Monday, March 02, 2009

no line on the horizon u2 album launch party

A fun nite with friends – celebrating the launch of the new U2 album. No line on the horizon, in the background, bbq on, corn, celery and potatoes, from the garden. Finished with wild blackberries, foraged from a spot we’ve found down by the river. I’ve got lots of thoughts on the album, it’s a joyous, diverse, mix that has echoes of Boy, Unforgettable Fire and Achtung Baby. It’s an album from a band very comfortable in their own skin. It’s an album, superbly crafted and woven (compared with a few singles and a some backing tracks cobbled together) . And, based on this album, Bono’s lyrics deserves an honorary theological doctorate. More on this another time ….

Posted by steve at 11:19 PM


  1. The echoes of BOY and UF make me wonder if any of the songs that were recovered in the briefcase that was lost between the recoding of Boy and October have made it onto this album in some form.

    Comment by Mark — March 3, 2009 @ 12:16 am

  2. I’ve been listening all week on spotify and I bought mine only hours ago. I’d echo your comments. It hangs together better than the last 2. It may be the best since Achtung, but I want to let time and posterity nudge me towards that!

    It moves me to tears at several points- I love it. I can’t hear any filler. Some of the criticisms I’ve heard about it annoy me- they have not dwelt on experiencing enough before pronouncing judgement (hey, but isn’t that us humans for you?) or they critique U2 for being U2…

    Really loving it- it is as much as I can do to work without wanting to keep putting it on…

    Comment by Graham — March 3, 2009 @ 3:39 am

  3. “And, based on this album, Bono’s lyrics deserves an honorary theological doctorate. More on this another time ….” Can I suggest Steve that this is overreaching. Perhaps we should just enjoy their music for what it is – U2’s music, and not create a theology of Bono or look for Bono’s theology!*

    *please note that given the fact that you cant see me while I am typing – this is not a criticism but a disagreement and I am smiling while I type 🙂

    Comment by Mark — March 3, 2009 @ 2:12 pm

  4. art is often defined as an attempt to make meaning. so what if an artist produces something that in making meaning is actually mighty fine theology? why can’t that be enjoyed as both art and theology?


    Comment by steve — March 3, 2009 @ 3:09 pm

  5. Mark,
    I’d struggle to read Magnificent as anything other than a theological statement. But I’d disagree it was worth a doctorate, sounds far too much like a poor contemporary worship track.

    I need to hear the whole album a few more times before really making my mind up I think. It hasn;t been the instant love that some previous albums have been.

    Grace and peace,

    Comment by Jonathan — March 4, 2009 @ 4:14 am

  6. I wonder if people are aware of the theological statement made by the first single, “get on your boots”?

    I don’t doubt that Bono is writing from his own personal experience and is, perhaps, in some sense it is his theology. Also, art is an expression of who a person is; who they have been created to be and is therefore a reflection of God. I just wish Christians would stay the heck out of their music. Lets just enjoy it for what it i; really good music with many layers; subtly brilliant. That is my point. I respect Steve a lot and we have had this discussion (again smiling while he types). I think looking for God in the verses of U2 is not what the band would want.

    As for the album I hated it the first few times and now it is better than HTDAAB! I LOVE IT!

    Comment by Mark — March 4, 2009 @ 12:24 pm

  7. But how can you not look for God everywhere?
    Or perhaps how can I not look for God everywhere?

    Comment by lynne — March 4, 2009 @ 7:17 pm

  8. He is everywhere – you don;t have to look hard!

    And surely, Mark, as well or as badly as they do it, they are knowingly writing lyrics that summon up images that are spiritually rich.

    Wouldn’t trying to appreciate U2 without understanding their referencing and language being about God be like trying to understand Prince, or Barry White without referencing sex?

    Grace and peace

    Comment by Jonathan — March 5, 2009 @ 9:06 am

  9. I think Mark has a point if he’s saying either “Christians run risk of reading more into U2 than is really there” or “Christians run the risk of reducing great music to theological ideas and in doing so, miss simply enjoying the art as gift”


    Comment by steve — March 5, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

  10. Steve, yes I would agree with that. I don’t disagree that there are echoes (that is a good word to describe how I see it) of Bono’s faith in his music. However, I just feel Christians focus on it too much on it or on their theology. Things such as U2Charist concern me because I feel they are more about u2 than anything else. I think if you love their music, as I do, talk about as their music and not some sort of secular worship.

    Thanks to all for the respectful dialogue!

    Comment by Mark — March 7, 2009 @ 1:41 am

  11. Thought you might like this…

    Comment by LauraHD — March 7, 2009 @ 3:33 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.