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Old 11-05-2004, 09:19 PM   #1
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Tracks Magazine - HTDAAB #1 Album Of The Year (Also Reviewed)

The December/January issue of Tracks is out. Text at the top of the cover reads "U2 Drops The 'Bomb'. In the 'From The Editor' section, there is a part that reads:

"U2's stunning new album stands as a model for a veteran band still pushing itself and still daring to be ambitious."

~~~

To 20 Albums Of 2004:

1. U2 - How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb

"Not the political diatribe its title might indicate, but still one of the most ambitious and powerful albums of a remarkable band's remarkable career. Drawing from the sounds of The Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby, and even War, the message of Bomb centers on the struggle for contact, emotion, and connection. And vocally Bono is at the very top of his game. -AL

~~~

Album review:

Dropping the Big One

U2 faces life during wartime with capital-L Love - and a classic disc.

by Alan Light

If you're expecting U2's first album since September 11th to be a political diatribe (and with it's preposterous title, why wouldn't you?), surprise. In recent years, Bono may have acted more like a Nobel Peace Prize candidate than like a rock star, but big political statements on How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb are few and far between. In their place is a more nuanced and human response to the chaos of our time - and, with it, one of the finest albums the group has ever made.

On the Elevation tour in support of All That You Can't Leave Behind, the album that helped them reclaim the title of World's Greatest Band, U2 took the stage each night to the sounds of "All You Need Is Love". Especially in the astonishing shows performed in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, that opener drove home the power of music at its most direct and fearlessly simple; it also served as a reminder of the Irish foursome's aspirations. The Beatles' most easily parodied sentiment clearly stuck with Bono & Co., for it echoes throught Bomb. Song after song returns to a single theme: the struggle for contact and connection in shattered times.

"The only pain is to feel nothing at all," Bono sings on "A Man And A Woman". On the spare, folky "One Step Closer", he adds, "The heart that hurts is a heart that beats". The rave-up lead single "Vertigo", which opens the album (vertigo presumably being the result of all that Elevation) blasts out of the gate declaring, "You give me something I can feel". There's a straight line leading from the album's most overtly political song, "Crumbs From Your Table" ("Where you live should not decide/Whether you live or whether you die"), to its most personal "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own", a gorgeous and unflinchingly elegy, evidently to Bono's late father. It's as if the singer's role as global ambassador, whether addressing the UN or Bill O'Reilly, had forced him to strive for the most universal way to communicate his message. He ever skewers his own celebrity - perhaps protesting too much, as on the blistering garage-glam jam "All Because Of You", on which he notes, "I like the sound of my voice/I didn't give anyone else a choice".

Lines that speak directly to our current war-torn world are rare - e.g., "Lay down your guns/All your daughters of Zion, all your Abraham's sons", from "Love And Peace Or Else". But lyric specificity has never been U2's aim, so even when things get a bit unfocused - as on "Original Of The Species" - they don't go far off track. It all builds to a flawless climax on the closing "Yahweh", a shimmering prayer over a trademark rolling, chiming groove.

Sonically, this is perhaps the most wide-ranging album the band has made. At times, it feels almost like a U2 sampler: flashes of the cinematic breadth of The Joshua Tree, the spiky roar of Achtung Baby, even some fleeting bass-and-drum breakdowns a la War. Advance word was that Bomb would be a guitar album, which is true to a point: the Edge unleashes his full arsenal, and on the rockers, the group kicks as hard as a band half its age. But the revelation here is Bono's naked voice, practically jumping out of the speakers as he pushes himself into a higher register. He instantly quells any fear that his activism has distracted him from his day job.

All That You Can't Leave Behind put U2 back in the game by delivering the goods that its fans had been missing - the well-crafted songs, full of heart and soul, that drew so many people to this band in the first place. It was a fine album, and it ended up providing the perfect soundtrack for a devastating moment in history. But How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb goes further. It's exciting, it's ambitious, it's alive, it's rock & roll - and right now it just might be all you need.
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Old 11-05-2004, 09:42 PM   #2
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Yet another review that mentions every song except Miracle Drug......hmmmmm
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Old 11-05-2004, 09:43 PM   #3
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Yeah great review, but why is Miracle Drug never talked about anymore I wonder...
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Old 11-05-2004, 09:46 PM   #4
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I wouldnt get too worried about it, the beach clip is amazing and u2 put the song second on their album, its not going to be a dud. I think its nothing but positive their not mentioning it, I know its going to be great, so when they say other songs are the standouts, thats really a good thing. When we heard the first minute of "L&P or else" from the promo video, the sounds are so amazing, it makes the song 1,454 times better than what you get from the early beach clip (and I loved that). Imagine how "Miracle Drug" will sound in perfect CD quality during Edge's guitar solo.
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Old 11-05-2004, 09:48 PM   #5
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I have to agree with that. I know it is a horrible quality clip but I said this the first day I heard it and I'll say it now...I am in love with the clip, and the way edge's solo in the middle builds up just gets me everytime. This is still the song I am looking the most forward to hearing in CD quality.
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Old 11-05-2004, 09:50 PM   #6
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Yeh I'm starting to think Miracle Drug isn't what we hoped for. If reviewers can't even MENTION it, I don't think its gonna be that good a song. I seriously doubt they would just not mention is so it surprises us when we hear it for the first time.
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Old 11-05-2004, 09:56 PM   #7
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Don't give up on it yet, I remember a lot of the first impressions saying it was good, for example wasn't there one reviewer who said it was the best track on the album? I can't remember who, I think the reporter was a female. Also it may also be a song that really grows on you the more you listen to it, like One and WoWY did for me. To me those songs did not sound as epic on first listen as they do now.
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Old 11-05-2004, 09:59 PM   #8
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Ah...a positive remark on "Yahweh"..didn't someone somwhere once say that it was one of their best ever songs? Was it ignoreland who said that?


Anyway, I'm not sure what to think about Miracle Drug..the beach clip hints a potentially brilliant song, but I agree it is weird so many reviews do not mention it.
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Old 11-05-2004, 11:07 PM   #9
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I got this copy of Tracks too. Interesting how they named it the number one album of the year and it ain't even out!! This says something about this album.

As for Miracle Drug, let's wait to hear before we decide either way, eh?
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Old 11-05-2004, 11:23 PM   #10
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Remember, not every review is going to be able to mention every single song. I guess it's just co-incidence that a number have failed to mention Miracle Drug. After all, it's an amazing song from what we've heard, and I recall other reviews praising it.

You can take the failure to mention it multiple ways, some that make it sound crap, some that make it sound amazing, and some that make the entire issue seem inconsequential.
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Old 11-05-2004, 11:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by AussieU2fanman
Yeh I'm starting to think Miracle Drug isn't what we hoped for. If reviewers can't even MENTION it, I don't think its gonna be that good a song. I seriously doubt they would just not mention is so it surprises us when we hear it for the first time.
It's true it hasnt been mentioned in recent reviews, but when they performed SYCMIOYO, Vertigo, and Miracle Drug at CD:UK, all the people raved about MD and said it was the best song they heard that day. One girl said she had heard all the songs floating around the net, and she liked this the best. Hey, at least not one reviewer has said anything bad about it.
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Old 11-06-2004, 06:46 AM   #12
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Miracle Drug is A++++++!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-17-2005, 04:14 AM   #13
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the eletric co!!1
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Old 04-17-2005, 09:03 AM   #14
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Just another shite magazine trying to sell more copies. I'm sorry to say but I'm being honest here: How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb is NOT the album of the year.
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Old 04-17-2005, 10:35 AM   #15
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Most critics said that Franz Ferdinand's debut was the best album of 2004. But HTDAAB still got great reviews (average of 78/100 at metacritic.com) and appeared in many of their end of year album lists (see NME, UNCUT, Q, RS, Spin etc). From what I've heard Tracks magazine is a well respected publication.
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Old 04-17-2005, 12:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by edge3
Most critics said that Franz Ferdinand's debut was the best album of 2004. But HTDAAB still got great reviews (average of 78/100 at metacritic.com) and appeared in many of their end of year album lists (see NME, UNCUT, Q, RS, Spin etc). From what I've heard Tracks magazine is a well respected publication.
Tracks is a magazine who is concerned primarily with record sales and radio play, so fook off with it being a well respected publication, ya cheeky bastard!
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Old 04-17-2005, 03:49 PM   #17
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And whoa there, Franzie was definitely not considered to be the consensus best album of 2004 by critics. I loved that album, but have a gander at Arcade Fire, The Streets, Brian Wilson, Kanye West etc etc. The FF album was certainly critically acclaimed and it topped a few lists, but not as widely as some of those. HTDAAB seemed to be generally above average reviews with the standard outliers that span from very poor to album of the year.
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Old 04-17-2005, 03:58 PM   #18
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Who gives a flyin' fuck about the reviews?
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Old 04-17-2005, 04:39 PM   #19
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Apparently you cared enough to click on this topic and write something down.
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Old 04-18-2005, 12:13 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by trashdaveed
And whoa there, Franzie was definitely not considered to be the consensus best album of 2004 by critics. I loved that album, but have a gander at Arcade Fire, The Streets, Brian Wilson, Kanye West etc etc. The FF album was certainly critically acclaimed and it topped a few lists, but not as widely as some of those. HTDAAB seemed to be generally above average reviews with the standard outliers that span from very poor to album of the year.
I've got all the albums by these artists and they are all fantastic. In fact I actually prefer them to the FF album but unfortunately, at the moment, I'm sure the critics WOULD consider the 'Franzie' album to be the best album of 2004.

As regards HTDAAB : I think that, at the moment, a consensus of critics would consider HTDAAB to be amongst the top 20 albums of 2004.

PS - Nick Cave's 'Abattoir Blues/The Lyre Of Orpheus' was my personal favourite of 2004.
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