Definitely the best they have done since Pop, IMHO. Just heard it on XM, and I had to look up to see who it was. It grabbed me from the moment it began playing.
It does not sound like they were trying to re-record the Joshua Tree like their last effort. And thats a good thing, from my perspective. My personal favorite U2 period is Achtung Baby and Pop, and this fits in well with the straight ahead rockers on those two LPs.
Funny thing, at least from a guitar perspective, its not immediately identifiable as U2 until about half way though, when there are some classic Edge delayed, chimey guitar bits. In fact, it sort of sounded like they were going for a vibe similar to some of the flavor of the month bands live the Hives. Not that thats really a bad thing, but its more rock, less pop than a lot of their previous work.
Now, if they can fill an LP with cuts like this, I will be all over it.
I heard the 30-second clip on U2.com and dug what I heard. The piece I listened to had a very punkish vibe and is not easily identifiable as U2. Now if I could only find the actual single anywhere in stores so I could listen to the entire song...
Have not seen the video, but did see that commercial during the ALCS game last night. I thought it looked pretty cool, and I still think the song is killer.
As for the relationship between the band and Apple...if I were to discontinue listening to bands that are in some way sponsored, or have some other relationship with a commercial enterprise, I suspect I would not be listening to too much music.
Zep is doing Cadillac commercials, T-Rex is doing Mitsubishi commercials, I don't think any major band, no matter the genre tours without sponsorship. Just the way it is, unless all I want to listen to is indie music, and once those bands take off, they too will be doing Target commercials.
Like Springsteen and Neil Young, I thought U2 would be one of the last rock music acts not to sell their music(or themselves) out to a commercial. I guess everyone has their price. It does bother me a little to see this but I got their(U2) single from iTunes and I like the track. As for Zeppelin, Cadillac is using every penny of the reportedly $5million on its commercials-it's gotten to the point where I can't even listen to "Rock and Roll Music" anymore. I'm sick of those Caddy commercials.
I was tired of "Rock and Roll" long before the Caddy commercials And I am a huge Zep fan.
Heck, Dylan did an ad for Victoria's Secrets....is there a more scared cow in all of rock than Bob????
On a side note, I have had an iPod/iTunes since March. Vertigo was the 1st piece of music I actually bought. Even though I know its a 128k POS, and I will buy the CD wen it comes out, I just love this track. Edge is just absolutely nailing a most killer guitar tone....even through crap PC speakers it sounds good.