by U2
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 348 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 33 out of 348

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  1. 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 comes for the song "breathe"
  2. NickB
    Mar 16, 2009
    9
    Best album since Achtung Baby, I almost feel embarrased for liking the last two albums, this is so far beyond musically, conceptually and vocally.
  3. RaymondK
    Mar 10, 2009
    9
    I have been following U2 closely since "Under A Blood Red Sky". I've soared through the highs of "Joshua", "Achtung", and "ATYCLB" and been disillusioned by "Zooropa" and "Pop". This is, without question, the group's most impressive release. They have never sounded so focused and cohesive from start to finish; there's not a weak song in the bunch! I'd list the standout I have been following U2 closely since "Under A Blood Red Sky". I've soared through the highs of "Joshua", "Achtung", and "ATYCLB" and been disillusioned by "Zooropa" and "Pop". This is, without question, the group's most impressive release. They have never sounded so focused and cohesive from start to finish; there's not a weak song in the bunch! I'd list the standout songs, but I couldn't leave anything off. Even their best works have not been so consistently good as "No Line on the Horizon". For those put off by "Get On Your Boots" (admittedly, it took a few listens for it to really grow on me), try "Magnificent", "I'll Go Crazy", and "Breathe" for the U2 you know and love. This is a satisfying blend of all their post "Rattle and Hum" styles. Expand
  4. michaels
    Mar 25, 2009
    9
    Great album. just because it isn't as good as achtung baby doesn't mean it's a bad album. catchy songs and very well written lyrics.
  5. EmirM
    Mar 3, 2009
    9
    Takes a few listens at first I was disappointed but that's expected as it''s really hard to judge the best band on the planet from one session. And they did not disappoint. All songs may become classics in the U2 fan base and even the "get on your boots" sounds better than before. I think that's what happens when expectations are so high. I believe their best since Takes a few listens at first I was disappointed but that's expected as it''s really hard to judge the best band on the planet from one session. And they did not disappoint. All songs may become classics in the U2 fan base and even the "get on your boots" sounds better than before. I think that's what happens when expectations are so high. I believe their best since Achtung. And Achtung is masterpiece. I'm not sure if it will reach that high. Only time will tell. In my opinion Joshua was the album of the 80's , Achtung the 90's ( best ever period!!) and now possibly this decades best album!. Its been a long 18 years. Welcome back guys! I give it 9.5 now but too early to tell. Expand
  6. JalexD
    Mar 3, 2009
    10
    This is, in my opinion, U2's second best album, the best album I've heard in at least half a decade, and one of the greatest records ever.
  7. SebH
    Mar 3, 2009
    10
    It worries me that this is missing several major publications - Blender and Q gave it 5 stars, Mojo, Uncut gave it 4. I reckon this is their best since Achtung Baby, seriously, because it pushes sonically, has some killer tunes and features the band not taking themselves seriously for the first time since Pop. The title track, Magnificent, Moment Of Surrender, Crazy Tonight, FEZ, Breathe It worries me that this is missing several major publications - Blender and Q gave it 5 stars, Mojo, Uncut gave it 4. I reckon this is their best since Achtung Baby, seriously, because it pushes sonically, has some killer tunes and features the band not taking themselves seriously for the first time since Pop. The title track, Magnificent, Moment Of Surrender, Crazy Tonight, FEZ, Breathe and Cedars Of Lebanon all stand out but everything here is top notch quality. The only slight misfire is the midlife-crisis level Get On Your Boots, but it's at least a killer tune, and everything else is head-and-shoulders above. Excellent album, I love it as much as U2's other best. Expand
  8. KobayashiM
    Mar 3, 2009
    9
    Their best since Achtung Baby! Throughout, it poses this counterfactual question: what would U2 have sounded like had they explored more fully the sounds of Zooropa and Passengers, rather than going on to record Pop, ATYCLB, and HTDAAB? No Line on the Horizon answers with a strong atmospheric collection of songs that is less melodic than their last two works, but also more melodically Their best since Achtung Baby! Throughout, it poses this counterfactual question: what would U2 have sounded like had they explored more fully the sounds of Zooropa and Passengers, rather than going on to record Pop, ATYCLB, and HTDAAB? No Line on the Horizon answers with a strong atmospheric collection of songs that is less melodic than their last two works, but also more melodically complex and lyrically interesting. Make no mistake, this album hardly deserves to be described as "experimental" pace some early press musings, especially compared with their 90s output, to say nothing of Brian Eno's solo work. But No Line on the Horizon is nevertheless clearly the product of a restless band that takes its art (if not always themselves) very very seriously. The album is in roughly three sections: a heavy, ambient-driven opening of four tracks, a more accessible "pop" core of three songs, and a mostly meditative four track finale. The first and last parts are what make the album extraordinary. "Magnificent" and "Breathe" are U2 par-excellence and bound straight for the live set. "Moment of Surrender," "White as Snow," and "Cedars of Lebanon" are slower, more deliberate, and -- especially the last two -- among the most intimate songs U2 have ever recorded, a rare trifecta of growers from a band that seemed to prefer pop craftsmanship this decade. "Unknown Caller" and "FEZ - Being Born" are more heavily influenced by producer Brian Eno and are indispensable to the atmospherics of the album, even if you'll never hear them as radio singles. The weakest section is the middle, which contains the first single, "Get On Your Boots," either an odd or brilliant choice, given that it's utterly unrepresentative of the album. Still, it's a swinging, buzzing, raucous anti-political anthem, if a bit meandering in its imagery. Not quite as successful is "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight," with its catchy will.i.am production and soaring chorus, but verses that leaves you with a feeling of having read a thousand Hallmark cards. And finally, the album's only real dud, "Stand Up Comedy," which admirably tries to be self-deprecating but does so with such gauche phrasings and platitudes that you can't help but hate Bono for ruining a perfectly good Led Zeppelinesque guitar hook. If anything, though, these reservations only put the brilliant bits in greater contrast, and remind the listener that No Line on the Horizon, while not at all perfect, is a remarkable work in its own right, let alone when you consider that it's coming from a band that formed 33 years ago. Expand
  9. GautamM
    Mar 4, 2009
    10
    Joshua Tree is the best album ever made.Period.But inspite of this..i cant give this anything less than a 10.I wouldn't say this is a absolutely new and redefined U2...but lets face it..we never wanted or expected that.This is U2's soaring music at its best.Bono's ever briliiant lyrics(although a lot cryptic this time around),Edge's reinvented guitar melodies(referring Joshua Tree is the best album ever made.Period.But inspite of this..i cant give this anything less than a 10.I wouldn't say this is a absolutely new and redefined U2...but lets face it..we never wanted or expected that.This is U2's soaring music at its best.Bono's ever briliiant lyrics(although a lot cryptic this time around),Edge's reinvented guitar melodies(referring to Get on Your Boots,Magnificent,Breathe and unknown caller),larry mullen's up front drumming,and adam clayton's ever present,every important bass lines really make this a joy to listen to.except 'get on your boots'(which isnt really a bad track..but definitely not a great one)...the rest of the tracks are absolutely MIND BLOWING...classic U2 with a twist..but unchanged to a large extent.A must hear... P.S...recommended tracks...'magnificent','unknown caller','breathe','white as snow'. Expand
  10. MihaiV
    May 24, 2009
    10
    A masterpiece.
  11. TS
    Aug 6, 2009
    10
    It comes down to patience, and, yes, overlooking the fact that the only forgettable song was their lead single (as so many have said before). Give it a few listens and this album will seriously grow on you. Get into Breathe, and Go Crazy.
  12. StirlingC
    Jan 5, 2010
    9
    The fact that they still possess the ability to make great, original music as they approach their 50s is an achievement in itself, and No Line On The Horizon shows that producing a "new" album of regurgitated 'Pride (In The Name Of Love)'s, 'One's and 'Beautiful Day's is most certainly not on their agenda.
  13. LoopsNRiffs
    Nov 1, 2009
    9
    Perhaps not for the faint of mind (or those lacking in patience), but this album rewards repeated listening, and what Robert Fripp called "active listening" (a kind of participation on the part of the listener). The album has an overall mood, but many sub-moods throughout, and so many gorgeous moments. It also boasts one of U2's greatest recorded performances ever, "Moment of Perhaps not for the faint of mind (or those lacking in patience), but this album rewards repeated listening, and what Robert Fripp called "active listening" (a kind of participation on the part of the listener). The album has an overall mood, but many sub-moods throughout, and so many gorgeous moments. It also boasts one of U2's greatest recorded performances ever, "Moment of Surrender," which is an incredible post-post-modern gospel burner. There are no obvious hits (still not sure if "Get on Your Boots" belongs here), and this album (and it truly is that, a cohesive, long-player as opposed to a collection of singles) is most definitely hampered by the lack of context (liner notes, cover art) that comes with music downloading. This is a work that was meant to be heard in its entirety. It is a challenging work that rewards engagement. If nothing else, find a way to get "Moment of Surrender" into your heart. As U2, like all of us, struggles to come to grips with the disintegration of the music industry, live performance (not just concerts, but live contexts -- a mash-up of opera and dramatic presentation, along with streaming media etc) may be the way to go. The next album may be the rocker they started with Rick Rubin, but I for one am interested in the atmospherics promised by the rumored "Songs of Ascent" that, supposedly, would be culled from the "No Line" sessions. I envy U2 -- they have the freedom to do what they want artistically --they are the world's biggest and greatest independent band. Expand
  14. mh
    Mar 10, 2009
    9
    All the reviews seem to have a common argument: that this album needs time and repeated listening, and I couldn't agree more. A longtime U2, I was put off at first, but have come to believe Magnificent, Breathe, Boots and Cedars are some of their finest work. There will be haters, and I get the reasons why, but fans owe it to themselves to get friendly with this album.
  15. NickS
    Mar 15, 2009
    9
    First off, I must admit that I am a U2 fanatic. They have touched me deeply for 26 years (a fan since the "War" album) and have proven time and again that they aspire to the creation of art. This is the rarest of aspirations in popular music and must be commended. That being said, I don't know if I'm capable of judging their music on an impartial basis. Being a fan for so long, First off, I must admit that I am a U2 fanatic. They have touched me deeply for 26 years (a fan since the "War" album) and have proven time and again that they aspire to the creation of art. This is the rarest of aspirations in popular music and must be commended. That being said, I don't know if I'm capable of judging their music on an impartial basis. Being a fan for so long, I take personal pride in their accomplishments. I feel especially proud to see them, after 30 years, still challenging themselves to create vital, relevant music. They feel the need to prove themselves worthy of the mantle "Biggest Band In The World" every time they record a new album, and it is us, the listeners, who benefit from their drive. 30 years on, and we have never been given a half-assed going-thru-the-motions album. This fact alone is unprecedented in the history of popular music. No other band or artist has been as consistently on the top of their game for as long without releasing the occasional "stinker". OK, so I've said what I wanted to say - now, is the album any good? YES! From the first moments of the track "No Line On The Horizon", you realize that this group of songs (and their performances) are a notch above the last 2 albums. There is an energy and a freshness of musicians half their age. The music sounds truly thrilling for the first time since "Zooropa". "Magnificent" is obviously another song about Bono's deceased mother, and I'm truly surprised that no one has picked up on this yet. He's been writing hymns to her since "Out Of Control" and "I Will Follow", and this is just the latest installment. "Moment Of Surrender" is next, and props must be given to Mr. Adam Clayton. When the bass-line kicks in, this piece of music is instantly given focus and becomes a song. Also, the best chorus they've written in years. "Unknown Caller" is, in my opinion, their greatest moment on record since "Ultraviolet". The strains of "Sunshine, Sunshine" in the intro feels like something off "The Unforgettable Fire", and you instantly are reminded that there is no other band better at creating and sustaining a mood. It then drops to a minor key and we are in the middle of the narrator's crisis. The best moment of this song, however, is still 3 minutes away. The monotone chorus gives way to a pipe organ, which then gives way to french horns, which then gives way to an ecstatic guitar solo. This is songwriting of the highest level, and the argument for their continued existence as a relevant band is complete. Anyone making music of this calibre must continue to make music. I don't want to discuss every track, but there are a couple more that need mentioning. "Breathe" is thrilling and sounds like nothing they have ever done. This will surely be a live favorite. Oh yeah, and if you listen closely there are those french horns again. And the closing track, "Cedars Of Lebanon", is another masterpiece of mood. Again, the desperate narrator lets us inside his head, and the results are chilling. Word is that the next album is already done (having recorded so many songs over the last two years) and will be called "Songs Of Ascent". I can't wait. May they continue to write and record for years to come. This album just bought them 10 more years. Expand
  16. AdeelT
    Mar 24, 2009
    10
    without doubt U2's least immediate album, and also one of the best! i think the lack of immediacy is the only reason for some of the lukewarm reviews of this album. if ppl hav more patience with it, they'd realize wat a masterpiece this is!
  17. stevew
    Mar 29, 2009
    9
    I listened to this and was initially unsure, but the more I have listened the more hooked I have become. NLOTH is a great great album. If you dont like it you probably dont like U2 anyway.
  18. BrentonC
    Mar 3, 2009
    9
    U2 has sculpted a sound, a sound that lays the foundation of their best albums. It's big while being intimate, ethereal while being straightforward. It goes with their ever teetering on the line between spiritual searching and political questioning with hedonism and rock star trappings. It's all here on this album. Moments of familiar brilliance coupled with Eno's sonic U2 has sculpted a sound, a sound that lays the foundation of their best albums. It's big while being intimate, ethereal while being straightforward. It goes with their ever teetering on the line between spiritual searching and political questioning with hedonism and rock star trappings. It's all here on this album. Moments of familiar brilliance coupled with Eno's sonic searching. I like it, I may be sycophantic about this band, but I'm willing to call a Pop a Pop. Listen number four here I come. Collapse
  19. ErwinK
    Mar 3, 2009
    9
    Far far better than Atomic Bomb, however unfortunately the metascore doesn't really reflect that. The first single, Boots, is atrocious, however every other song on the album is a slice of heaven.
  20. [Anonymous]
    Mar 3, 2009
    9
    The best album since 1993 Zooropa. U2 in No line on the horizon sounds 100% sincerely like 1991 Achtung Baby. The album propose a particular & personal view of diferents themes: love, society, pain, life memoirs, globalization, etc... the album it's not pretentious it's a personal view. It's a sincere all band album.
  21. ChristosM
    Mar 3, 2009
    9
    There are only three songs,ruining this great record!Moment of Surrender,I'll go crazy and Stand Up Comedy do not match the aesthetics of this album that's too close to a masterpiece!
  22. MarkW
    Mar 3, 2009
    10
    A genuine and trenchant reflection on uncertain times; fascinating from start to finish. Rarely does an album unabashedly express the confidence of its artist while simultaneously exhibiting their humble vulnerability. U2's best since "Achtung Baby."
  23. ChrisJ
    Mar 3, 2009
    10
    No Line On The Horizon is a fantastic return from U2. It's a perfect mixture of classic sounds and U2 experimenting into uncharted territory.
  24. DonalM
    Mar 4, 2009
    10
    Best U2 album in 10 years. They might not be experimenting as much as we would like them too, but try "Breathe", "Unknown Caller" and "No Line On The Horizon" and you have 3 tracks which venture into sonic terrotories not explored before. This is way better than their last 2 albums which were "safe" to a large extent. Standout tracks are "Unknown Caller", "Breathe" and "Magnificent".
  25. MattB
    Mar 4, 2009
    10
    I was hoping U2 would make a turn like this after Atomic Bomb. This album isn't going to get a lot of air play or win many grammys, but this one is more balanced and musically, more amazing, than their last two. This doesn't play on your emotions as much as those. It just rocks! More like Achtung, Baby.
  26. JamesA
    Mar 6, 2009
    10
    Not sure if its their best, but its one of their best in my opinion. People who listen casually will miss a lot - nuances like the outro to Unknown Caller that references Ennio Morricone's theme to the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, which sets up the proto-western intro to White As Snow. Or the vocal device of using choral backing parts (e.g., the high Oh, Oh, Ohs) to tie together Not sure if its their best, but its one of their best in my opinion. People who listen casually will miss a lot - nuances like the outro to Unknown Caller that references Ennio Morricone's theme to the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, which sets up the proto-western intro to White As Snow. Or the vocal device of using choral backing parts (e.g., the high Oh, Oh, Ohs) to tie together Moment of Surrender, Unknown Caller and White as Snow. In many ways, the album employees musical motifs to tie the songs together in the same way a movie editor will use visuals/audio cues to tie scenes together. This album deserves your undivided attention when you listen to - it has an emotional arc, and in that way is very cinematic. F'n brilliant! Expand
  27. VarunR
    Mar 6, 2009
    9
    This album is a masterpiece! It takes lot of courage to explore new things when millions of people expect nothing but the best from them and they have delivered it. Songs like 'cedars of lebanon' & 'white as now' are melodic tracks that will grow on you with each listen & so does 'Unknown caller'. But i happen to be amazed by the songs This album is a masterpiece! It takes lot of courage to explore new things when millions of people expect nothing but the best from them and they have delivered it. Songs like 'cedars of lebanon' & 'white as now' are melodic tracks that will grow on you with each listen & so does 'Unknown caller'. But i happen to be amazed by the songs 'Magnificent','Breathe' & 'Stand up comedy'. Edge is incredible with the riffs in these songs & Bono has never sounded better before. But yes the first time i heard '...Boots' i was baffled by its mediocrity & after the release & listening to 'Magnificent' i'm even more baffled as to why did'nt they use 'magnificent instead of boots as the pre-release single. Neverthless overall the album delivers & i can't wait to hear the songs when they sing them live in concert. Expand
  28. zupesm.
    Mar 6, 2009
    9
    Hatred for U2 keeps escalating. Our culture dislikes anyone who stays in the limelight too long. We consider it to be obnoxious. As he is well aware, Bono can be overbearing, but, unlike some other bands and celebrities, U2 and Bono are still worth the attention. The group does have a vision on NLOTH. Beginning their recording in Fez, Morocco and layering the U2 sound with African Hatred for U2 keeps escalating. Our culture dislikes anyone who stays in the limelight too long. We consider it to be obnoxious. As he is well aware, Bono can be overbearing, but, unlike some other bands and celebrities, U2 and Bono are still worth the attention. The group does have a vision on NLOTH. Beginning their recording in Fez, Morocco and layering the U2 sound with African rhythms, Bono and company create an energy for the new global consciousness being born at the tip of Africa. Bono wails throughout the album like a triumphant new born, and the band provides a majestic platform for Bono's voice to be heard. The album is a compelling vision of resignation of power and assertion. It is a call for Americans to think of their role as a nation to be more like that of Obi-wan than Luke. That is certainly a new way of thinking. U2 has been around for 33 years. The group knows what the band is about and the sound they wish to produce. So, of course, NLOTH is reminiscent of past albums, but it comprises of fresh new sounds and some of their most stirring songs in years that reveal secrets over time. The best of them are the title track, "Magnificent," "Unknown Caller," "Fez-being born," and "Cedars of Lebonon." Bono's velvet and soulful voice is the best it has been in years. It comes close but never comes off as showy. Still, the album could have been even better if his band mates joined him more often in the chorus. That might have helped the overall collection of songs come together as a unified whole. A masterpiece demands and sustains attention. NLOTH achieves the first but not quite the second. Not many other bands are coming anywhere to this. I guess that's cause for envy. Expand
  29. DavidR
    Mar 8, 2009
    9
    Of albums past by U2, Horizon reminds me most of Achtung in that it features the "ultra-layered-ness" and darkness (on some tracks). It's hard to tell what this album will sound like in the future after years of listening. For now, It feels like a cross between ATYCLB and Achtung Baby, which is fine with me. As a long-time U2 fan, Unknown Caller and Fez alone are worth the price of Of albums past by U2, Horizon reminds me most of Achtung in that it features the "ultra-layered-ness" and darkness (on some tracks). It's hard to tell what this album will sound like in the future after years of listening. For now, It feels like a cross between ATYCLB and Achtung Baby, which is fine with me. As a long-time U2 fan, Unknown Caller and Fez alone are worth the price of admission. Expand
  30. DavidM
    Mar 9, 2009
    10
    Long time U2 fan, not very happy with the last U2 albums found a little boring. But this has not left my CD player since I got. I find a little bit from there magnificient 30 year career on this album. By the way who WTF is the Austin Chronicle or Now Magazine or LA Times or The Guardian got ot do with music reviews - should this page only be from music magazines/paers - by the way the Long time U2 fan, not very happy with the last U2 albums found a little boring. But this has not left my CD player since I got. I find a little bit from there magnificient 30 year career on this album. By the way who WTF is the Austin Chronicle or Now Magazine or LA Times or The Guardian got ot do with music reviews - should this page only be from music magazines/paers - by the way the Sunday Mail in Adelaide (Austin sister city) gave it 4/5 if you want to add that yo your list of insignificant newspaper reviews. Expand
  31. MattK
    Apr 11, 2009
    10
    A great album from U2. I don't understand the U2 haters or why some people have been so down on this album. A band that wants to push themselves artistically and still reach a large audience with their music earns the wrath of both ends of the music spectrum I guess. "Moment of Surrender" "Unknown Caller" "Magnificent" and "No Line on the Horizon" are all great songs and the standout A great album from U2. I don't understand the U2 haters or why some people have been so down on this album. A band that wants to push themselves artistically and still reach a large audience with their music earns the wrath of both ends of the music spectrum I guess. "Moment of Surrender" "Unknown Caller" "Magnificent" and "No Line on the Horizon" are all great songs and the standout tracks on this album. "Breathe" "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" and "Fez-Being Born" are also very solid tracks that are welcome additions to U2's already impressive catalog. An album well-worth owning. Expand
  32. GavinD.
    Apr 3, 2009
    10
    Fantastic album! Their best yet.
  33. JerryC.
    Apr 7, 2009
    9
    Overall Great Album! Best song: Unkown caller "Wow" (I like the CD more every time I play it)
  34. CalebS
    May 4, 2009
    10
    I found this review in the RS readers' reviews and felt like I couldn't say it any better: Well, I see U2 still inspire as much diversity of opinion as when "BOY" debuted nearly 30 years ago. I recall an old pal of mine bursting into my apartment spurting something about "The greatest thing he'd ever heard..." Immediately skeptical, I gave it a whirl and realized he'd I found this review in the RS readers' reviews and felt like I couldn't say it any better: Well, I see U2 still inspire as much diversity of opinion as when "BOY" debuted nearly 30 years ago. I recall an old pal of mine bursting into my apartment spurting something about "The greatest thing he'd ever heard..." Immediately skeptical, I gave it a whirl and realized he'd probably been given to understatement.... After listening to "No LIne On The Horizon" repeatedly in my car, IPOD, indeed anywhere I can, let me tell you: it's not only the greatest work I've ever heard from them; it's also the greatest, most mature work of art I've heard from since REVOLVER. Look, as Mr. Fricke (doubtless) understands, it takes a certain degree of musical (and life) experience, maturity and sophistication as a LISTENER to "get" this wonderful work. If you possess those qualities, then, for you (and me) at least, you'll "feel" this long-awaited masterpiece truly is Magnificent. Expand
  35. MariaC
    May 7, 2009
    10
    Just a great band can creat a great CD!!!! the best ever.
  36. DaveM
    Oct 7, 2009
    10
    This is an AWESOME album. Without a doubt the album of the year. I cant think of any other band that can put out an album such as this.
  37. BH
    Mar 10, 2009
    10
    Masterpiece. Getting better and better with every listen... Some of the the included reviews on Metacritic are laughably pathetic particularly those of Pitchfork and Now magazine. It's a shame to see such drivel dragging down the overall rating. this album should be placed at least in the 80's But hey, who cares what those hipsters think when the actual experience of listening Masterpiece. Getting better and better with every listen... Some of the the included reviews on Metacritic are laughably pathetic particularly those of Pitchfork and Now magazine. It's a shame to see such drivel dragging down the overall rating. this album should be placed at least in the 80's But hey, who cares what those hipsters think when the actual experience of listening to this record is so mindblowing, uplifting, emotional and addictive... it's their loss... Expand
  38. GabrielC
    Mar 12, 2009
    9
    Hated this album the first time i listened to it (felt like a 3) because I wanted more War or Joshua Tree, but let the album find its place....Get On Your Boots was annoying the first 10 listens or so....it does have some nice timing in the drum and bass sequences....what makes me like this album is the lyrics -- they grew on me after a while, if you can get past Bono's Hated this album the first time i listened to it (felt like a 3) because I wanted more War or Joshua Tree, but let the album find its place....Get On Your Boots was annoying the first 10 listens or so....it does have some nice timing in the drum and bass sequences....what makes me like this album is the lyrics -- they grew on me after a while, if you can get past Bono's wailing....but listening to the instrumentals and not getting caught up in the hype of U2 and imagining that these songs are made to be played live too -- I can't help but get pumped-up....any other band can't do this, this is considered a great album by all if some no-name band writes it -- listen to the album a few times and don't force it....try to think of what you go through when you are going into your fifties and both of your parents are gone....the sound and the lyrics will come sooner or later! Expand
  39. Lex
    Mar 13, 2009
    9
    Magnificent is a classic only U2 are capable of writing, while Breathe has the potential to be an all-time live favourite. Unknown Caller is the most adventurous track, a stunning arrangement that breaks new ground for U2, while Cedars of Lebanon is a shamelessly beautiful and intriguing closer.
  40. MihaiV
    Mar 14, 2009
    10
    A masterpiece.
  41. sVc.
    Mar 14, 2009
    9
    At first listen, I liked most of the songs, but still wouldn't have rated it more than a 6. By my third listen, I was really into it. The musicianship of this band is amazing; as are the lyrics. It sounds like their last two albums but with alot of experimentation thrown in. Alot of reviews have said it didn't grab them on first listen. I agree. But it doesn't take long to At first listen, I liked most of the songs, but still wouldn't have rated it more than a 6. By my third listen, I was really into it. The musicianship of this band is amazing; as are the lyrics. It sounds like their last two albums but with alot of experimentation thrown in. Alot of reviews have said it didn't grab them on first listen. I agree. But it doesn't take long to suck you in either. Expand
  42. ColeT
    Mar 14, 2009
    10
    Absolutely shockingly good album! I haven't heard an album this great in it's grip and amazing production in ages! Definitely the best album of 2009 thus far.
  43. MarsB
    Mar 26, 2009
    10
    Great Album!
  44. DarenW
    Mar 26, 2009
    10
    Nick S, I'm right there with you, I've been a fan since War, early 80's, my college days... I wasn't expecting a whole complete album where every song is great, I was expecting a few, like their most recent. The first listen, hum, no bad... But after 10 listens, I can't get enough, it definitely grows on you, those are the best kind... Each song is unique... Nick S, I'm right there with you, I've been a fan since War, early 80's, my college days... I wasn't expecting a whole complete album where every song is great, I was expecting a few, like their most recent. The first listen, hum, no bad... But after 10 listens, I can't get enough, it definitely grows on you, those are the best kind... Each song is unique... It's the best since Joshua Tree, but I'm now lending "that it's their best"! I bought the CD now I'm buying the Vinyl! U2 is back, never gone away just back to the top of my list... I'm excited to hear the next album is already done!! Expand
  45. Jude
    Mar 3, 2009
    9
    This album has surpassed my former fav album (The Unforgettable Fire) from U2. I have been with this band since Boy. Was not a big fan of the last two albums, though they were serviceable. This album is for men (or women)...not the hipsters at Pitchfork who cling to the "obscure = hip = talented = cool" equation. NLOTH delves into universal themes in a way that hits on a personal level. This album has surpassed my former fav album (The Unforgettable Fire) from U2. I have been with this band since Boy. Was not a big fan of the last two albums, though they were serviceable. This album is for men (or women)...not the hipsters at Pitchfork who cling to the "obscure = hip = talented = cool" equation. NLOTH delves into universal themes in a way that hits on a personal level. Aside from all the big themes, each song is full of amazing melodies, hooks and memorable musical lines. Each band member is in top form. And this album is an album...not a collection of singles or one-offs. It makes me want to listen to it from beginning to end, in its existing sequence. Well done. Expand
  46. ChrisW
    Mar 3, 2009
    10
    This album sits nicely in between Achtung Baby and Zooropa and is successful on what Pop had aspired to be. This is not ATYCLB or HTDAAB for sure but it's still VERY U2. Personally, three tracks have me shrugging my shoulders, but otherwise, 8 songs knock it out of the park. Why a 10 then, because they knock those 8 songs waaayy out of the park.
  47. NielsenC
    Mar 4, 2009
    9
    The opening 4 songs showcase U2's strength and at the same time, their desire to change their sound; Unknown Callers's weird lyric structure and delivery; No Line On the Horizon's atmospheric but dense guitars; the mournful Moment of Surrender; and Magnificent is, (wait for it) magnificent. The rest of the album is strong - the weird but haunting Fez - Being Born and the The opening 4 songs showcase U2's strength and at the same time, their desire to change their sound; Unknown Callers's weird lyric structure and delivery; No Line On the Horizon's atmospheric but dense guitars; the mournful Moment of Surrender; and Magnificent is, (wait for it) magnificent. The rest of the album is strong - the weird but haunting Fez - Being Born and the powerful crunch that is Breathe are already up there with U2 classics. To be short and sweet, it is an album that requires time to be loved. The album format as we know it is dead, but U2 revives this concept - creating the first true album in years. Expand
  48. JohnB
    Mar 4, 2009
    9
    I'm really digging this album!. The title track is great, but Magnificent is an instant classic. In total there are 8 amazing to really good tracks and only three throw aways. I'm not really taken with Unknown Caller, White As Snow or Cedars of Lebanon. I think NLOTH, Magnificent, I'll Go Crazy and Breathe all have single potential. And I really like the groove in Stand Up I'm really digging this album!. The title track is great, but Magnificent is an instant classic. In total there are 8 amazing to really good tracks and only three throw aways. I'm not really taken with Unknown Caller, White As Snow or Cedars of Lebanon. I think NLOTH, Magnificent, I'll Go Crazy and Breathe all have single potential. And I really like the groove in Stand Up Comedy. Only time will tell how this will stack up against U2's other amazing offerings. Expand
  49. BDP
    Mar 4, 2009
    9
    Fantastic album, but most definitely a grower. While some may dismiss this as more of the same, or as sounding "too U2", there is a depth and edginess here that was almost certainly missing on any album since Zooropa. The true strength in this work lies in the two-sided collaborations with both Eno/Lanois and Steve Lillywhite, giving this two distinct textures that blend together almost Fantastic album, but most definitely a grower. While some may dismiss this as more of the same, or as sounding "too U2", there is a depth and edginess here that was almost certainly missing on any album since Zooropa. The true strength in this work lies in the two-sided collaborations with both Eno/Lanois and Steve Lillywhite, giving this two distinct textures that blend together almost perfectly. While it can be tough to warm up to each jab these songs provide (and there is the occasional bit of tack, but then again it's Bono), this is easily one of the best albums I've heard all year, and most definitely one that is firmly muscling its way between "Achtung Baby" and "Joshua Tree" in the U2 pantheon. Watch this space. Expand
  50. BruceP
    Mar 5, 2009
    9
    This album takes a couple of listens for the most part. Magificent the 2nd song I had great expectations from on the first few notes. Great sound that gets better and better. Moment of Surrender nearly equal. The single Get On Your Boots did not overly impress me. I do find the album as a whole is a bit more produced than many. No sing along songs are included. This album calls out to be This album takes a couple of listens for the most part. Magificent the 2nd song I had great expectations from on the first few notes. Great sound that gets better and better. Moment of Surrender nearly equal. The single Get On Your Boots did not overly impress me. I do find the album as a whole is a bit more produced than many. No sing along songs are included. This album calls out to be listened to loud with what some call U2-isms. Nonetheless it is almost as good as I hoped it would be. Expand
  51. JasonH
    Mar 9, 2009
    9
    U2 are the only band in the world that could have made this album, they are the only band in mainstream rock with bIg enough balls to do it. To unabashedly wear their religion on their sleeves and scream out loud about it. I
  52. SeIz
    Apr 22, 2009
    9
    Amazing Album!!
  53. BrianT
    Apr 25, 2009
    10
    I've been listening to this album for a month--and I still love it!
  54. eliask
    Apr 26, 2009
    9
    An exciting diverse album with wonderful sound texture and an unexpected but perfect final song.
  55. andream
    Jun 21, 2009
    10
    U2 want to move along again. This is the end of another trilogy of albums that come from the same inspirational and tactical vein. It is very clear that being one of the biggest band out there requires a lot of planning, and that was evident in the last album. For this new effort, U2 do not play it safe, they are willing to risk. Will the risk pay off? I think so.
  56. TiagoA.
    Sep 13, 2009
    10
    Beautiful record.
  57. DRob
    Sep 5, 2009
    9
    Return to form after 10 years of safe filler.
  58. DaveM.
    Jan 26, 2010
    9
    There is enough brilliant tracks here to make this a must for U2 fans and a good bet for all others.
  59. GeorgeM
    Dec 26, 2009
    10
    Takes a few listens, but worth it. Maybe not their best, but above average and better than most other 2009 recordings.
  60. CesarE
    Mar 11, 2009
    10
    Awesome album, the best since Achtung Baby... You need listen it, ten or twenty times to dig in, then SHWOOOSH !!, You will be blown away.
  61. RyanS
    Mar 11, 2009
    10
    No Line On The Horizon is amazing album. U2 can make great music after 30 years. Great album from great band. Inteligent and mature rock and roll! Best songs in my opinion: I´ll go crazy..., Stand Up, Breathe, Moment of Surrender, No Line On The Horizon and beautiful Unknown Caller and White as Snow.
  62. SteveA
    Mar 17, 2009
    10
    NLotH is U2's best release yet. Better than Achtung Baby. Better than Joshua Tree. Seriously. This album is on constant rotation and I can't get enough of it. Lyrically and musically this is a defining moment for U2. 'Fez- Being Born'? More like U2- Being reborn.
  63. J.B.
    Mar 19, 2009
    10
    If you like U2 get it, it's a no brainer. If you are getting into U2 start with their older stuff (read comments below). If you don't like U2 stay away from it. I like U2 and they didn't blow it, therefore the cd is playing a lot in my house.
  64. alina
    Apr 23, 2009
    10
    Their best album, in my opinion.
  65. Apr 30, 2011
    10
    I'm pretty sick of people writing about how awful U2 albums like 'No Line On The Horizon' and 'How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb' sound because they don't compare to this previous U2 album, or this album, or this album. Screw that. It's a great album. Maybe there won't be an album better than The Joshua Tree, but that doesn't mean the albums are awful. It means that they're different andI'm pretty sick of people writing about how awful U2 albums like 'No Line On The Horizon' and 'How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb' sound because they don't compare to this previous U2 album, or this album, or this album. Screw that. It's a great album. Maybe there won't be an album better than The Joshua Tree, but that doesn't mean the albums are awful. It means that they're different and maybe not as good, but still great. I loved this album because it was very distinct, and a very new kind of U2. It's U2 in a way that I haven't seen before, but in a way that I like a lot. It's still similar to older U2 and certain songs on this album are experimental, but the album is magnificent because it has certain songs that sound like the old U2 and certain songs that sound very new, refreshing, and just incredibly artistic, creative, and catchy. This album is definitely worth buying if you're a U2 fan who REALLY knows U2. Expand
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. 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.
  2. As far as exploration goes, U2 seem to have finally found what they were looking for.
  3. Upon first listen, No Line on the Horizon seems as if it would be a classic grower, an album that makes sense with repeated spins, but that repetition only makes the album more elusive, revealing not that U2 went into the studio with a dense, complicated blueprint, but rather, they had no plan at all.