Brian Eno is MORE DARK THAN SHARK
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INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno

The Globe And Mail FEBRUARY 23, 2009 - by Brad Wheeler

U2'S LATEST, TRACK BY TRACK

"Josephine, be careful of small men with big ideas," cautions rock's wee statesman-superstar, Napoleon Bono Heart. The line comes from a funky new U2 song called Stand Up Comedy, which pokes fun self-deprecatingly, but is no joke. "Stand up for faith, hope, love," implores Bono, a spirit-rallying sloganeer on U2's long-in-the-making twelfth album No Line On The Horizon, officially due out on March 3 in North America, but now leaking all over the Internet. Lyrical themes of love, epiphanies and the power of sound abound on a sonically expansive disc hampered by occasionally clunky wordplay. The recording was a deliberate process, beginning with failed 2006 sessions with producer Rick Rubin - too song-oriented, and not enough atmosphere - and proceeding a year later with cohorts Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, and, later, for remixing touches, with Steve Lillywhite. Here's what they came up with, track by track:

No Line on the Horizon - A tense, two-chord intro, with a Joshua Tree-like ambience, but leaner and meaner.

Magnificent - Trippy electronica mixes with older, anthemic U2, a Dublin band whose early fire was unforgettable.

Moment Of Surrender - Billed as this album's One, a body is disconnected from its soul on a churchy, seven-minute-plus number with liquid-silver pedal steel from Lanois.

Unknown Caller - Edge does his chiming guitar thing; a great Bowie-esque chorus urges "shout for joy, if you get the chance." It's about fresh starts.

I'll Go Crazy if I Don't Go Crazy Tonight - A pop tune.

Get On Your Boots - The hard-charging single - everybody (plus an Abe Lincoln statue) has heard it already.

Stand Up Comedy - U2 at its most Lenny Kravitzian.

Fez - Being Born - Originally titled Tripoli, it's not so much a song as an amnio-dream groove. Bono says it's about a Moroccan French motorcycle cop going AWOL.

White As Snow - A poignant folk ballad about a soldier in the winter of Afghanistan, which will be heard in Jim Sheridan's upcoming film Brothers.

Breathe - A bold rocker, with stream-of-consciousness lyrics. Wait for the Leonard Cohen moment: "I found grace inside a sound."

Cedars Of Lebanon - The character-driven, sombre spoken-word finale in which a worn-out war correspondent fights tight deadlines and disillusionment.


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