First impressions? I like it. I really like it. All I was looking for was an album that would be a lot better than the last two and it definitely is that.
Magnificent is exactly that (I bet no one else uses that line...) and is probably the best song they've recorded since Miss Sarajevo
Title track No Line On The Horizon appeals to me a lot more than Beautiful Day or Vertigo ever did.
Things disimprove, though, with Moment of Surrender being more Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own than One while the next two tracks wouldn't be out of place in the middle of some of the more anonymous songs on All That You Can't Leave Behind. I can see them being played live on tour now - crowd standing there watching, politely appreciating, wondering when a song they can sing along to is going to be played.
But as a result you can actually see the point of Get On Your Boots in the context of the album. It works, and it's a good pick up from the three previous songs. The rest of the album is consistently strong from that point too.
The big difference between this one, though, and the last two is that it actually feels like an album and not just a collection of singles 'n' filler. I can put it in and not feel the urge to skip tracks. There's no Grace, for example, and no Miracle Drug either.
On the flipside Bono's lyrics have further disimproved - Unknown Caller being particularly non-sensical. But lyrics have always been the least important part of music to me anyway. If I want words to soothe my soul I'll read. So I'm already over that irritation.
All-in-all it's a good 'un and a grower. But it's quite possible that without Magnificent it might have been one of U2's poorest albums to date.