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All That You Can't Leave Behind

I’ve seen that a lot of people don’t much care for U2’s 2000 music, but I find that puzzling. Following the mess that us Pop (imo, their worst album), All That You Can’t Leave Behind represents a come back in the same fashion as Achting Baby following the semi-mess that was Rattle and Hum. This album starts strong, falters a bit, comes back, and then ends on a couple of duds. Here is a track by track review:1. Beautiful Day – The first single from the album is a doozy. The chorus is an explosion of the entire band at their best. Great lyrics make this a real feel good song. The subdued bridge before the final act of the song cap off this winner of a track. 8. 5/102. Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of – A long title, but this song is good. Hard to follow up such a stellar track like “Beautiful Day,” but this song holds its own. The ending with the horns and harmonies is really good. 7/103. Elevation – My personal favorite on the record. It gets a lot of flack for the lyrics, but it’s a really fun rock song. The lyrics are certainly not the worst, and I quite like the sing-along nature of them. The quiet buildup in the middle to the chorus explosion is awesome. A fantastic U2 song. 9. 5/104. Walk On – I actually didn’t care much for this song on first listen, but after giving it a fair chance, it’s one of my favorites on the record. The ending is phenomenal, especially the name check the album gets. The song is a grower. 8. 5/105. Kite – A by-the-numbers U2 song, but a great one, nonetheless. The chorus has a nice progression to it, but I have a version in my head that sounds slightly better, but I still love the actual version. The strings don’t sound out of place either. A nice track. 8. 5/106. In a Little While – The guitar riff sounds very RHCP-esque to me, but that’s fine. This song doesn’t really have chorus, more of a “oooohh” from Bono, but it’s not terrible. I like the sound of this song a good bit. 7/107. Wild Honey – A lot of people say this is where the record falls off, but I disagree. This song is a nice change of pace from the rocking nature of the first 6. A nice acoustic guitar focused song, with some nice plugged in instruments to compliment it. Definitely not a throwaway. 8. 5/108. Peace on Earth – This is where the record starts to lose it’s way. The last bit of this record would be skippable if it weren’t for the next track. 5/109. When I Look at the World – An oftentimes missed track because of the perceived dropoff, but this track shouldn’t be missed. This song is really as good as anything on the first half of the record. A nice song by Bono to his wife. The Edge does some great things on this song as well. 9/1010. New York – Ok, now the album is avoidable. I don’t know, I’m sure they worked hard on these two songs, so I feel bad saying they are throwaway, but from the first lyrics of this track, I immediately want to go back to another song from the album. The song picks up a bit, but the lyrics just aren’t there, and it feels like they’re trying too hard. 6/1011. Grace – Another dud. U2’s closers are never show-stoppers, but they are usually at the very least listenable, and oftentimes great tracks. Grace isn’t that, however. This song goes absolutely nowhere. 5/10 Check it out!

Cassette edition .Out of Print and extremely rare.

 

 

 

All That You Can’t Leave Behind Review

 

I’ve heard that "All That You Can’t Leave Behind" is the missing link between "Rattle and Hum" and "Achtung Baby", and there is some weight to this. I’ve observed that U2 has left their old label, Island Records, for Interscope. I hear, on this cd, U2 sounding more pop and mainstream than they ever have before. This could be an attempt to find a new audience after 20 years, but it could also be that the band’s fans are mostly over 22 years of age. That means we don’t expect U2 to sound like the Backstreet Boys and that we are able to know the difference between a band that produces bland, slickly manufactured pop and the kind of pop U2 have created here. The band hasn’t sold out on this cd, but they have the potential for the most Top 40 hits this time. More power to them. I’d rather hear a smart, poppy song from U2 than most of the new artists making music today. On "All That You Can’t Leave Behind" U2 revisits parts of all their past cds. For example, "Beautiful Day" sounds similar to "I Will Follow" or "Even Better Than The Real Thing". "Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of" and "In A Little While" sound like they could have been lifted from "Rattle and Hum". Then there’s "Elevation", "Peace On Earth" and "New York" that sound like they could have come from "Pop". U2 don’t repeat themselves, they travel to new ground instead. Every three cds they reinvent their sound and this cd is no exception. It’s a good cd, but it’s not "The Joshua Tree", "Achtung Baby" or "Zooropa". The band sounds very relaxed this time around, something they’ve never accomplished until now. They sound more balanced with political messages being of the spiritual kind like "Peace On Earth" and "When I Look At The World", "New York" and "Grace". These, alongside stadium stompers like "Beautiful Day" and "Elevation" and acoustic strummers like "Kite" and "Wild Honey" round out the cd. It seems like there’s something for everyone on this disc. U2 seem to being saying, "Let’s have fun, let’s sell a lot of records and let’s make smarter pop songs than Britney Spears. " -Read Reviews-

The fact that U2 still carries the banner for vibrant, energetic, _meaningful_ rock music is a testament both to the group’s talent and the general lack of talent in the younger rock band scene. The editorial review describes this 4-star album best in saying that it "perfectly stakes out the middle ground between the anthemic U2 of the ’80s and the more grounded group of the ’90s," although it probably leans more toward the ’80s’ end of the spectrum. Which is a good thing, even if this album isn’t quite as powerful as _The Joshua Tree_ and its clean, yearning melodies. There isn’t a weak track here (although the quick rhymes in "Elevation" are a bit much after a while); however, there isn’t a true standout either, with the possible exception of "Kite": "Who’s to say where the wind will take you?/Who’s to know what it is will break you?/I don’t know which way the wind will blow. " Nonetheless, this is an engaging, solid work that shows U2’s tank is far from running dry (and in their full maturity, it looks like the younger groups are the ones getting left behind).

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