Infinity's a great place to start

I don't do album reviews here, but as with How to Dismantle I do want to reserve the right to write a bit on some of No Line's songs. Nowhere near ready to do that yet, but one thought that keeps hovering around my mind is the level of self-differentiated emotional and spiritual maturity that shines through. There's the U2 joy, but it's not "here's our trademark joy pitched so as to get on the radio." There are what everyone calls U2 spiritual themes, but not packaged with careful accessibility for listeners. There are killer riffs, but not weighed and measured out across tracks like a recipe.

The thing I keep feeling tempted to say, but am wary of saying because it's far too early, is: perhaps we are finally seeing a band nearing age 50, with 33 years longevity as a community and (for most of them) a similar longevity as followers of Christ, at mature peace with themselves and the lives they've made, writing out of that place uncensored. I don't feel like this record is looking nervously over its shoulder at bands who are 25 years younger, at listeners who have a different or no spiritual grounding, or at fans who might not be interested in the kinds of epiphanies, brass-tacks convictions, and caution-to-the-winds self-definitions one has at midlife. I may be forming the opinion that NLOTH is just speaking from where it really lives. Out of the kind of truth human beings only get to after many years -- complex, unshakeable, multilayered, able to laugh at itself, irenically sure of what it relies on. The kind of truth U2 have often heretofore reserved for sharing in brief nuggets during interviews.

That's what I feel tempted to say. But I'm not sure we can say it for a long time yet.

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