Fans of U2 can expect a wide swath of musical styles on "No Line on the Horizon," the Irish band's first album of new material since 2004's Grammy-winning "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb." The March 3 release is shaping up as the most-anticipated release of the first quarter. British music magazine Q dedicated 30 pages to the new record in its current issue.
The probable first single is "Get on Your Boots," according to a story on Rollingstone.com, which got a sneak peak of "Horizon" after traveling to a London studio to hear 10 of the album's tracks.
Rolling Stone called "Boots" a "fuzzed-out rocker" that follows the vein of "Vertigo," the frenetic first single from XX. "Stand Up Comedy," another rocker, was influenced by U2 guitarist The Edge spending time with Jimmy Page and Jack White. "I was just fascinated with seeing how Jimmy played these riffs so simply," The Edge told Rolling Stone.
There are plenty of pop tunes as well, including "Crazy Tonight" and "Every Breaking Wave," a tune Rolling Stone called "a swelling soul-pop song, with bright synth sounds."
Atmospheric tracks abound as well, among them "Cedars of Lebanon," written, says Bono, through the eyes of a war correspondent and the experimental "Tripoli."
"Horizon" was produced by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, with additional production by Steve Lillywhite and recorded in Morocco, Dublin, New York and London.
U2 has never been shy about its ambitions and with the music industry looking for saviors in any form, St. Bono and the boys may provide a very needed shot in the arm-no matter how temporary the relief may be. And for their part, U2 is clearly ready to play that role: they've already announced, according to Amazon, that five configurations of "Horizon" will come out March 3. In addition to CD and vinyl, there will be three special packages: The first is a digipak with a 36-page booklet, poster and a downloadable film from longtime-U2 associate Anton Corbijn. That version is $36. But if that's not enough for you, how about all of the frills of the digipak presented in a soft-cover book and a 60-page booklet? That version is $50. But if you still hunger for more and have $96 to spare, then supersize it. The Box Set edition features a hard-cover book, instead of the soft-cover one and two posters.
No tour dates have been announced, but U2, which signed a 12-year deal with concert colossus Live Nation last year, is expected to go out later this year. However, on Wednesday, the band saw fit to put a warning on its website against false profit seekers. "There are no tour dates for the band at the moment so please don't get stung by buying tickets for shows that don't exist."