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.
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.
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.
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.
DaveMMar 11, 2005an absolute classic!!
MCDec 30, 2006for those who voted this badly- inexplicable how you could vote this zero, i can only imagine its for a bit of worthless attention because even a deaf rabbit could understand this is not as bad as you struggle to make out. Admittedly not their greatest, but even their average is fantastic and this isn't average. catchy, inspirational, excellently written, well produced and bloody enjoyable. If you have ever heard some of these songs live you will understand their brilliance, u2 continue to produce great records.… Expand
Jun 7, 2013This 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.… Expand
BBNov 7, 2003U2 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
WilliamSSep 21, 2004Where is there diversity,this Album sounds and feels one-dimensional. beautiful Day may be their best song ever...
AndrewJan 27, 2005This 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
mariamariaFeb 8, 2005it sucks
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