All That You Can't Leave Behind

by U2
  • Record Label: PolyGram
  • Release Date: Oct 31, 2000
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 136 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 136

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  1. nickn
    Mar 12, 2009
    6
    The worst album in u2's career happens to be the best reviewed; then again magazines need to advertise big stories--if they don't kiss a little ass then what happens...? magazines and critics have been castrated by the advertisers and multi-billion dollar corporates.
  2. Andrew
    Jan 27, 2005
    4
    This record contributes one classic song to the U2 canon: 'Beautiful Day'. Aside from that, it's a tentative album full of straightforward pop-rock songs with unimaginative arrangements and instrumentation. It's predictable, safe, radio-friendly, and generally uninspiring and uninspired. Still, judging by the sales it generated, this record did its job--winning back This record contributes one classic song to the U2 canon: 'Beautiful Day'. Aside from that, it's a tentative album full of straightforward pop-rock songs with unimaginative arrangements and instrumentation. It's predictable, safe, radio-friendly, and generally uninspiring and uninspired. Still, judging by the sales it generated, this record did its job--winning back all of the traditionalist fans that U2 lost by making daring-if-uneven records like 'Pop', 'Passengers', and 'Zooropa'--quite admirably. Recommended for U2 completists only. Expand
  3. AristonB
    Oct 14, 2008
    6
    It is better than the stuff what follows but worse than anything U2 did before. Never again Achtung Baby or The Joshua Tree. U2 should retire or eventually try one more time, but I think they are finished, especially Bono. Money ruins everything.
  4. Nov 5, 2013
    5
    This is a vastly overrated comeback. The album has momentum with the first three tracks, then goes down from there. A main problem is the production, which makes these songs sound bland and sparse. The main reason that this effort is commendable is because it's sweet and sugary, never trying to be something that it's not. Basically a caricature of a U2 album, ATYCLB is the sound of a bandThis is a vastly overrated comeback. The album has momentum with the first three tracks, then goes down from there. A main problem is the production, which makes these songs sound bland and sparse. The main reason that this effort is commendable is because it's sweet and sugary, never trying to be something that it's not. Basically a caricature of a U2 album, ATYCLB is the sound of a band becoming elder statesmen, and that's almost always depressing. Expand
  5. 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 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 justThis 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
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Stepping outside of their natural environment ensured their longevity in the '90s, stepping back in seems to have given them a fresh boost. For all Zooropa and Pop's pushing of the envelope, limiting themselves to rock's core ingredients has given the band a new challenge. Certainly, not since The Joshua Tree have U2 sounded so like U2 but, with songs of this startling calibre, right now being U2 is no bad thing.
  2. 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.
  3. Despite the almost universal hyperbole that has greeted 'All That You Can't Leave Behind', this is no masterpiece. Certainly not by U2's stratospheric standards.