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Old 10-21-2004, 06:24 PM   #1
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The Star's Album Review of HTDAAB

Rock legend U2 returns to the frontlines with its new album How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb next month. DARYL GOH gets a sneak preview of the most anticipated rock release of the year.

EARLY warning signs indicate that U2 is set to take out the year with a bang with its new album How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, scheduled for worldwide release on Nov 22. This forthcoming new U2 offering follows the 11-million selling, Grammy-winning All That You Can’t Leave Behind nearly four years ago and expectations are high for U2 to take the music scene by the scruff of the neck.

“How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb is going to be massive. Everything is in place – an album sounding like a classic in the making, the anticipation and of course, a great band to take it out on tour. Next year, U2 celebrates 25 years on Island – it’s been that long since Boy and we’ve got a catalogue campaign to run with the new album, so expect a lot of U2 about,” said Chris Dwyer, Island Records senior international marketing manager, during a regional media preview of U2’s How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb album in Singapore last week.

Security has been tight for U2’s new material. Dwyer, flown in from London, was assigned specifically to introduce How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb to the media in Asia, Australia and New Zealand after a promo trek in the United States.

So is this new U2 album really worth the major fuss – taken around the world by hand and so closely guarded?

For a band that has been kicking around for over 25 years and been responsible for some of the most crucial rock recordings of its time and beyond, you have to hand it to U2 for turning up with a new album loaded with heart and purpose.

Certainly, U2 cannot afford a weak record and it’s good to note that the band is fired up to the task. More than anything, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb feels unmistakably U2. Driven heavily by rock guitars, sparks do ignite with the first single Vertigo (due out on Nov 8) breaking loose with Bono’s impatient “unos, dos, tres, catorce” punk rock kickstart while guitarist The Edge revisits his adolescent Motorhead fancies and charges down the blistering riffs like a bloodied bull.

It’s the heaviest, spikiest and snappiest U2 single in ages (barely over three minutes). Suitably rock ’n’ roll vogue, Vertigo flares up like a power station explosion, and those awesome garage guitars should pull a White Stripes fan or two.


Ghosts of vintage U2 do lurk between the corners of this 11-track album. The band is unstoppable for the first five tracks on How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. Between the well-thought atmospheric sketches of Miracle Drug down to the irrepressibly reflective song-craft of City Of Blinding Lights, the band rewards the faithful with the shimmering ambience of light and shade derived from the Joshua Tree years.

If the crowd-pleasing All That You Can’t Leave Behind restored U2’s classicist rock constructs, then for the most part, the new material remains equally intense and compelling – but with one foot firmly in forward gear.

How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb kicks hard with ambition and also cuts deep. Built to provoke, Love and Peace or Else is by the far the most aggressive and politically-charged track. Produced by Brian Eno and Flood, this one bristles with conviction and burns with Lennon-esque fire. If you’ve missed Bono’s outspoken politics, Love and Peace or Else should re-establish the potent edge.

As much as there are vast and sprawling rock tracks, the album’s illuminating moment is a quiet one. The heartfelt Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own, penned by Bono after his father’s death, is a poignant hymn of dignity and healing. Just like Bono’s tributes to his departed mother – MOFO and I Will Follow, this nakedly personal track comforts and ease the sorrow and loss.

Lyrically, Bono is in unshakeable form when dealing with faith, love, spirituality and trust across the rest of the album – All Because Of You, A Man and A Woman, Original of the Species, One Step Closer and Crumbs From Your Table.

Whether it’s rock or melancholy intimacy, Bono’s creative intuition as a conduit of hope is undeniable. These are not mere words embedded in a song, they are everyday realities and dreams that twinkle within Bono’s verses.

Religion is also brought forward on the soulful Yahweh as Bono wrestles with both the Christian guilt inherent and the charismatic rock star inside. Think Gloria and With A Shout, but with a little bit of Johnny Cash and loads of salvation implied.

Recorded in Hanover Quay, Dublin, and in the south of France, most of How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb was produced by Steve Lillywhite with addition production work by Flood, Brian Eno, Chris Thomas, Nellee Hooper, Jacknife Lee and Carl Glanville.

Apart from the standard CD edition, U2’s How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb will also be available locally through Universal Music Malaysia in good ol’ fashioned vinyl as well as a deluxe limited edition box (CD, DVD, 48-page booklet) and also a CD/DVD package.


Visit www.u2.com for further sneak previews and band updates.

http://www.star-ecentral.com/news/st...7559&sec=music
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Old 10-21-2004, 06:30 PM   #2
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Re: The Star's Album Review of HTDAAB

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Originally posted by RademR


So is this new U2 album really worth the major fuss – taken around the world by hand and so closely guarded?

For a band that has been kicking around for over 25 years and been responsible for some of the most crucial rock recordings of its time and beyond, you have to hand it to U2 for turning up with a new album loaded with heart and purpose.
good signs...
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Old 10-21-2004, 06:34 PM   #3
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yet another great review!!
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Old 10-21-2004, 07:09 PM   #4
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I'm growing numb to all the good previews. Release the album already. They are only sacrificing precious pre-holiday shopping time releasing it in another month.
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Old 10-21-2004, 07:12 PM   #5
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cant believe u got it off a malaysian website, u a malaysian? I red the thestar quite regularly.
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Old 10-21-2004, 07:30 PM   #6
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All these glowing reviews. Sometimes I think we've got it too easy. We follow the most popular band in the world and the critics love them too.

We are very fortunate indeed.
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Old 10-22-2004, 03:17 AM   #7
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Great review - AGAIN!
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Old 10-22-2004, 08:02 AM   #8
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I just can't stand this.....I need to hear this album NOW!!!!!
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Old 10-22-2004, 08:33 AM   #9
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Hardly anyone mentions One Step Closer anymore. Maybe this will be one of the weaker tracks.
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Old 10-22-2004, 08:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by shart1780
Hardly anyone mentions One Step Closer anymore. Maybe this will be one of the weaker tracks.
I'm getting the impression that many of the reviewers are simply drawn to the more classic sounding rock numbers after only one listen, so that's what they are choosing to write about. This song seems to stand alone and be more subdued. In a proper review it will get more mention, i'm sure.
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Old 10-22-2004, 09:29 AM   #11
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cant believe u got it off a malaysian website, u a malaysian? I red the thestar quite regularly.
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