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Irish rock band U2 to release new album in March
- Thu Dec 18, 3:39 pm ET
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Irish rockers U2 have named their new album "No Line On The Horizon," and will release it worldwide in early March, their label said on Thursday.
The quartet's 12th studio album was originally expected to be released by the end of this year, but the band announced in September that it would keep writing more tunes. Recording took place in Morocco, Dublin, New York and London.
Interscope Records will release "No Line On The Horizon" internationally on March 2, and a day later in North America.
It marks the follow-up to "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb," which was released in late 2004 and went on to sell 9 million copies worldwide, according to Interscope. It also garnered U2 their second album of the year Grammy, following 1987's "The Joshua Tree."
The new album was produced by long-time collaborators Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, with additional production by Steve Lillywhite. Tunes recorded in 2006 with producer Rick Rubin, the man behind Johnny Cash's comeback, have been jettisoned.
Tour plans have not been announced. The "Vertigo" world tour for the last album ran from March 2005 to December 2006. U2 is partnered on touring and merchandise with concert promoter Live Nation Inc, which said earlier on Thursday that it bought back the band's stock in the company for a guaranteed $25 million -- $19 million more than the market price. Interscope is a unit of Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group.
(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Eric Beech)
U2 Break Down 'No Line on the Horizon'
Key tracks from the band's eclectic new album
"Get On Your Boots"
The likely first single, this blazing, fuzzed-out rocker picks up where "Vertigo" left off. "It started just with me playing and Larry drumming," the Edge recalls. "And we took it from there."
"Stand Up Comedy"
Another hard rock tune, powered by an unexpectedly slinky groove and a riff that lands between the Beatles' "Come Together" and Led Zep's "Heartbreaker." Edge recently hung out with Jimmy Page and Jack White for the upcoming documentary It Might Get Loud, and their penchant for blues-based rock rubbed off: "I was just fascinated with seeing how Jimmy played those riffs so simply, and with Jack as well," he says.
"It's kind of like this album's 'Beautiful Day' — it has that kind of joy to it," Bono says. With the refrain "I know I'll go crazy/If I don't go crazy tonight," it's the band's most unabashed pop tune since "Sweetest Thing."
This midtempo track could have fit on All That You Can't Leave Behind. "The idea is that the narrator is in an altered state, and his phone starts talking to him," says the Edge.
This strikingly experimental song lurches between disparate styles, including near-operatic choral music, Zooropa-style electronics, and churning arena rock.
"Cedars of Lebanon"
"On this album, you can feel what is going on in the world at the window, scratching at the windowpane," says Bono, who sings this atmospheric ballad from the point of view of a war correspondent.
"Only love can leave such a mark," Bono roars on what sounds like an instant U2 anthem. Will.i.am has already done what Bono calls "the most extraordinary" remix of the tune.
"Moment of Surrender"
This seven-minute-long track is one of the album's most ambitious, merging a Joshua Tree-style gospel feel with a hypnotically loping bass line and a syncopated beat.
"Every Breaking Wave"
A swelling soul-pop song, with bright synth sounds influenced by OMD and, Bono says, "early electronica." "You don't hear indie bands doing blue-eyed soul [like this]," he adds.
"No Line on the Horizon"
The title track's relentless groove began as a group improvisation. "It's very raw and very to the point," says the Edge. "It's like rock & roll 2009."
[From Issue 1071 — January 22, 2009]