"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager
Wednesday, November 24, 2004 Got my copy of How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb on Monday at midnight at Vintage Vinyl. It's been interesting reading all the reviews of the album that are out there ... and they vary widely. I think it's way too premature to look at it and say "this is terrible" or "this is their best album ever" (both of which I have read in reviews). I've found with a lot of artists -- U2 especially -- how good an album is emerges over time.
*I'm really looking forward to the tour. The one thought I kept having, even with some of the songs I didn't like as much, is that this is an album that is going to perform really well live.
*Muscially, the album feels really strong. That's part of why I think it will perform well live. And it's not just because it's got a lot of the echoing cadances of traditional U2 .. but because it branches out in some cool and effective ways (industrial guitar in "Love And Peace Or Else" and ethnic influences -- Latino and Middle Eastern -- in several places, but notably in "Fast Cars").
*Knowing the backstories on some of the songs helps me appreciate them. I got the deluxe version, which has a DVD about 3 of the songs and also a book. Not steeped in U2 fanstuff, I didn't know that "Sometimes You Can't Make it on your own" was written for Bono's father's funeral ... hearing the backstory of that makes me like the song more. In fact, hearing the whole album in the context of his grieving his father's death adds another layer of depth to it.
*The main problem with judging a U2 album is that you judge them against themselves -- which is a really high bar. I found myself wanting every song to be incredibly deep lyrically and amazing musically. You're just not going to find any album like that. Even great albums have songs that are good not great and that kind of cleanse the pallate as you move through it. My hunch is that this album will be among my favorites but probably not my favorite. Truth is, an average U2 album is still much better than the majority of what is out there.
Right now, Fast Cars is definitely my favorite song on the album -- wierd thing about it is that I keep reading reviews that refer to Yahweh as the last song on the album. Is Fast Cars not on every version? Is it not always last? If it's a bonus track, it's a great one.
| Mike at 11/24/2004 03:02:00 PM
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