U2 – No Line on the Horizon By the time you read this, the world will have gone ballistic raving and falling over itself giving glorious reviews to this, the 12th studio album by one of the greatest rock bands of the last 30 years. In fact, 2009 marks their thirtieth recording anniversary. U2’s first […]
U2 – No Line on the Horizon
By the time you read this, the world will have gone ballistic raving and falling over itself giving glorious reviews to this, the 12th studio album by one of the greatest rock bands of the last 30 years. In fact, 2009 marks their thirtieth recording anniversary. U2’s first album Boy came out in 1980. So when I put on No Line”¦, I was determined not to let my fan bias get ahead of me. A lot of the songs are a return to the early mindset of what made U2 a thinking man’s rock band. Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois are back, and as songwriting partners on a few tracks as well. So it has the atmospheric ”˜Fez-Being Born’ and ”˜White as Snow,’ the rocking ”˜Get on Your Boots,’ the epic and Floydian, ”˜Moment of Surrender,’ and the balladesque ”˜Magnificent.’ The band has never been more together (check out the guitars on ”˜Breathe’) and Bono is back to his poetic sardonicism. The best line in the album closes it very poignantly, and I reproduce it here with great relish ”““Choose your enemies carefully ”˜cos they will define you/Make them interesting ”˜cos in some ways they will mind you/They’re not there in the beginning but when your story ends/Gonna last with you longer than your friends.” And that my friends, is the best band in the world with their best album of the 21st century. Play on repeat!!
Lily Allen ”“ It’s Not Me, It’s You
Lily Rose Beatrice Allen returns with her much awaited sophomore album with very successful results. Her trademark ”˜mockney’ style that made her endearing is still mad at the state of the world. In the opening track ”˜Everyone’s At It,’ she sings, “So your daughter’s depressed, well, get her straight on the Prozac/But little do you know she already takes crack” Its very rare to have an artist so unafraid to speak her mind, and Lily’s lyrics always hit the point she’s trying to make. Listen to ”˜The Fear’ and you will hear the sadness of fame. But she does have a sense of humor; ”˜It’s Not Fair’ and ”˜Fuck You’ are hilarious. It is a different and more focused direction that she has taken ”“ a bit conscientious as well ”“ but interestingly the playfulness has not been sacrificed and that makes it all the more easy to listen to.
Prefuse 73 ”“ Preparations
I recently discovered this deliciously eclectic electronic artist quite by accident. And what a pleasant surprise it has been. Prefuse 73 is one of the many side projects of one Guillermo Scott Herren, a multifaceted, hip-hop, Intelligent Dance Music (IDM) artist and producer. The IDM genre is not easy music to get one’s sonic sensibilities around, yet it offers great challenges to the avant garde musician. In this fourth album, the sound spectrum is vast. From the shaky-jazzy ”˜Aborted Hugs’ to the spacey hip-hop of ”˜Class of 73 Bells,’ no sonic stone is left unturned. Unlike the earlier album, 2005’s Surrounded by Silence, which was collaboration heavy, Preparations offers only one guest appearance, that of ex-Helmet drummer John Stanier. With the next album, Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian due for release in April 2009, this one is good preparation for that
Giorgio Moroder ”“ From Here to Eternity
Speaking of IDM and electronica, I dug into my record collection recently and revisited one of the first path-breaking electro-disco albums, From Here to Eternity, released in 1977 by legendary Italian musician and music producer, Giorgio Moroder. One of the pioneers of the synthesiser in modern pop music, this album led to the birth of the New Wave, House, Techno and Electro genres as we know them today. The first album to use only electronic keyboards in its making, the initial part of the album is a nonstop mix of five different pieces that have been hugely influential to the subsequent generations of house music producers. Check out tracks like ”˜Faster Than the Speed Of Love,’ I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone,’ ”˜Utopia”“Me Giorgio’ and the titular ”˜From Here To Eternity’ for a sublime electronic reality check.