U2: All That You Can't Leave Behind

Looking at the promotional pictures for the un-catchily titled "All that you can’t leave behind", Bono and the Edge don’t seem to have changed too much over the years. Larry Mullen looks as if he has been taking some of Sir Cliff’s eternal youth pills and Adam Clayton unfortunately looks as if he as been taking health and beauty advice from Keith Richards. The album re-unites the producers used on the "Unforgettable Fire", Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, and perhaps that goes some way to explaining the similar feel of the two albums. The production quality of the album is quite impressive and anybody with a decent hi-fi system will be impressed with the clarity and crispness of the recording itself. As usual I don’t have time to go through all of the tracks but a quick summary of some of the highlights follows. The album opens with the first single to be taken from the album, "Beautiful Day" and uses the traditional U2 winning formula. My personal favorite is "Elevation" which starts with a cutting Edge riff, followed by one of Larry’s drum rolls which takes us into an "Achtung Baby" style masterpiece. "Kite" is a little slower and not dissimilar to the Verve’s "Lucky Man" and the guitar intro to "In a little While" has a distinct Red Hot Chili Peppers feel to it. Finally things wind down to a gentle conclusion with the restful finale, "Grace". It’s another one of those "growers" and hence my initial crisp rating of 3 has grown into a 4 after a couple of weeks listening.