I don't get anxious about new music very much anymore. Perhaps it's the countless records and songs that I have purchased over the years in all shapes and sizes. I have waited in line for only a couple of records in my life. Now, concert tickets is another story entirely. With concerts, my friend Scott and I had what we thought was a full proof plan. If we didn't get a spot in line close enough to the front we would race back to my house and speed dial TICKETMASTER till we got in. Once, to get tickets to a show we actually drove to his employer's office and used their multiple phones to get through. We even resorted to bribing the ticket dispenser with a promise of a ticket of his own once to get a peak at the line-up numbers in advance to gauge our chances.
But records are not that immediate. Sure I want to hear what the band has been working on for, in some cases, up to three years. But I can usually wait a day or two after it's released. In high school, I did sneak out of class to go to the record store to get a new copy of DEPECHE MODE'S "Violater" because I very much wanted to be the first to have it. I will never forget the sense of victory I had walking into the yearbook with the CD, like a Roman Emperor showing off the spoils of war. So I cannot for the life of me explain why I have such nervous anticipation when it comes to the new U2 record, "No Line on the Horizon".
I have been a U2 fan for quite a spell. I have traveled to Ireland just to follow the band. I have seen them live at least 12 times. I have purchased almost every album, single, soundtrack, and demo that they have. I have purchased the PASSENGERS record and own a copy of AUTOMATIC BABY on cassette. For the last album, I went on my conference period to pick up two copies of the CD (one for my friend Holly who has an similar addiction to the Irish Lads). What I'm saying is I am a fan.
But shouldn't I be beyond the nervous anticipation. I have heard half of the record leaked through various blogs for two weeks now. I actually know the words to the tongue twisting tale of "Breathe". And yet, here I am giggling like a teenager at a Jonas Brothers concert listening to it for the first time (thanks to a little know quirk in iTunes that makes a record available on EST time for the whole US).
Now, many early critics have been split on the album, but the fan in me cannot be objective. U2 is probably the only band that I cannot be passive about. Over time I have lost some of the fanboy when it comes to REM and Depeche Mode (BTW, is the new DM single the worst thing they have ever recorded...). Will this record stand the test of time like the rest? All I can say is that in many ways it is vintage U2 and yet different, which is probably a good thing. Songs I did not like the first time through have grown on me. There will be time for an in depth analysis...for one night and one day I am a fan. And I wouldn't want it any other way.
p.s. in the interest of not losing this post to the censors I cannot post anything relating the new record. But maybe you will find what you are looking for...