First Impressions: U2’s “Get On Your Boots”
“I don’t want to talk about wars between nations/ Not now, not now, not now…”
It’s hard not to smile a bit when you hear Bono sing that line. This is, after all, the biggest rockstar of the past 25 years, a man whose rolodex of world leaders is even bigger than Joe Biden’s, a man whose infamous ego is outsized only by the messianic expectations people have for him. He was peddling hope and change long before it was cool, and his stadium-filling hubris is just about the only thing keeping his from being sainted. And yet, listening to that line from “Get on Your Boots,” the leader single from Bono and Co.’s upcoming album, No Line on the Horizon, it sounds an awful lot like Bono is being… self-deprecating? Who says an old rock star can’t learn new tricks?
And it’s not the song’s only new trick. Heralding an exciting new direction for U2 after the solid but relatively unexciting How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb album, the song combines a “Vertigo”-styled sense of anarchy ane energy with gugrling electronic effects, a particularly feisty beat from drummer Larry Mullen, and a rambling, half-sung and half-rapped lyric from Bono that dances deftly between humor and profundity, inviting us to celebrate eternal joy and community while also poking fun at the singer himself and refusing to either ignore or take too seriously the darkness of the present age.
In other words: It signals an exciting new horizon.
And you can hear it for yourself, either by purchasing it from iTunes or checking out the free, round-the-clock stream at U2.com.