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U2 - No hope on the horizon and not at all magnificent
on 21 May 2009
Another stodgy offering by "the biggest band in the world". It is one of life's great puzzles why people stay with our Irish chums? Is it through blind loyalty, unpreparedness to look elsewhere for new music or do they truly enjoy this sub standard fare? "Moment of surrender" is overwrought with lyrical cliches while "Unknown caller" is U2 painting by numbers sounding like every other song they have recorded. The band trundles on of course in a sort of dogged march to the finish when undoubtedly their last album will sound like their first. Indeed, quite where you locate U2 in the pantheon of rock history is problematic, neither as brilliant as the Beatles, as rebellious as the Stones, as powerful as Zeppelin or as important as the Byrds.
St Bono of Dublin not only retains but regularly renews the accolade of being one of the most irritating people on the planet. His whose sanctimonious diatribes about third world poverty are contradicted by his massive accumulation of private wealth and failure to tax on it. Granted, any sane person will happily admit that "Achtung Baby" is a true wonder. Thus if you are new to U2 go back and get the one truly indispensable album they have recorded not least of all for the songs "The Fly" (Edge's guitar is always the saving grace) "Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World" and "Mysterious Ways". As for this album, however, its conveyor belt corporate rock underpinned by a formula that ran out of steam about 15 years ago and should have been given a decent burial by now.