U2 not slowing down with age

Chloe Quinn

Even after three decades, U2 refuses to allow itself to grow tarnished with age. The band’s twelfth studio album, “No Line on the Horizon,” mixes old and new; rich with distinct sound, this multi-faceted album reflects the early days of U2’s work while still being crammed with originality.

The band is notorious for its attitude for pushing the limits of its abilities, and its new album became the perfect playground for the band to explore its boundaries. Rather than create a safe album that would guarantee them immediate popularity with fans, U2 sought to take on an adventure with this more experimental project.

The energy is as present as ever in the new songs, and the waves of raw intensity fly out of Bono’s mouth as he delivers his characteristic bellows of emotion. Bono jumps from a medley of talking-singing on the melodic “Cedars of Lebanon” to catchy jumps to falsetto on “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” to the soft, yet sustained “White as Snow,” a clear indication of the wide vocal range and versatility Bono brings to “No Line on the Horizon.”

“I was born/I was born to be with you in this space in time, ” Bono begins on “Magnificent,” a transcendent love song and the leading masterpiece on this album. Here, the Edge launches into a stunning guitar intro reminiscent of the band’s previous works of genius, such as “Pride (In the Name of Love), backed by an all too hard to ignore climatic drum roll.

“Get on Your Boots” with its fuzzy electronic jams and a poppy melody is a song for easy listening that helps break up the deeper songs throughout the CD, such as the profound “Moment of Surrender.”

For the tracks on “No Line On the Horizon,” the band gained inspiration from some unique sources; parts of the album were recorded in Fez, Morocco, which inspired the African-esque instrumental portions on “Fez-Being Born.” The fast-faced, anthem “Breathe” is said to be inspired by the Irish writer James Joyce’s “Ulysses.”

U2 also continues to run with the times, delivering full-voiced commentaries on the things going wrong and right in this world. Backed by the Edge’s graceful, jangling guitar tones, Larry Mullen Jr’s marching beats, and Adam Clayton’s bold bass tones, Bono triumphs with his brilliantly worded criticisms of society.

“No Line on the Horizon” is not an album of hit singles, but rather a compilation of often lengthy songs delving into deeply spiritual and thought-provoking ideas, lyrics, and meditative ballads. However, the more you listen to this album, the better it gets; unlike strictly pop songs that may lose their allure after a few listens, “No Line on the Horizon” gives the listener a little taste of something more to love with every play.