(11-23-2004) U2's 'Dismantle' Puts It all Together -- Newsday* - U2 Feedback

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Old 11-23-2004, 11:38 AM   #1
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(11-23-2004) U2's 'Dismantle' Puts It all Together -- Newsday*

U2's 'Dismantle' Puts It all Together

Bono called U2's last CD, "All That You Can't Leave Behind," its re-application for the title of "world's best rock and roll band." U2's new CD, "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" (Interscope), shows that the Irish band not only got the job, but it spent the past few years making sure no one can take that title away.

From start to finish, "Dismantle" is a winner - and perhaps the first time since "The Joshua Tree" where The Edge's musical ideas are as strong as Bono's lyrical ones in shaping the band's sound. Perhaps that is due to the unusual recording of the album, in which guitarist The Edge, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. worked together on songs without Bono, who needed to complete some work with his humanitarian efforts first.

The first single, "Vertigo," is definitely Edge- driven, with its roaring power chords and post-punk snarl. Yes, Bono works in the album's lyrical themes of love and duty, as well as the recurring image of kneeling as a symbol of the benefits you get from giving of yourself. But "Vertigo" is a rocker first and an artistic statement second. Same goes for "All Because of You," which combines the free-wheeling spirit of "Boy" with The Edge's mastery of the guitar in the 25 years since the recording of that album.

The sprawling "City of Blinding Lights" brings back the chiming guitar sound of "The Unforgettable Fire," while Bono grapples with the idea of "The more you see, the less you know," which pairs well with the idea of "Everything I wish I didn't know" from "Vertigo." We're a long way from the George W. Bush black-and-white world view of "I'm wide awake, I'm not sleeping" era U2. Unlike politicians, Bono isn't buffaloed by the gray areas; he revels in them.

"Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" is Bono's masterpiece - an emotional, complicated tale about fathers and sons that boils down to the need for that relationship to continue - that The Edge enhances by gorgeous, spare guitarwork. "Miracle Drug" is much simpler but equally as emotional as it details how the quest is just as valiant as the result.

"How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" is yet another sign at how well U2 is doing on its valiant quest to provide great rock music that strives for greatness. It has not achieved perfection yet, but it sure is getting close.

"How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb," in stores today; Grade: A

--Newsday
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Old 11-23-2004, 02:26 PM   #2
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Wow. What a gleaming review. I'm still formulating my opinion of the album. It's not the most approachable U2 album, but I'm liking it better and better with each listen.
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Old 11-23-2004, 06:44 PM   #3
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Great review

Much betterr review than Entertainment Weekly....I totally agree this is a strong album all around from every member of the band.....is it just me or has anyone else noticed Entertainment Weekly dissing and ripping apart anything remotely popular. Lately it seems if it isn't indie to Entertainment weeekly it isn't worty, and that is not the case..IMHO...I can not wait to hear these songs live!!

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