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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Actually, A Review of the Collector's Edition
I dig U2 and I like collector's editions (I have lots of cars). These "special" editions always cost more and most folks want to know is it worth it. Well, in this case (as in most) it depends.

This limited collector's edition contains three items--the cd "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" (Hoppy looooves bombs), a studiomentary DVD, and a book. Obviously the...
Published on November 23, 2004 by Hoppy Doppelrocket

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Adam B.
The album is excellent, I give the album itself 5 stars as it really is a wonderful work for the band reflecting their ability to stay ahead of trends.

The reason why I give this collectors edition only 3 stars is that I feel the packaging is dissapointing. The CD is housed in a little cardboard pocket, that will make it very easy to get scratched or damaged...
Published on December 15, 2004 by Adam Block

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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Adam B., December 15, 2004
The album is excellent, I give the album itself 5 stars as it really is a wonderful work for the band reflecting their ability to stay ahead of trends.

The reason why I give this collectors edition only 3 stars is that I feel the packaging is dissapointing. The CD is housed in a little cardboard pocket, that will make it very easy to get scratched or damaged over time. The book, while a nice little collectors piece, really seems to be a one time read, devoid of interesting reading or stories. The Addition of Fast Cars, again seems to be an ode to collectors in the US, as I don't believe the song adds value to the CD as it feels out of place.

Finally, my biggest pet peeve comes with the fact that the two cheaper versions include full lyrics in the insert, while this edition, despite a hardcover book includes no lyrics.

The CD is excellent, the DVD is interesting and worthwile, the Collector's Edition packaging and content leaves much to be desired. I would have preferred saving money and getting the Deluxe Edition CD/DVD combo. I recommend that others do the same.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Actually, A Review of the Collector's Edition, November 23, 2004
I dig U2 and I like collector's editions (I have lots of cars). These "special" editions always cost more and most folks want to know is it worth it. Well, in this case (as in most) it depends.

This limited collector's edition contains three items--the cd "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" (Hoppy looooves bombs), a studiomentary DVD, and a book. Obviously the price is higher than just the single cd or that other limited edition thing that includes the cd and dvd only (these potato farmers are marketing geniuses).

And that's for several reasons: The cd contains a bonus track not included on either the regular edition or the cd/dvd combo. It's not listed in the amazon listing above this review (who knows why?) and is a pretty upbeat, punkish number titled "Fast Cars". It's pretty good, but a little out of place in spite of the clever lyrics. The cd itself is probably worth 4.7 stars and the Edge really rocks. It's a very spirtual cd with some cool words and a lot of nifty base (especially on "Love and Peace or Else"). So overall the cd is very good--on par with the last release (the one with the song I quote to my fat lazy spouse Bessie just about every other day--"Walk On") and very reminiscent of the band's earlier style ('October' early). Again, the guitar is prominent and there's some modern techno keyboardy strange sound stuff on here too. Very good overall, but the point is there is a bonus track on this set (I believe it's on the Japanese version as well). As for the DVD...

The accompanying DVD is about 20 minutes long and in spite of what you'll read elsewere, doesn't really contain any complete videos or performances although the primary focus is on "Vertigo" and the moving "Sometimes You Can't Make it on Your Own". The commentary (which continually interupts the performances) is interesting and there is conversation about drinking, but nothing about girls in the tour bus or anything scandalous. Overall, it's a too-short snippet of the band. And then there's the book...

I like to read, but this isn't really a book I'd look to read. It's a lot of scribble, some pretty cool sketches and paintings, some Article of Human Rights, lyrics, thoughts on paper and totals about 20 pages. Depends what you like I suppose. Personally, I pulled some of the pictures out and taped them to my cubicle at work (just for fun). You can guess which ones.

Where this set loses value (aside from the brevity of the dvd) is the package itself. The book is nicely presented, but the cd and dvd (both) are in slip cases (i.e., prone to getting scratched and annoying to get in and out) and the cd in a pretty flimsy slip case at that. A besotted listener could easily create some damage. So be careful. In summary: Great cd (with a good bonus track), short but interesting dvd, decent book, and lousy package. I sure hope this was helpful.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars U2's Best Album, November 24, 2004
U2 - How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb

(An Essay)

It's taken me a couple of weeks to be able to get down on "paper" exactly how I feel about the Bomb. This has been an experience unlike almost anything I've ever had before. But I've now heard the album enough times (around 60) to feel like I can be somewhat objective in my review.

I've been a U2 fan since 1988, and a huge music fan since the mid 70's. I remember songs from the 60's when they were new songs. Yes, I'm old ;) U2-old. You call it.

This was supposed to be a review. But how do you just write a review about a life-changing album? I don't know how long this feeling will last, but this album has calmed me, even more than Coldplay's Rush Of Blood To The Head.

I always considered The Joshua Tree a miracle of an album, with the best opening three I have ever heard. It's still a miracle. And so is this. Which makes sense, because I consider it to have the best closing four I have ever heard.

The magic is back.

1 - Vertigo (8.5) - Very fun, and not very substantial rock tune. This is just as fun as it was from the beginning, which surprises me. Yes, Bono proved that the Edge can do the Hives and White Stripes better than they can, if that was the true goal. It is very smart that they made this the lead single, because it sets everyone up to listen to the whole thing before they realize that the rest of the album is not really like it at all. It sucks you in, and once it has you in its grip, the beauty of Miracle Drug envelopes you before you have a chance to complain that this isn't a hard rock album. At that point you are now accepting that U2 is best at what they do best-- being U2. And now you are very happy and open to finding out if the rest of the album is just as magical. And then you find out that it is. Since I've already started my Miracle Drug review...

2 - Miracle Drug (9.5) - It was quite obvious, even from the lousy beach recording, that this was destined to be a classic, on the level of WOWY and One. Mark my words -- it will be. I would love to see an embellishment of this song live, as was done with the other two. I think there is so much there to work with live. Bono can actually take off and fly with this if he feels like it. I think this song, more than any other, will make fans of non U2 fans. It's quickly become my wife's favorite song from the album, and she's not a U2 fan. She does like the album, though, as does everyone, U2 fan or otherwise, that I've played it for. If it weren't for the fact that it ends too soon, it would be a 10. It still may get there, depending what they do with it live.

This is a great example of how the Edge makes perfect use of sparse guitar parts to reach emotional highs. That simple ringing riff at the start of each verse is signature of U2 classics. I am so happy that his ripping bridge solo before his four vocal lines was allowed to breath. It's not buried, which is unfortunately sometimes the case with the production of some other U2 songs. And, yes, people, that IS the Edge singing those four lines! And when Bono joins in it is just perfect.

3 - Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own (10) - This has grown big time for me. In five years, we will be calling this the next "One". As we have already seen hints of, this will become HUGE live. The emotion is there. It may appear to be MOR to first-time listeners, but U2 did add magic to it to take it to the next level. Just listen in the headphones, and get swallowed up by the emotion. Trust me -- you WILL love this song, if you don't already.

4 - Love And Peace Or Else (7) - I'm not a big fan of this sound. I feel that this song is definitely overrated. As many people suggested, it is NIN-like, but I am not a fan of NIN. You can also hear some Depeche Mode here, but, although I am a DM fan, there are some songs from them that I don't care for much -- and this is the DM that I hear. Having said that, this song has definitely grown on me, especially the second half, which has some amazing sounds. This is definitely the next "Bullet The Blue Sky". Unfortunately, I often skip BTBS when listening to The Joshua Tree. But, as I often said, U2 are an amazing band, touching such a wide range of people, because although people can usually agree that they love their albums, they often disagree why, on a song-by-song basis. THAT'S why U2 is so universally loved.

5 - City Of Blinding Lights (9) - I loved this when I first heard it live, but the fist-pumping chorus didn't really grab me. Now, it's my favorite part of the song. A lot of people seem to feel that this has the best intro since "Where The Streets Have No Name", but I really don't feel that at all. It has a nice buildup, but nothing touches that "Streets" intro, only matched by its outtro -- that's magical. I love the guitar in this one, with the Edge basically using it as a horn section, if you hear what I mean. Adam shines in this one, too, as does Larry. Too many people have commented how Larry seems muted in this album. Huh? First of all, what do you want -- crazy drum solos serving no purpose other than to call attention to himself??? Secondly, he does exactly what he should do -- carries the rhythm along with Adam. And he does it perfectly! This would be great if it follows "Streets" live, and it closes the set before the encore, since it was mainly written about the live performance of "Streets" in the first NY show after 9/11.

6 - All Because Of You (8.5) - I did NOT like this song at first. I thought (and still do think) that the chorus was way too simplistic. But this song freaking rocks! It reminds me of very old U2 -- I'm talking pre-Boy U2. Listen to some of the demos and early performances to hear what I mean. But it is early U2 greatly improved and matured. I'm pretty sure the chorus is intentionally simplistic. But the Edge shines more here than on any song other than perhaps Mercy, which isn't *really* on the album, anyway. And when was the last time you heard Bono scream like that in a song? Never? I now look forward to this song when listening to the album. Wow. I think it could be a huge single.

7 - A Man And A Woman (8) - This song is definitely underrated. Yes, it is the most MOR song on the album, and I can handle one per album, but it is done VERY well. Adam absolutely shines on this song. As a matter of fact, despite what Bono says about this being The Edge's album (and he is classic Edge, here), this is *really* Adam's album. He is awesome.

8 - Crumbs From Your Table (9.5) - Several magazine reviews were beyond crazy -- this should be a B-side? Bull. This is an incredible mid-tempo rocker. Again, Bono dubs himself an octave separated (I'm sure there's a technical musical term for this), and as in every other song this is done to on this album, it works beautifully. And I've never been a fan of this technique, a la "Even Better Than The Real Thing". But what makes this song is the incredible guitar riff leading into the chorus. This is jangling Edge guitar at its most enchanting. The riff between versus is the second best thing about the song, and Bono's emotional peak in the last chorus of "I would believe" puts the stamp on it. I used to rate this a 10, and it may reach that again if they do this live.

And the line, "Where you live should not decide whether you live or whether you die," is my favorite from the album.

9 - One Step Closer (9.5) - This is the "Running To Stand Still" or "Promenade" of the album. It is WAY underrated. With a bit of modification at the end to make it blend into "Streets", this is a natural to lead into that. Must be listened to in the headphones in order to get a real appreciation.

10 - Original Of The Species (10) - The first I heard from this, like many others, was the ten second clip from a radio show a few years back. If you listen closly, the lyrics have changed -- Bono was singing over the recording with the current lyrics, and you can tell it was slightly different underneath.

Also, like the rest of the rabid U2 fans, the next I heard this was the acoustic performance at the iPod presentation. I thought it had the potential to be one of the best songs on the album. Through Bono's relatively weak, but heartfelt performance, and Edge's botched piano playing, you could hear a hit in the making. That clip hinted of where the acoustic performance would lead.

There's a lot of talk about the Beatlesqueness (is that a word?) of this song, and yes, it is quite apparent. But the Beatles never reached the emotional heights this song attains.

The Edge's classic jangling guitar pulls this along, beautifully tying in one of Bono's most earnest performances ever. His inflections are perfect, and just the way he rolls around the phrases are so natural and heart wrenching. This song is DRAMATIC. This whole album is dramatic. This has one of the best chorus they have ever created. And the part during the final, incredible chorus where he actually expresses joy in an almost laugh, is one of his best moments ever recorded.

11 - Yahweh (10) - This is the best closer they have ever done (and I consider this the closer; not Fast Cars in certain releases). This is a natural closer, for both the album and live. They'd better play this live. As a matter of fact, this is one of my all-time favorite U2 songs. I loved it from the first time I heard it. I'm not religious, but I do love the lyrics. And the ohhhhs that Bono sings near the end ranks up there with his all-time best. It just fits so perfectly. This is such a gorgeous song.

12 - Fast Cars (8) - When I first heard the looped leak, I didn't care for it much. I'm not a fan of forced harmonies accented at the end of each phrase, as made popular in the hip-hop world. I feel those are very cheap and lazy, and rather annoying. But now that I've heard the full version several times, I think it's very interesting -- especially the second half. There's no way they should end any version of this album with this song, though. Yahweh should end all versions.

I will also rate a couple of B-sides, because I think they definitely deserve to be on the album...

13 - Mercy (10) - This is the most powerful and classic thing that they have done since The Joshua Tree. It's a crime that this was cut because they didn't know exactly where to place it on the album. A damn crime. It's on my version of the CD, though ;) It's raw, emotional, classic U2. And at 6:30, it still just ain't long enough for me :)

14 - Are You Gonna Wait Forever (9.5) - Another B-side that deserves to be on the album (and is, on my burned version). Great song. Would be the best song on most other bands' albums. Classic Edge guitar.

Overall - 10 (the sum is better than its parts). This is currently my favorite all-time album, and The Joshua Tree held that spot for me for nearly 17 years. This is just more consistent end-to-end (even minus those great B-sides). To say that I am thrilled that they could have come out with such an album at this point is an understatement. It has completely consumed my life for a over two weeks, now.

Is it a classic? I think the chances are excellent, but we won't really know for years. Time is a key ingredient for making something a classic.

But it is GREAT!
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83 of 96 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entirely too conservative artistically; still great music, November 23, 2004
This review is from: How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (Audio CD)
U2, known primarily for grandiose convictions, an intense desire to be the biggest band in the world, and a huge, guitar-driven sound with soaring vocals, have become rather conservative in their evolution. Retreating from their 1980s work, U2 primarily focused on broadening their artistic pallette, bringing in electronica, techno, and other weird fusions. This created a problem with U2's fan base as the decade drew to a close, because the farther U2 strayed into the eclectic musical territory they were pursuing, the more difficult it was for the fans to follow their evolution. When U2 experimented successfully, they made some of the most successful music of their career (ACHTUNG BABY). Yet they grounded their experimentation with a sense of purpose, and they always kept their ambition within the elasticity of the fans' and critics' admiration. At least, they tempered their music with a good dose of rock in the early 90s. ACHTUNG BABY, one of their most experimental, evolutionary records, has been universally hailed by both fans and critics alike as some of their most significant music. ACHTUNG BABY set the course for much of the decade, with U2 going more and more into post-modernism.

Then the 1997 nadir POP happened. Not that POP was necessarily a BAD album. Instead of sounding a natural progression of the band's ambition, the experimentation never really gelled, much like R.E.M.'s UP. POP comes across as torn between two different directions - the anthem-driven, spiritually aware U2 lamenting a loss world, and a strange, dance-driven beat that is supposed to celebrate living with almost primitive desire, instead of commenting on the moral and social decline of earth. Both a critical and commercial flop, U2 seriously re-evaluated their status as artists after POP, and streamlined their sign, making a very conscious return to their earlier sound.

In 2000, U2 delivered the followup to POP, ALL THAT YOU CAN'T LEAVE BEHIND. The title is more than aptly representative of that album. Abandoning wholly the more progressive elements of their music, LEAVE BEHIND sounds like U2 trying to write a classicist record, returning to the styles of their 1980s output. While it was fun to hear them return to that era, ALL THAT YOU, out of necessity, didn't have a lot of artistic evolution. That wasn't the point.

So it's little surprise that U2, has streamlined their music even more on HOW TO DISMANTLE AN ATOMIC BOMB. While their early records were both revolutionary and a thrill to listen too, and the early 1990s work pure genius, HTDAATB is a much more calculated record, made to sound like classic U2 instead of just being U2. U2's experimentation had gotten them in trouble, and this is the result. U2, instead of playing the music they want to play, are now playing to win back the audience that much of their 1990s work alienated. In many ways, like Essau yielding to Jacob, U2 has traded their birthright for porridge, selling their artistic evolution out for trying to be the biggest band in the world.

Although POP did have some unmitigated disasters, at least it was the old U2, wedded to pushing the envelop with cutting edge music. That's the real irony of HTDAATB; the new U2 is returning back to the old styles to win back the fans, while the old U2 was much more interested in creating worthwhile music, combining their ambition with their musical sensibilities, growing artistically and commercially. This is a record that the old U2, after making the records they did in the 1990s, would never make. The old U2 would keep pressing on, pursing their musical evolution. But POP happened and U2 has been reeling ever since.

While this may seem to be a primarily negative review of U2's latest effort, there are some postive notes. While artistically a puzzling, entirely too conservative affair calculated to win back fans, there's some great music here. The lead off-single, "Vertigo," is jagged guitar rock. "Crumbs From Your Table" plays like we're back in the 1980s. "Love or Peace" is an interesting comment on war. "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own," written in 2001 when Bono's father died, shows us Bono at his most vulnerable. "Yahweh" (or to be strictly orthodox, YHWH), gives us U2 at their most spiritually thirsty. It has great music and a great sound, but that doesn't make HOW TO DISMANTLE AN ATOMIC BOMB the instant classic ACHTUNG BABY and THE JOSHUA TREE are.

U2's end result is rather a half-breed. HTDAATB is much too conservative and calculated to be truly revolutionary and an undeniable classic, but also just too good to write off completely (mostly because U2's trying to recreate an era of their career where they were writing and performing fantastic music. Hence my four star rating, though artistically it's three). For the causal fan, this may be a subtle point; it has a warm, big sound, and has excellent music. For those who loved U2 for being fearless pioneers will be rather disappointed.

In ways, I belong to both camps. There's some wonderful songs here. But I miss U2's sense of adventure.

[There are three songs left off the album that I am aware of. One, "Fast Cars," has surfaced on the UK and Japanese pressings as a bonus track. The band did covered Kraftwerk ("Neon Lights"). There's a non LP track on the second "Vertigo" single, "Are You Gonna Wait Forever?"]
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Idle Thought...Or Two..., November 30, 2004
This review is from: How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (Audio CD)
I only heard a short clip of Vertigo prior to buying this. When I came here to make the buy, thought I would see what some of the other citizens thought of it. As I read the reviews, a few idle thoughts came to mind, not listed in any order of importance:

Several people expressed dismay that the sound of U2 has changed. There was disappointment that the Edge may not still have that "edge" that separated him from so many other second fiddles that stood directly behind many group's headliners. There was an abundance of lamenting concerning Bono not possessing that "Bono Vox" he has given the world for the almost thirty plus years.

After reading the reviews and listening to this, I found that it is a work that is exactly where it should be. It sounds like U2 should sound today. It is reflective of an incredible musical career that is beginning to span two generations. And it is the sound and contains the energy and drive that makes U2 what it was....what it is today, and what it will be remembered as.

I did not buy this hoping it would sound like "The Unforgettable Fire". I already own "The Unforgettable Fire" and am very content and satisfied with the way it sounds. I bought this with a reasonable expectation that I would hear a musical group in the autumn of their career still putting out some of the best, most original and undoubtedly most creative musical work on the planet. And I was not disappointed....I don't think you will be either.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great work of rock history, April 3, 2005
Jason Wendleton (Denver, CO United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (Audio CD)
Album: How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb

Artist: U2

Simple: Don't build one. That's the best way to dismantle an atomic bomb. I didn't come up with that (I read it in another review). Yes, I know this album came out a long time ago (in the music buiness last Thanksgiving may as well be forever ago) but it's taken me a really long time to ponder HOW TO DISMANTLE AN ATOMIC BOMB (HTDAB). First, let me say that while I love it when band's experiment....thank God U2's mid-life crisis is over and they've returned to their roots. Both this album and their previous effort, ALL THAT YOU CAN'T LEAVE BEHIND find U2 leaving behind the dark, noisy Euro-Disco scene and returning to arena rock (where they belong). HTDAB is fab...and U2 lets you know right off the bat with "Vertigo" a gee-whizzbang homerun/grandslam of a song. Yeah, so what if Apple and Clear Channel have run it into the ground? They were able to do so because it kicks so much ass! Bono and company wisely slow things down with the second (artier) track "Miracle Drug." I personally found it to be my least favorite track, but this could be caused by an acute adrenaline overdose left over from "Vertigo." The third track, "Sometimes You Can't Make it on Your Own" is the soul brother of ALL THAT YOU CAN'T LEAVE BEHIND's "Kite." Both songs sprang from Bono's adult relationship with his dead. Whereas "Kite" was about moving out, "Sometimes..." is about moving on (after the death of a loved one). The song is truthful and moving. Bono's gift for laying his feelings all out for everyone to see in this song will silence critics who accuse him of pandering and being a sell-out. No one sells out by writing a song like "Sometimes..." Next, "Love and Peace or Else" is a noisy, post-Pop manifesto for peace (by making threats). This song seems like a statement to those super activists who end up becoming the very thing they are fighting. Peace, should be born of love-not frustration and anger. If "Love and Peace or Else" were a road, "City of Blinding Lights" would be the destination. This song is classic U2, and is one of the stongest tracks. I love Edge's guitar work (his songs are always so fresh and unique). The song also has my favorite lyrics on the album "the more see the less you know/ the less you find out as you go" only a mature, world-weary Bono could write a universal truth like that (and sing it with such much that my 21 year old ears automatically take the statement as fact rather than opinion). "All Because of You" another great single, is well...a great single. Not as fast as or furious as "Vertigo" but it's not meant to be-it's a great U2 love song. Speaking of love songs, "Man and a Woman" the next track is probably the best 'I don't understand love' song written. Totally encapsulating the whole 'what the hell is going on here' feeling of man and woman's relationships, the song features some great guitar work and brilliant chorus."Crumbs from Your Table" sounds like vintage U2, again the chorus is strong (the 'cool down mama' will stick inside your head for days). The album's weakest track is stuck down there at the bottom (where an album's weakest track belongs). The song, "One Step Closer" isn't really bad, just not very memorable and seems like a U2 song we've already heard. "Origin of the Species" and "Yahweh" close HTDAB, on a uplifting-hopefull note. The spiritual side we've all come to expect from U2 rears it head, and unlike many political bands, keeps from being preachy (while still making it's point). "Yahweh" alone is worth the purchase price of the CD (I think). A love letter to God...the song will break your heart with it's 'always pain before a child is born' chorus and humble before-the-universe lyrics. I love this album, and the band who made it. Many might dismiss U2 as a Dinosaur of the '80s, a relic still trying to cash in on their essential rock classic THE JOSHUA TREE-but HTDAB is proof positive that U2 tough (but willing to wear their hearts on their sleeves). I was, however, a bit dissapointed that the album didn't really seem to touch 9/11 or the War on Terror (I desperately wanted U2 to tell me everything was going to be okay). Upon further consideration, I realized that any attempt to do so would be an act of futility-also songs of healing and hope (like "Yahweh") are more in line with what this world needs right now (not "The Angry American").
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rename this CD: How to Dismantle the Loss of a Loved One, November 25, 2004
This review is from: How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (Audio CD)
After losing my mother this fall, this album has become the outlet to release all of my emotions. When I first bought it, I turned down all the lights in my bedroom and played the whole thing straight through. I cried to most of the songs, especially the beautiful "Sometimes You Can't Make It on your Own." As Bono lost his father and wrote most of these songs about him or the issues of death and survival, they all struck me in the heart. These songs cradled all of my emotions I was feeling.

"Miracle Drug" made me appreciate the love my mother had given me.

"Sometimes" made me realize how much I missed her and our past experiences together.

"City of Blinding Lights" reminded me of her outer and inner beauty.

"All Because of You" is like a dedication to her while letting out my anger about her death.

"One Step Closer" covers the broader topic of death.

"Yahweh" is a prayer that closes everything.

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give it a few listens..., March 20, 2005
K. Stroud "Dunnock" (Tunbridge Wells, Kent) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (Audio CD)
It does annoy me when people slag off an album such as this after seemingly only one listen or two at most. Be patient, and you will find this to be one of the most enjoyable U2 albums out there. People didn't like their previous effort of "All that you can't leave behind" because they found it "boring" or "too mainstream". You obviously haven't paid any attention to it, read the lyrics or given it a few listens.

This album is in my view one of the best of 2004. I am not a U2 fan, the only albums of theirs that I own are this one and "All that you can't leave behind". Most of the songs on here are of a very high quality - "Vertigo", "Sometimes you can't make it on your own" (both #1 UK singles by the way), "City of blinding lights", "All because of you" and "Yahweh".

Musically, the album is sound, as it is lyrically. I have the UK version which has twelve tracks, the extra one being "Fast Cars", a very hispanic sounding song, containing the lyrics from where this album's title originated.

Overall, a decent effort from a band whose other albums I will for sure be getting.

PS To all of you who think Bono is dumb for singing 1, 2, 3, 14 in Spanish at the beginning of Vertigo a warning. Don't underestimate these guys, they are cleverer than you. If it indeed was a mistake, someone would have noticed before the album went out - the fourteen stands for their fourteenth album.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty darn good!, April 11, 2005
This review is from: How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (Audio CD)
This is a top notch CD. Unfortunately, there are many sad people here posting under fake accounts just to wail on this CD. Especially Roberto Diaz who is really GDB posting under another alias. He will be nailed shortly for account abuse. I've been watching this group for a while and there's one loser continuously posting under new accounts. IP tracking will be requested shortly.

All Because of You -- a great rocker which has gotten a lot of airplay.

Vertigo -- A FUN rocking song that most people will like if they lighten up a bit. :)

Yahweh -- A simple, catchy, straightforward hymn to Bono's God. I always appreciated his open spirituality, even if I don't believe the same things he does.

Crumbs from Your Table -- That funky chord they use and the rolling, rocking hooks. Wonderful tune.

Miracle Drug -- Sounds like something from Boy and I can't get enough of it.

Yes, this CD isn't perfect, however, it is NOT even close to being a 1 star effort like the lamers here are trying to say.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Sun is Coming Up on the Ocean, November 11, 2005
This review is from: How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (Audio CD)
U2 reviewers tend to go wrong when they define a particular album or group of albums as the "real" or "best" U2. For 25 years now, U2 have been on an undending and various journey making music together, and though you may not like the latest installment as much as "War" or "Joshua Tree" or "Pop" (or whatever the "greatest" is for you), How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb is another essential landmark on the way.

What many U2 fans and detractors alike fail to recognize is that, at each stage of the journey, U2 has been calculated and deliberate in making their albums. As Bono said in the recent Rolling Stone interview, "We don't go after albums like rock bands. We go after albums like film directors: this is the subject, let's get into it." In that sense, every U2 album is very conceptual. U2 albums are "visionary" in that they seek out, create, and provide ways of seeing the world, of being in the world.

In other words, the music is written in service of particular themes/ideas/subjects. And these themes naturally change over time. In the late 80's, the music was in service of the idea of America (the "two Americas" as the Joshua Tree was almost called). Hence the huge, sparse soundscapes and the wonderful collision of hope/despair (innocence & experience) on both personal and politcal levels in the lyrics. In the early 90's the band looked to Europe for inspiration (the frenetic energy surrounding the collapse of the Iron Curtain) and also inward toward the heavenly heights and hellish depths of desire. Hence the experimental noise and purple-black (ultraviolet) tones. The rest of the nineties saw experimentation and a flirtation with dance and electronica as a broadening of the "palatte" of what U2 could be, mean, and sound like, and as an exploration of the themes of identity and spiritual quest in a brave, new postmodern world.

The latest two albums represent another shift in the U2 sound. And like all the others over an impressively long career, it is a very deliberate one. After far-flung musical exploration (with Zooropa, Pop, and especially Passengers) they made a conscious effort to rediscover what is most essential to this band as a band. Thematically, the resulting album focused on very elemental necessities: friendship, fatherhood, faith, hope, love, and grace. Far from being trite or trivial, that album captures a hardwon sense of "second naivete," and it's no wonder that the raw emotion of "All that YOu Can't Leave Behind" became a touchstone for many in America after 9/11.

"Dismantle" is another record in that vein, though it differs significantly from ATYCLB. Musically, with this album, U2 draws on its full palatte. As we might say about a writer or a visual artist, U2 has achieved artistic maturity. No longer seeking and stretching to realize their talent, they are now at the full height of their powers as composers and performers (and anyone who's seen the Vertigo tour has to agree the band has never played better than they are right now). Thematically, this album is very "adult." A paen to long-term monogamy, songs exploring parent-child relationships after an elderly father's death, the admission that "I've had enough of romantic love...I'd give it up for a miracle drug," the desire to hold onto youthful passsion while also channeling it into deliberate and systematic attempts to heal some of the world's great ills....none of this is very "rock and roll." U2, on their very first album, explored themes of innocence and adulthood. They do the same here, but from a very different vantage point, much further along the road of life's journey. At the end of the day, what U2 is doing on this album is making rock music by grown-ups for grown-ups that doesn't suck. That, in my book, is groudbreaking in itself.

This may not be your favorite U2 period, and there are fans that prefer the early 80's, fans that prefer the late 80's, fans that prefer the 90's, and yes, fans that prefer the recent stuff. But don't let your own prejudice about what you think is "the real U2" blind you from appreciating the breathtaking reach of this band, and the particular greatness of their latest achievement.
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How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb by U2 (Audio CD - 2004)
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