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Words and music did for me what solid, even rigorous, religious argument could never do -- they introduced me to God. -- Bono

U2 Album Review

The Sun
It is the most hotly-anticipated album of the year -- and it's as explosive as its title.

U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb goes back unashamedly to what the band do and love best -- anthemic, majestic, triumphant rock and roll.

Setting their stall out as they mean to continue, first single "Vertigo," out on November 8, is big, angry and jagged. Thrusting guitars drive it along at a relentless pace and set the tempo for the rest of the tracks.

These include "Miracle Drug," best song on the album, "Original of the Species," second best, "Crumbs From Your Table" and "City of Blinding Lights" -- both of which are polished, epic numbers reminiscent of material from The Joshua Tree.

While these songs are the keystone of U2's 11th studio album, they're not what How to Dismantle is all about. "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" is a touching ballad.

And for fans of the work Bono did with Brian Eno on the Passengers Soundtracks album, "One Step Closer" is a beautiful, electronic, ambient number.

Of course, Bono's political views creep in on "Love and Peace or Else" and "Yahweh" -- the Hebrew word for God -- but they never get in the way of the great music. The album is a return to form for Dublin's finest -- but then being off form is something U2 just don't do.

The quality here is bound to send Chris Martin into a spiral of paranoia about Coldplay's forthcoming release.

How to Dismantle will be released on November 22.

I give it 11 out of 10.



© The Sun, 2004.