No Line On The Horizon

by U2
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 30
  2. Negative: 2 out of 30
  1. Digesting the blend takes some time, but the best moments offer that immediacy, as on the opening punch of the groovy title track and the chiming "Magnificent."
  2. 100
    No Line on the Horizon is U2’s third killer in a row--by now, it’s bizarre to remember that just 10 years ago, everybody thought they were headed toward the dinosaur band tar pits.
  3. By unshackling its adventurous side, the band helps Line soar gracefully, at least in part.
  4. Though I'd hardly go as far to call it their best album, which I guess makes U2 irrelevant by Bono's logic, its best songs can credibly stand alongside their classics, and how many bands can maintain this level of vitality 30 years into their career? I give.
  5. No Line on the Horizon offers idealism spliced with new attitude and the same old grace, and is all the better for it.
  6. No Line on the Horizon is a considered and nuanced work with significant depth beneath the dense, sometimes thorny exterior. Getting there, though, requires some work.
  7. No Line On The Horizon is a mature, tender, reflective record of great musical variety, depth and beauty that could only have been made by four people who've experienced just about everything that life can throw at you.
  8. No Line on the Horizon partakes of that romance by trying to expose its inner workings. It's risky to expose those delineations; as the band said long ago, it's like trying to throw your arms around the world. But the effort has its payoffs.
  9. 80
    The result is a collage of several kinds of classic U2 album, one that has the beauty of their panoramic '80s Eno/Lanois recordings plus the synthetic experimentation andd dalliances with pop merriment which revolutionized the band's modus operandi from "Achtung Baby" onwards. [Apr 2009, p.96]
  10. As far as exploration goes, U2 seem to have finally found what they were looking for.
  11. It has the pomp and arrogance of their best work, enough new sounds and interesting new avenues to satisfy the musos and, at its core, is a very good collection of very good songs played very well. A little more silliness would go a long way, though.
  12. All in all, a departure from recent forays into overt commercialism that doesn't always work but provides a little U2 juice to keep the true believers happy for a little bit longer.
  13. It starts out blustery and familiar, before gradually revealing an unexpected and almost lovable sense of vulnerability.
  14. On balance, No Line on the Horizon represents what "October" did all those years ago: a decent step forward that nevertheless recalls the past more clearly than it spells out the future.
  15. By this point, it's within their rights to utilize pieces of their past in building a new present for themselves, as long as they don't half-ass it and start turning out inferior remakes of their old tunes. That's not what's going on here, and if anything, No Line is ultimately a more visceral and memorable effort than either of the band's other two 21st century offerings.
  16. Simply, what this amounts to is the best U2 album since "Achtung Baby. [Apr 2009, p.94]
  17. He is still singing about singing, all over No Line on the Horizon, U2's first album in nearly five years and their best, in its textural exploration and tenacious melodic grip, since 1991's "Achtung Baby."
  18. 70
    With coproducers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois explicitly included in the songwriting, it's an effort to tinker and rough up and refine anew their music's essence--with nobly sketchy results.
  19. These 11 tunes deliver both the thematic and the sonic hugeness we expect from U2; you only have to proceed about 80 seconds into the opening title track before the Edge is spraying his trademark guitar sparks everywhere and Bono is observing that infinity is a great place to start.
  20. 80
    It's U2's least immediate album--but there's something about it that suggests it may be one of their most enduring.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 353 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 84 out of 112
  2. Negative: 15 out of 112
  1. Jun 4, 2013
    5
    This album has a better user rating than Achtung Baby This band has been mailing it in since Zooropa. twenty years ago. Not a lot of spark.This album has a better user rating than Achtung Baby This band has been mailing it in since Zooropa. twenty years ago. Not a lot of spark. Boggles the mind. Full Review »
  2. Jun 25, 2012
    9
    out of the 9 points i give it, the first 8 come from a u2 album to finally showcase adamclaytons bass playing ability. the last point comesout of the 9 points i give it, the first 8 come from a u2 album to finally showcase adamclaytons bass playing ability. the last point comes for the song "breathe" Full Review »
  3. Sep 2, 2010
    6
    This is absolutely proof positive that the band believes it's own press. For a bit too long the band seems to have been under the impressionThis is absolutely proof positive that the band believes it's own press. For a bit too long the band seems to have been under the impression that they can merely thump their chests and spew absurdities like Crazy Tonight and fans'll eat it up. Put this album up against a classic like All You Can't Leave Behind and it pales glaringly. It has it's moments but they are too few and too far between to save it from sheer mediocrity. Full Review »