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How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb by U2

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Reviewed on 12th December 2004.


How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb

By U2

For some reason when I was younger I really disliked U2. I'm not sure why, I just know my cousin had posters of them on her wall and a U2 scarf. A scarf for God's sake!! The only thing that should be on a scarf is a football team's name. I told her they were rubbish, without stopping to think I didn't actually know any of their music. Not one of my more rational decisions.

Over a decade on and I've grown to quite enjoy their recent offerings, recent single "Vertigo" certainly pricked up my ears. Here it opens up the album at 100 miles an hour and propels you headlong into proceedings. It's just a great rock song, the guitars are heavy, it's catchy, you can dance to it, you can sing along. Fabulous!

"Miracle Drug" follows and is pretty outstanding, it would be hard to shift it from your head if it wasn't followed by an even better song. "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" was written by Bono about his father. It's delicate and touching "if we weren't so alike you'd like, you'd like me a whole lot more". Edge's trademark guitar sound is of course in force with a beautifully crafted guitar sound but a mention has to go to Larry Mullen Jr. This is some of the simplest and most effective drumming you will hear. It's inventive yet basic, it varies quite a lot without you really noticing it. If you need an example of drumming purely for the song then this is it.

The whole album is pretty rocking by U2's standard, it is clearly U2 though. Edge's guitar can be heard a mile away and Bono's voice is sounding as good as ever. It's hard to pick highlights as the standard here stays high all the way through, there is no weak link. "Crumbs From Your Table" and "Yahweh" possibly begin to stick their noses out but this is an album where everyone will have different favourites and then change their mind when somebody reminds them of another tune. There aren't any songs here that you can genuinely see anyone disliking.

It's hard to look at any of the current crop of 'stars' and imagine them being around after 20 years and writing something as sublime as this and sounding as fresh as they ever have.



All replies to this article. Log in to post a reply.

On 7th January 2005 at 14:57 Anonymous 1944 wrote...

Dear reviewer,

Having just partaken in the elegant yet regretfully lost art of reading your literature I have a number of dilemmas regarding the general atmospheric delusion that you seem to have amalgamated within your misguided aspirations regarding this whimsical repertoire of melodic notes and musical inclinations.

"It's hard to look at any of the current crop of 'stars' and imagine them being around after 20 years and writing something as sublime as this and sounding as fresh as they ever have "

I am sorry young sir but this sort of misguided, neopolitan statement is a clear sign of your lack of true grasp of the term sublime. Have you ever visited the lower African colonies where the beloved natvie Aryan tribes run free and wild, untamed by the sanctities of modern day political escapades coated in a sugary flowered diorama? No I'm sure you haven't. Only then good sir may you claim for something to be truly sublime and fresh

Good day to you

S. Glacken


On 7th January 2005 at 15:19 Anonymous 3358 wrote...

Forsooth, I must take issue with your demeanour fair sir. You fail to grasp an iota of intelligence or eloquence and thus may not dispell your vitriol upon my prose.


On 7th January 2005 at 15:24 Anonymous 3213 wrote...



On 7th January 2005 at 15:25 Anonymous 3213 wrote...

p.s. You fucktard


On 8th January 2005 at 21:09 Anonymous 13 wrote...

I suspect that if you three are going to satirise an eloquent critic then you're going to have to be more, not less, eloquent. However misguided he might have been, he did at least write clearly and accurately.


On 9th January 2005 at 01:46 Anonymous 3358 wrote...

Sorry dad.



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