I'd say it's fairly evident that U2 plays a large part in my life. Not so much these days, as I've been lead astray by other magnificent musics and slightly disillusioned by the last album, but in the end I keep coming back. U2 was the first band I loved, I have heard every song they've ever released many times, stood one row from the stage, sung along, learned the name of Edge's guitar tech. It goes on. It's rather mad. But the point of all of this, is that when they release something new, Damon pays attention. And as a qualified expert on the subject of U2 (I think lots of people a bit less than a half decade ago knew me only in relation to my obsession) I feel that upon hearing the first new song from the band in two years from the first new album from the band in four years, it is my duty to share my thoughts.
They've been grinding out and ramping up the publicity for the new album over the last weeks and months, and I've been paying close attention, but often more out of habit than real excitement. This comes because their last album, All That You Can't Leave Behind made me doubt them for the first time. It wasn't a bad album. It was even a good album, with some really good songs. But it was just U2 doing what they knew they knew how to do, and coming pretty close to being boring. It was not particularly interesting, nor was it particularly exciting. But it sold huge. It catapulted them back into the hearts of the public. U2 earned 7 grammy awards from it. People gobbled it up, and why wouldn't they? It was a very well made album. But it was also very safe, almost lazy. My opinion on initially hearing it was positive, and remains so. But I dislike what it represents. Of course U2 can write an album of good anthemic rock songs, but they can do MORE. And when a band starts getting older and does something like that, you can't help but worry that they're not going to bother trying to push limits. So I was pretty apprehensive about hearing the new single, Vertigo. All the hype has been saying "U2 return to their rock and roll roots" and I thought, 'great, yeah that's what the fans want, and yeah it'll be good, but will it be great?'