When journalists write music reviews, they start with one of three items: 1) a sarcastic jab at the band, 2) a strange reference to an obscure musical genre or 3) something about sex (this is the Daily Nexus, after all). Well, fear not, dear reader! I shall provide one clear, concise sentence – U2’s new album fucking rocks. How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, the band’s first release since 2000, is more splendorous than a night with hordes of nymphomaniac groupies.
Everyone’s heard the lead single, “Vertigo,” on that annoying iPod commercial, and everybody hates Bono. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The real meat of this album lies in the tracks that would never make it to radio. “Love and Peace or Else” is BB King gone punk, with a screeching blues riff over Bono’s impassioned yelping. “Man and a Woman” showcases U2’s seductive side, a philosophical discourse on love set to acoustic guitars.
Sound like rock to you? Well, it does to me, with an extra helping of buffoonery. U2 is known for being pretentious, and the new songs don’t negate the stigma. But that’s exactly what makes the band so awesome – they don’t care. Songs like “City of Blinding Lights” and “All Because of You” are about excesses of everything – love, social awareness, Bono’s use of Rogaine. Yes, U2 may try too hard, but at least it’s better than not trying hard enough. With this new album, they once again deliver a set of solid songs. And once again, they will contradict their political views by selling out corporate sports arenas. It’s ironic, it’s smarmy, it’s pure rock and roll. I love it.
[Matt Cappiello gives thumbs up to Asian harems.]