U2 – All That You Can’t Leave Behind

U2 - All That You Can't Leave BehindAfter losing me as a regular listener for most of the 90s (and y’know, I’m sure that loss just crushed the lads), U2 got me back on board with All That You Can’t Leave Behind. Returning to the compelling style of music that won them such an ardent fan base in the 1980s, U2 ditches some of the electronic production wizardry that drove some of us away in the next decade. And the result is a lovely thing to hear.

Sure, there are some revisitations to the 90s style (“Elevation” springs instantly to mind here), but for the most part U2 opts to let the simple beauty of the songs themselves shine through. “Stuck In A Moment” is a lovely ballad, “Wild Honey” is an almost folksy affair compared to the band’s usual output, and “Walk On” and “Beautiful Day” are a glorious return to that distinctly anthemic flavor of rock that caught everyone’s attention way back when on Unforgettable Fire.

The two songs that always stop me dead in my tracks, though, are “In A Little While” and “Kite”, two marvelous slow numbers that move along with a majestic gait and a combination of excellent lyrics and amazing musicianship. “In A Little While” in particular features some of Edge’s best guitar work (though it’s very simple and almost acoustic-sounding in places), and some of the sweetest notes ever to sneak out of Bono’s throat. 4 out of 4The soaring chorus is instant classic sing-along material, even if you, like me, can’t really even try to hit those notes.

Stellar stuff from a band that, contrary to what I believed ten years ago, really has stood the test of time quite well.

Order this CD

  1. Beautiful Day (4:09)
  2. Stuck In A Moment (4:32)
  3. Elevation (3:47)
  4. Walk On (4:56)
  5. Kite (4:26)
  6. In A Little While (3:39)
  7. Wild Honey (3:46)
  8. Peace On Earth (4:48)
  9. When I Look At The World (4:16)
  10. New York (5:29)
  11. Grace (5:31)

Released by: Interscope
Release date: 2000
Total running time: 49:42