Tuesday, March 03, 2009

U2: No Line on the Horizon

So I bought the new album (actually, Jessica bought it for me). I will leave the full reviews for others; suffice to say that there are definite highlights and a number of tracks that I think will grow on me. Instead, I will just comment on what I take to be one of the key lines in the album:

Only love, only love can leave such a mark / But only love, only love can heal such a scar
Love is an intensification of the problem. In fact, some may say that love is the problem. It is our attachment to perishable things that causes us pain. We invest ourselves in our work that is ignored or undone by our successor, in crafting music that fades before the next bar begins, in sculpting bodies that sag and bruise. We love dying people. We love and let down our guard, becoming vulnerable to pain.

But there is no other way to live. Love is what makes us human. We are loved into being, and quickly learn to love in return, though the quality of our love varies with the object of our love and with our perception of being loved first. Love is our origin, our task, our burden, our destiny.

Love is a wound that only love can heal.
For a more cynical take on the matter, Michael offers ten things that irritate him about U2 (perhaps I have just transgressed against #3... And since when was being earnest a hanging offence?).


michael jensen said...

Being earnest has quite frequently been a hanging - or crucifying - offence!

Mark Stevens said...

I agree with the point Michael makes about Christians and U2 - Just enjoy their music for what it is - THEIR MUSIC!

Some of the other points just come across as if he is suffering from tall poppy syndrome (nothing personal in that Mike). It has certainly generated a lot of discussion. As for the cost of their concerts, I do believe they are one of the cheapest acts in the world. from memory seats at the last concert were $100! I do agree with him that stadiums are too big for concerts.

As for the album = brilliant! It wont receive the accolades that ATYCLB and HTAAB did but it is probably a better album than the later. It has grown on me and over time may become a favourite.

byron smith said...

Jesus was crucified by pomos who found his whole-heartedness an offence to their cynicism?

Mark, it is indeed their music, but it is not simply music. They consciously echo biblical language and possibly themes. There is no particular need to turn them into benchmark theologians or condemn them as heretics through the reconstruction of a U2 theological system, but neither are the echoes in their lyrics merely accidental or irrelevant (even if they are at times irreverent!). As Michael points out, analysing their stuff can (and has) been overdone, but they do sell a lot of albums and there are lots of (mainly white, male, 30+ y.o.) fans who do reflect upon those lyrics.

PS MPJ, O'D was just asking after you and I said I don't know much apart from what we each say on one another blogs. I hope you are well.

Christopher said...

I haven't heard anything from this U2 album. So I won't comment on the music, but what do make of the cover-art?

It looks like that PowerPoint background in gray-scale. You know the one I mean?

byron smith said...

I reckon it's, like, a horizon, but without, like, a clear, you know, line, um, yeah?