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All That You Can't Leave Behind Image
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 109 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. As hopelessly antiquated as it may sound in the year 2000, it's as if they decided it was time to write and record an album of very good, extremely substantial traditional rock songs with an underlying inspirational bent.... the new work focuses on songs, not sonic gimmicks, and the difference is palpable.
  2. Now, as the group starts its third decade, U2 has found what it's looking for is good music, songs that ring with melody and hooks -- and meaning -- while still weaving in some of the ambient and electronic textures it explored on releases such as Achtung Baby, Zooropa, and Pop. The result is a richly crafted and filler-free pop album on which each song sounds like an individual work, calling to mind mid-period Beatles titles such as Rubber Soul.
  3. 80
    Call it the happy aftermath of a midlife crisis. U2 is relaxing, reasserting some beliefs critics love to shove back in their face--most importantly, that uplifing art is not necessarily dumb. [12/2000, p.233]
  4. All That You Can't Leave Behind returns to the grand gestures of old. Practically every song a potential hit single. Soulful, exuberant, at peace with its own clichés, this is one U2 record that will never be called antianything.... Call it their R.E.M. album, monster rock filtered through a sophisticate's restraint.
  5. All That You Can't Leave Behind is a rock record from a band that absorbed all the elastic experimentation, studio trickery, dance flirtations, and genre bending of Achtung, Zooropa, and Pop -- all they've shed is the irony. U2 also chooses not to delve as darkly personal as they did on Achtung or Zooropa, yet they also avoid the alienating archness of Pop, choosing to return to the generous spirit that flowed through their best '80s records.
  6. The bottom-line is that while All is a good album, it isn't a great one.... All largely rides somewhere in the '80s, hitting a few heights (the ruminative "New York"), while occasionally missing the target altogether ("Peace on Earth").
  7. Subtle breakbeat drumming and glistening guitar be damned, Bono will ruin a song. And so the story goes for the entire album-- one of the band's finest, if not for the tweeting and hooting of The Fly and his grating lyrics.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 51
  2. Negative: 12 out of 51
  1. ZackA
    Apr 2, 2005
    10
    I thought it was timely and great!
  2. scottw.
    Aug 19, 2007
    10
    Every song on this album is fresh, vibrant and fool of life, and is done U2 style. One of U2s best and one of the best albums ever made. Its Every song on this album is fresh, vibrant and fool of life, and is done U2 style. One of U2s best and one of the best albums ever made. Its truly a pop rock album with lots of hits. Bono and the Edge show that they were fare from finished, in this big come back album for the band. Expand
  3. Jun 7, 2013
    10
    This is music. One of the best albums in history. Once you press the play button, you will not be able to stop it. If you have good taste,This is music. One of the best albums in history. Once you press the play button, you will not be able to stop it. If you have good taste, that is. It unleashes with breakthrough hit "Beautiful Day", a strong super-inspired track. A song that makes you feel. A song that touches. Just like "Walk On", the most deep song on the album. "Stuck In a Moment You Can't Get Out" and "Wild Honey" mark U2's best pop moment, with their "sweetness at all". "Elevation" is rock song of the album. It's moving and shaking. It's strong. "Kite" is just as deep and beautiful as "Beautiful Day" and "Walk On". "A Little While", a pretty romantic song. A song that only U2 could make. Actually, this album is an album that only U2 could make.

    The album moves into a dark zone. A "night zone", if you will. "Peace On Earth" and "When I Look At the World" have some of Bono's best lyrics, together with "New York", that strong track at the end of the album. So it all ends with quiet and calm "Grace", a beautiful meltdown. A beautiful closure to a beautiful album. And that feeling of willing for more. Willing to replay the entire album.

    This is U2's finest work. Their greatest moment musically. No one ever got close to music perfection as they did here.
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  4. BB
    Nov 7, 2003
    9
    U2 is quite simply the best rock and roll band of all time. The rolling stones? Give me a beak. Maybe someday U2 will get the media attention U2 is quite simply the best rock and roll band of all time. The rolling stones? Give me a beak. Maybe someday U2 will get the media attention they deserve. I am sick of hearing so much hype about the beatles and the rolling stones. U2, with there explosive popularity and awesome music making over the last 20 years, now deserves to be in the same class as those other bands. However, you hardly here about them in the popular news media. The media must be run by 60 year old men. Expand
  5. WilliamS
    Sep 21, 2004
    7
    Where is there diversity,this Album sounds and feels one-dimensional. beautiful Day may be their best song ever...
  6. Nov 9, 2014
    4
    This album begins with an instant classic in Beautiful Day, but it's all downhill from there. It seems U2 starts out will some ideas for theThis album begins with an instant classic in Beautiful Day, but it's all downhill from there. It seems U2 starts out will some ideas for the first half of the album, then completely forgets what they were writing about by the second half. The first few tracks are the best, but each song gets more boring until you get to Wild Honey and Peace on Earth, in which you're practically just asleep. New York almost picks up the momentum again, but it takes too long to develop and suffers from its length. U2 just lost touch with what made them great on this album. Expand
  7. mariamaria
    Feb 8, 2005
    0
    it sucks

See all 51 User Reviews