Monday, January 19, 2009

New U2: Get On Your Boots

The new U2 song, "Get On Your Boots," debuted today and I just heard it for the first time a few minutes ago on XPN. I think it's a very different sound for the band, as they continue to explore new territory.

The song is streaming here, at least for a short time. You can also read details about the full album, No Line On The Horizon, at that site. And you can read the lyrics here.

The song is a bit of a rocker for U2 and has a funky edge. Lots of rhythm section going on. I think it bodes well for the new album, which will be released on March 3rd. 

I find that U2 songs and albums are often like puzzles that need to be figured out, so it will take me a little while to digest this song, as well as the album once it is released. But so far I really like what I hear. There has been so much talk about this album that I have worried that it won't live up to the hype. But I'm pretty sure U2 won't dissapoint.

Let me know what you think of this song, and if you comment, give us at least the context as to whether you are a U2 fan or not. 


Jeff said...

Long-time U2 fan, even during some of their more "experimental" phases. I didn't always like what I heard in the past, but I appreciated the artistry behind it.

Anyway, new song: Really like that Adam got a chance to shine with a really heavy, driving bass line, and the addition/enhancement of more backing vocals were a very organic progression from "Vertigo".

The combination of an almost Spanish-sounding chord progression of the chorus and fast-paced, near-rapping vocals during the verses (and particularly in the second half of the song) was intriguing. Felt like something that would be right at home as end-credits music in a Tarantino or Rodriguez film.

While the vocals felt very slick, particularly in the harmonies, I thought the instrumentation more reminiscent of late-70s/early-80s punk. (Was that a glockenspiel I heard? ;) )

Overall, very intrigued by what I've heard so far. Felt much more energetic and "good, old-fashioned rock-and-roll" than significant portions of their last handful of albums. Anxious to hear where the rest will go!


Wendy Edsall-Kerwin said...

Yes, I am a U2 fan and yes, this song really rocked. I like the energy in it and I like it better than the last album, but that does deserve a relisten now that time has passed. Some U2 does need to be digested, or figured out like a puzzle as you said Ken, so perhaps I will return shortly. I have to say that some of my fav U2 was on Zooropa, Pop and Achtung Baby, and those albums were a strong departure for some fans. Can't wait for the new album though.

davidpeck said...

U2 fanatic back to the release of War. Listening to the stream now. Third time through. Didn't grab me from the first note the way Vertigo did, but by the time they got to "you don't know how beautiful you are" I was into it. Adam's base line is now streaming in my head.

Very different. The feel reminds me a little of Achtung. The structure and delivery of the verses reminds me of Norman's Reader's Digest. I love the refrain and the "Let me in the sound" section of the sound.

Overall, I think I like it. New directions and experimentation are what's kept U2 around for so long. The 80s U2 would have faded out long ago. Same with the 90s and early 2000 versions. They don't chase musical fads, but they seem to keep pushing the edges back musically.

Jeff said...

I am liking what I hear, a whole lot. Third time through right now, this time with headphones. Adam's bass line is driving this song, which is great. I get a sense that this combines elements of "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" rock a la "Vertigo" with some of the funkiness of "Achtung Baby."

Interesting observation about a rap vocal style -- first time through, I got bit of a hip-hop vibe.

The vocals are slick, but I hear more of a choir/chorus thing in the background more than other U2 songs. Especially on a rocking, driving song such as this.

Overall, I am impressed with "Boots." It's one that I will play loud and often, much as I did -- and still do -- with "Vertigo."

Brian Polensky said...

Hey Ken. Thanks for posting this stream. I took a listen and definitely like this sound. I usually consider myself to like their older stuff better, but am now looking forward to the new release.