Can U2 become relevant again?
But with the Bono & Co. sent to play at Barack Obama's inauguration next week and a new album coming out March 3, maybe things are looking brighter for the band.
Neil McCormick of the Telegraph in London had an early listen to U2's No Line in the Horizon and tells as much as he can about it online without breaking the "no early reviews" edict from the publisher. Here's his take:
"It is dense, twisty, shiny, modern pop music, a big mash up of Eno ambience, Edge electricity, rhythm and soul. There are verses and choruses, though not necessarily in that order (and quite often its hard to tell which is which). It doesn't feel the need to hit you over the head, but has the Ninja confidence to sneak up and take you unawares. It makes love like it's making war. It hasn't frontloaded all its big guns. There is a surge in the middle perfectly timed to quell any uprising, and a killer twist at the end."
Am I the only one out there who thinks this isn't necessarily a good review? Read between the critic-ese, and any regular '80s fan isn't going to feel all that enthusiastic.
Still, I have a 5-point plan for making U2 relevant again. And if this actually works, all I want is the Edge's cowboy hat from the late '80s and a chance to play drums just once on Sunday Bloody Sunday.
REBUILDING THE LEGEND OF U2:
1. FORGET THE BAD: Go find and burn every single copy of Rattle and Hum. Seriously. Never, ever listen to it again. That's where things starting going astray.
2. REMEMBER THE GOOD: Record all future albums in Slane Castle, where the brilliant Unforgettable Fire album was born.
3. BE MORE ANIMATED: Make a guest appearance on The Simpsons again. (Probably won't help the career, but it'd give me a reason to watch the show again.)
4. HELP THE NEEDY: Do three-part podcast interview on Stuck in the '80s after flying its host to chronicle the making of a new live album and DVD at Red Rock.
5. EMBRACE ZEN: Ditch the sunglasses, Bono, and regrow the mullet.
[Live Aid photo]