developed. "Tell them they're being stupid cunts," he jokes, after
playing a lovely discarded ballad called "Winter."

Still, there are plenty of unexpected sounds. One concept for the album
was a division between "daylight" songs — with organic instruments and
arrangements — and "after-dark" songs. On the latter, Bono says, "we
allow our interest in electronic music, in Can, Neu! and Kraftwerk, to
come out." Among those songs is the title track, which has a churning,
tribal groove and a deadpan chorus, and the ambitious possible album
opener "Tripoli," which violently lurches between different sections.
And then there's the astonishing seven-minute "Moment of Surrender,"
which merges a Joshua Tree-style gospel feel with a hypnotically loping
bass line and a syncopated beat.

"Moment" was played just one time — the band improvised the version on
the album from thin air. "This kind of spirit blows through every now
and then," Bono says. "It's a very strange feeling. We're waiting for
God to walk into the room — and God, it turns out, is very unreliable.
So you don't have the right to imagine you can make a great album. But
what you can do is create the conditions where it might happen."

[From Issue 1070 — January 22, 2009]

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