How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb

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How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb Image
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 385 Ratings

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  • Summary: The band's first new album since 2000, a more stripped-down, "classic U2" disc than previous efforts, was recorded chiefly with producer Steve Lillywhite, with Chris Thomas and Nellee Hooper also helming some tracks.

Top Track

Sometimes You Can't Make it On Your Own
Tough, you think you've got the stuff You're telling me and anyone You're hard enough You don't have to put up a fight You don't have to always be... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. 100
    A slower album than most, Bomb eventually reveals itself as a work of genius, wrapping religion, love and life into emotionally thrilling gifts.
  2. Unabashedly grand and inspirational.
  3. Filter
    82
    So here we have another U2 album that's just as good as the last one. In fact, it's really good. [#13, p.88]
  4. How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb may be unadventurous and melodramatic, but it is packed with disarming moments.
  5. Entertainment Weekly
    75
    From the arrangements to the inevitable crashing-wave crescendos, echoes of "I Will Follow" and "New Year's Day" rumble through the songs. [26 Nov 2004, p.115]
  6. It's neither aggressive nor retro, and U2 sounds better for moving forward, even if they seem increasingly diluted in delivery at times.
  7. Suffers from too much open-faced honesty and a serious lack of intensity.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 249
  1. JohnL
    Dec 30, 2004
    10
    All Because of You, Vertigo, and Love and Peace or Else are wonderful kicks in the pants softened by the touching One Step Closer and Miracle Drug.
  2. EstuardoB
    Aug 13, 2005
    10
    If BOY had been released in 2005, it is hard to think it would have had any impact, same if HTDAAB had been released in 1983. This is the If BOY had been released in 2005, it is hard to think it would have had any impact, same if HTDAAB had been released in 1983. This is the sound of a band who beyond making excellent albums, is intense on being relevant, on sending their material to the radiowaves and battling out with the fads, being them Heavy Metal, Alternative, Hip Hop, Pop. U2 has surfed thru all of these epochs, and this album is yet another amazing vehicle to soar above the rest of the general music out there. Expand
  3. ZackD
    Sep 27, 2005
    10
    I will offer my thoughts: If, by chance, you gave this album a 0 or a 1, I read your review. I am astonished by how so many people could miss I will offer my thoughts: If, by chance, you gave this album a 0 or a 1, I read your review. I am astonished by how so many people could miss the point. I don't know where so many of you got this crap about "selling out" and being in it for the money. If U2 wanted to sell out, they would certainly be making a lot more than they are right now. Do you realize that they didn't accept money for the iPod spot? Performances at awards ceremonies don't mean you are a sellout. If this album was produced for the sheer goal of making more money for the members of U2, they wouldn't have spend 5 years crafting it. They could release crappy albums every year and a half if they wanted and they'd make more money. Instead they put time and effort into what I believe stands as one of their greatest achievements. No, maybe not a Joshua Tree or an Achtung Baby, but certainly third on my list. Its track listing begins by painting a scene of fear and helplessness. The singer finds himself in this dizzying place called vertigo, scared, alone. He is captivated by a cross around a girl's neck. Tracks 2, 3, and 4 show hope for the miracle science we do not have yet, meditation over dead loved ones, and pleading for peace in a world gone wrong, respectively. The album soon begins to find the positive aspects of life in love, family, contentedness, and, finally, God. While the beginning presents this problem, this "atomic bomb," representative of the worst of humanity's fears, the end of the album presents the solution: love. One must kneel before love and they will find comfort and hope. The music itself is perhaps not sonically as revolutionary a departure from the previous album as most U2 fans are used to, admittedly. But this doesn't take the album down at all. I simply think it is on the same sonic plane without repeating the same sounds. Overall, my favorite album of 2004/2005 easily. Expand
  4. AbuF
    Nov 23, 2004
    9
    Solid album from guys who rarely let us down and we are the better for it.
  5. DermottF
    Jul 4, 2008
    7
    What U2 have against them these days is if the album isn't better than Achtung Baby, then its crap. That's the standard they have What U2 have against them these days is if the album isn't better than Achtung Baby, then its crap. That's the standard they have set for themselves. This really isn't a bad album. But it isn't a great one either, U2 can do better. It opens with the fantastic Vertigo and even better Miracle Drug where Edge's guitar work is a touch of genius. There are other great songs such as 'Sometimes You Cant Make It On Your Own' and 'Original of the Species'. But it hasn't got that magic and deep feel that the Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby had. Its definitely one to have in your collection though. Expand
  6. CalebF
    Dec 29, 2004
    3
    Crushingly, achingly, heart-breakingly dull. Vague syrupy lyrics about "big stuff" with nothing to give any song emotional or intellectual Crushingly, achingly, heart-breakingly dull. Vague syrupy lyrics about "big stuff" with nothing to give any song emotional or intellectual resonance. U2, who once made some of the most successfully honest music in the business, now make nothing more than audio greeting cards for suburban housewives and fraternity jocks in SUVs. Expand
  7. [Anonymous]
    Nov 24, 2004
    0
    I used to love U2 so much. I'm not sure if I've wised up or if they have descended into the realms of the retarded. This album is I used to love U2 so much. I'm not sure if I've wised up or if they have descended into the realms of the retarded. This album is junk. While some of the tunes are OK, Bono's lyrics are a series of painful couplets that with have you reaching for the crack pipe to drown it all out. Expand

See all 249 User Reviews