U2's twelfth album brings this Irish phenomenon into a more complex and mature state in years. Its no wonder they took over David Letterman's show for a week as the only musical guest. With lots of welcome help from Brian Eno (ambience and edge) and Danny Lanois (unique guitar work), the band forges ahead on every track with a driving force that sucks you in.
Every cut is fantastic, but some standouts must be mentioned. "No Line On The Horizon" drives full throttle with The Edge creating a echo-like quality to his guitar and Adam Clayton leading with an even and forceful rhythm. "Magnificent" carries forth with several combinations of simple but effective riffs and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton bounce that beat along with Bono giving one of the more inventive vocals on the album. In fact, "Magnificent" is almost anthemic in its force. You can hear Eno's eerie ambient contribution on "Moment of Surrender" and that mood is carried throughout with Bono declaring, "I've been in every black hole" backed with a magical keyboard. "Get On Your Boots" is an excellent hard rocker with U2 going at it with hints of songs past. "FEZ-Being Born" and "White as Snow" show a strong influence by Brian Eno right from the start and U2 takes it and runs with it. In fact, Eno's signature is on every track. Finally, "Cedars of Lebanon" is a fine finishing track with clever percussion mixed with a quietly moody guitar and Bono spilling forth with some dark lyrics.
Released in five different packages, this is one of U2's greatest compliments and it will be interesting to see how many hits will end up being released. Every track is that good.