(11-22-2004) Review: 'How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb' -- U2.se* - U2 Feedback

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Old 11-22-2004, 07:29 AM   #1
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(11-22-2004) Review: 'How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb' -- U2.se*

Review: "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb"

Those of you who thought the first single "Vertigo" would be a hint as to how "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb" would sound like were wrong. This is not a howling rock'n'roll album. This is not a modern record. This is not the bold U2 we got to know during the '90s.

This is the sound of four Irishmen who, after some more or less successful musical adventures, have made their way back to what once made them so unique. With few exceptions ("Vertigo," "Love And Peace Or Else" and "All Because Of You") the album is dominated by the quartet's atmospheric sound, topped with the characteristic larger-than-life-choruses. Based on that, you can easily dismiss this album as bombastic, boring and predictable. You can also, if you like, look at this record as a U2 parody. Edge's ringing guitars. Adam Clayton's straight steady bass. Larry Mullen’s solid, but unimaginative drums. Bono’s hoarse and emotional voice. You see, this is so much U2 that it's almost ridiculous.

To read the rest of this review, visit http://www.u2.se/texter.php?id=67.


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Old 11-22-2004, 04:00 PM   #2
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How misleading if you just read the excerpt of the U2.se review in the post. Here is the rest of the review, which redeems itself very well!!!


But if you give the album some time it will appear to you in a whole different way. My initial disappointment soon turned into curiosity and an overwhelming need to hear it again and again. 'Original Of The Species', which I first thought of as three songs sloppily combined into one, suddenly felt less jerky. 'Love And Peace Or Else' grew enormously. 'Miracle Drug' finally settled, even if it - like 'Original Of The Species' - needed some time to come to grips with.

The initial resistance is probably due to the choice of producers. How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb doesn't sound anything like All That You Can't Leave Behind. The 'Bomb' is rougher and edgier. Every song has its own sound. Every song has its own life. The conclusion is obvious; Steve Lillywhite and Chris Thomas are not Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, if some of you were uncertain on that point.

Most important of all: How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb is not only more even than the previous album, I find it the most even U2 album to date. It doesn't contain a single crappy song. The closest U2 gets to a failure (usually track eight - check out the earlier albums to see the pattern) is 'A Man And A Woman' and it can not be stamped as "bad", only uninteresting.

The "masterpiece" category is, on the other hand, crowded with great songs. It contains the powerful 'Miracle Drug', extremely beautiful 'Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own', stadium breaker 'City Of Blinding Lights', 'Original Of The Species' with it's strong chorus and the spiritual 'Yahweh'. And there you've got five classic songs.

U2 play it safe, trusting their strengths and to make the most and the best of the material. Boring or not - with How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb U2 have taken one step back and two steps forward. And when a sparkling Bono at the end of 'Original Of The Species' sings "sugar come on, I'll show you - soul!", that's the end of all possible objections.

U2 have rediscovered their power.
U2 have rediscovered their soul.

Maybe 'the Bomb' doesn't match the standard of The Joshua Tree or Achtung Baby, but it sure is close behind them.
And that is good enough for me.

Olov Baudin
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