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RadioUndercover, October 29, 2000

U2's 10th Studio Album Is Initially Going To Get A Mixed Reaction

For the band who spent the 90's reinventing themselves, if anything 'All That You Can't Leave Behind' is the undoing of invention.

'All That You Leave Behind' is mellow. The hint to what was to come was last years The Ground Beneath Her Feet from The Million Dollar Hotel soundtrack. That song (included on the Australian edition of this album) set the template.

The first single Beautiful Day is as angry and aggressive as they get this time around. The only other hint of days gone by is New York.

"I'm not afraid of anything in this world, There's nothing you can throw at me that I haven't already heard, I'm just trying to write a decent melody, a song that I can sing in my own company" Bono sings on Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of. These few lines some up the entire context of the album.

Elevation throws back a little to The Joshua Tree sound. With production duties from Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, moments such as this are inevitable throughout peaks of the album.

Walk On gives birth to the title of the album 'the only baggage you can bring is all that you can't leave behind'. Again, another prophetic statement indicating that the 10th U2 effort is from a band content with its illustrious history but not prepared to rest on it.

Kite is the big U2 ballad. Those of you who saw Popmart will be able to visualize this one more on a live stage than listening to it in the context of this album. Numerous U2 songs tend to require visual. This is one of them and offers an insight into the size of u2 as a band. "In the time when new media was the big idea" Bono sings.

In A Little While is almost a Pt2 to Kite in melody. The format of this album starts to cement by the time you reach this halfway point and expectations of a Bullet The Blue Sky start to fade.

The acoustic simplicity of Wild Honey is somewhat of a surprise on first listen, but for the purpose of this review, I've taken advise any have left all comments to after the third run through.

Fact is, like a lot of great albums, it does take the depth of numerous listens to grab the true appeal and All That You Can't Leave behind is certainly one of those albums. That's a good thing. Albums that are great on first listen tend to burn just as quickly. Albums that take time to appreciate do hang around longer. This album certainly has longevity.

The entire middle section of the album is sedate. Peace On Earth is about as preachy as Bono gets. "Jesus could you take the time to throw a drowning man a line, Peace on Earth" he prays.

As we near the end of the album it's like Bono has said to The Edge "I've had my say, you can have some fun now". When I Look At The World and New York start to sound like a band again. New York even has an element of grunt to it.

The final moment for most of the world is Grace, a tender track with the staple Lanois production style massaged by the Eno influence. Grace is equal to the best of u2's quietest moments.

Australian fans have an encore track. The Salman Rushie worded The Ground Beneath Her Feet rounds off the Aussie release.

By Paul Cashmere

Copyright © 2000 RadioUndercover. All rights reserved.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on October 29, 2000 5:19 AM.

U2's Latest: 'Behind' The Times was the previous entry in this blog.

10th Album: A Beautiful Day For Us All is the next entry in this blog.

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