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Record Rating: *****

U2 - How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb - Universal Music Thereís a certain joy in hearing U2 reunite for a new album. Even if theyíve been together for ten albums before this one, they greet each other like old friends after a long war. Having endured the years of their experimental phases, and being pleased with the return to their rock and roll roots with their last album All That You Canít Leave Behind - I can say confidently - welcome back!

For with an audibly refreshed energy, the quartet is back in cracking mid 80ís form, flaunting what was originally appealing about themselves in the first place. Possibly their best album since The Joshua Tree, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb is chock a block with intelligent lyrics, skilled musicianship, smooth vocals, and engaging tempos that hit you right inside the head. There are gorgeous layers to each of the eleven songs on this CD, with soulful lyrics that reflects their place in life at the moment. Vertigo was the first single to be released from here in mid 2004, going straight to number 1 the world over. And itís the weakest track on this album! One of the many reasons U2ís music is so popular is that front man Bono explores topics in his songs that are universal to the human experience. He has this unique, charming talent of being able to make anybody listen. He makes us do more than just listen though; he makes us want to change the world with him, by the time you finish listening to a U2 record. On this album itself, tracks like Miracle Drug, Sometimes You Canít Make It On Your Own and One Step Closer Ė has Bono giving hope to the disheartened, understanding to the outcast and love to the bulk of humanity who feel that no one cares about them. This is the man who prompted Time magazine to rhetorically ask in a 2002 cover story whether or not he could "save the world." And it just keeps getting better as you listen to the CD. City Of Blinding Lights with its brilliant, uplifting chorus, (Oh you look so beautiful tonight! In the city of blinding lights) is in time likely to be the Where The Streets Have No Name for this generation. It ends on a prolific note with Yahweh (dare I say possibly the best track U2 ever made, but itís right up there with One) as Bono lets out a falsetto which feels like a daydream you never want to end.

For those who donít know their U2 history - the band has sold more than 120 million records worldwide in an extraordinary career that has firmly established them as THE worldís greatest rock and roll band. U2 actually turned 25 this year: thatís a quarter of a century of their rock and roll. A band, lest we forget, whose career has now exceeded that of even Elvis Presley. Whatís even more remarkably, that after 25 years the band is still in one piece and making the music of their lives. Take the time to listen to the whole album, its complex and the mixes are tight. The verdict - How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb is fantastic. Top to bottom. The best album youíll hear this year.

Read our other reviews:

2005 Grammy Nominees       Dirty Vegas - One       Creed - Greatest Hits       Brian Mcfadden - Irish Son      


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