As you may know, U2’s new album — No Line on the Horizon — comes out March 3. My appreciation of U2 has waxed and waned over the years, but I can’t deny the influence that they’ve had on me, as both a music fan and as a human being. As such, I eagerly accepted Josh Hurst’s invitation to write something about their music for his (recently posted) U2 feature.
Some have called them self-important, self-righteous, or just plain pompous, but the fact remains: More so than any band in history, U2 seems genuinely convinced of the power of music to make a difference in some meaningful way. Maybe that’s what makes them great.
With the U2 hype machine reaching a new level of frenzy leading up to No Line’s release, maybe — just maybe — it’s worth taking a moment to forget the marketing machine and think on a more meaningful level about what, exactly, makes this band so capable of supporting — maybe even deserving — all the hype they receive. I’ve asked a few of my fellow music critics and bloggers to join me in reflecting on the band’s myth and their music, and, with their help, I’ve been able to put together a Hurst Review special feature that is, in its own way, not unlike a U2 album — bloated, overlong, and ultimately pretty great.
My article is on The Unforgettable Fire, one of the overlooked and underappreciated albums in the band’s catalog (IMHO), and it’s alongside fantastic articles from the likes of Andy Whitman, Russ Breimeier, Brett McCracken, and Stephen Thomas Erlewine (to name a few).