U2 has a new album coming out on March 3rd, entitled No Line on the Horizon. Scattered here and there on YouTube are some videos, recorded live in Europe, of U2 performing "Breathe," the first single off of their new album.
Here's some video:
Before I move on, I should say that I love U2. I celebrate their entire catalogue. And they've been on a roll as of late - 2000's All That You Can't Leave Behind is considered to be one of their best albums, and 2004's How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, is a favorite here at CSD headquarters - it has eleven good songs, a couple of great ones, and no weak songs, with the possible exception of Vertigo, which, ironically, is the album's best-known song, and it came out at a time - November 2004 - when I was in the middle of my first semester of law school and desperately in need of a pick-me-up. How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb provided that in spades, and though it may not be an all-time short-list classic like The Joshua Tree or Achtung Baby, it still accounts for ten of the best entertainment dollars I've spent in the past decade.
As for "Breathe," I'm more than a little underwhelmed. Bono's voice is going downhill fast - all of those years of smoking are catching up with him - and he spits out the lyrics as if he's been taking voice lessons from Anthony Kiedis. The rest of the band exhibits its characteristically precise playing, but there's no classic Edge riff or dancing Adam Clayton bass line to put it over the top.
I'm skeptical about U2's new album. Then again, "Vertigo" got my hopes down for "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb," and that album ended up being the best mainstream rock album of 2004 and is still a staple of my iTunes ever since. So you never know.