I love this album already.
If you know me, you probably know that I'm a big U2 fan. (ask me about the time I met Larry Mullen Jr.)
So I tried to brace myself. I've been anticipating this album since approximately the day the Vertigo tour ended, and one hears strange updates from time to time. I've had so many fears about this album, especially hearing the word 'experimental' used so many times. I have nothing against racket - one of the things I love about Wilco is what an unholy NOISE they can make - but production-wise I guess I like a cleaner, less dense sonic signature than some. Generally. Like I'll always prefer 'All That You Can't Leave Behind' to 'Zooropa' and 'Pop.' that might sound self-evident, but there are those who disagree!
so I was fairly frightened of this album. 'Get On Your Boots' didn't reassure me very much - it was pretty thick and, well, not a great song.
I've been through the album only one time so far, and it's silly to love it already, but I do. Not really in spite of the production, and certainly not because of the production, but kind of existing alongside the production.
Bono really sounds like he's singing all-out sometimes here. I like how (as on the last two albums) they've refrained from fixing up his voice; it's getting a little worn sometimes, but it sounds very honest and true when it cracks a bit here and there (not too much, thankfully). While there is a lot of noise going on sometimes, it's not all the sound of eight guitar tracks and loops; there's totally a 'Joshua Tree' guitar tone to be found here and there, and some tasty stuff that verges on the semi-clean. and I have no complaints about the drums and bass. I think Adam Clayton gets better all the time. (My husband would mention here how far he had to go, of course, to which I say 'hmph'.)
so there's my preliminary $.02.