I just got back from 10 days on the Iberian peninsula and have a pocket full of places that need proper reviews and hat tips. However, when I got home this afternoon, I realized that the new U2 album was available on the Internet – ripe for the picking. With the media center all set to go in the living room I gave it my first spin. Since it’s early, this isn’t a review, just some preliminary impressions.
1) It sounds better than their other albums. It appears to be a crisper mix and not at all as in your face as “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.” Keeping in mind that this was a fairly low quality stream as well, I think the CD release should sound excellent.
2) Man, Bono’s voice sounds incredible. Will he be able to hit those notes on tour?
3) “Get on Your Boots” was the obvious first single. There are a couple other rockers on there but “Boots” is the most immediate.
4) Finally, I’m struck by how heavy the mood of the album seems to be. There seems to be a density of subject matter that we haven’t seen since “Achtung Baby.” I can only imagine that it’s a product of the times.
5) Oh, one more thing. I’m intrigued by the lyrical references to technology, ATM’s, rebooting, passwords. Interesting. It could date the album in a few years but coming from the band with the lyric “In the time when new media was the big idea” I don’t think they’re too worried.
It’s seems solid, layered with some really great, fresh sounding – yet instantly classic – Edge riffage.
Bring on the tour.